Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Raazi movie review: This spy thriller is a materstroke

Raazi movie review: This spy thriller is a materstroke

Nearly all the conversation that Sehmat has with her undercover contacts is in code language, but you are left to figure what is being said as much as you keep guessing Sehmat's next move. He also went on to praise her and her father's efforts and said, "I am yet to fathom how Sehmat's father, a rich businessman in Kashmir then, could push his daughter to do such a unsafe thing". Sehmat Khan's father, Hidayat Khan, is a prosperous Kashmiri businessman who has been using his trade contacts with Pakistani Army officers to collect information for India's Research and Analysis Wing.

The problem lies with the young girl herself.

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Sehmat is introduced to us as a girl who saves a squirrel from being crushed under a vehicle. Her father, normally restrained, starts speaking to her with overt exposition, suddenly parroting manipulative lines like a male Farida Jalal.

As she adjusts to her new home, new family and new nation, she hangs on to some elements of her old life, like listening to Bade Ghulam Ali, or making kahwa. And one that prompted author Harinder Sikka to hunt her down and write a book on her life with fictionalized portions to protect her real identity. Critics, who watched the movie in a special screening before the scheduled release, have praised the director and actors - Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal - for the storyline and performances in their reviews. Bhatt is an incendiary talent, but Raazi exposes how she overplays her hand. She is gritty yet tears up frequently. There's a lot going for Raazi yet there's a nagging lack of novelty - whether it is the film's plot, message or Bhatt's ability to cry. And who better than his own daughter Sehmat! Bhatt has cornered the market on histrionics (and, indeed, hysterics) in this film. There are many emotional scenes in the flick, and the most poignant was when the husband, the Pakistani army officer discovers his wife's treachery. At one moment, she is this vulnerable girl with quivering lower lip and droopy eyes welling with tears. who's consciously uncertain of her moves and actions as she isn't a seasoned agent. As a result, the film is competently crafted but never gripping. It certainly doesn't earn its running time of two hours and twenty minutes. "The film passes muster on all technical aspects but if those don't get listed here, it is only because the performances are so good". Even Bond films show us that these days. In Raazi, the music ultimately does the film an injustice, breaking the rhythm of the movie.

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Raazi does impress, though. The film is produced by Dharma Productions and stars Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal in the lead roles.

The film is centred, however, by the spymaster. Also, Jaideep Ahlawat as Khalid Mir, Sehmat's trainer, shines in Raazi with a fine performance that requires him to have restrained emotions on his face. She rounded her looks with nude make up. And the love for his country. Composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. The trio has teamed up with lyricist Gulzar, for a soundtrack that may be familiar but doesn't at all push the boundaries.

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