Why Shah Rukh Khan's Raees will be the Deewar of our times
It is definitely the superstar's biggest commercial comeback vehicle.
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Although it is SRK's offer that you can't refuse, his comeback to commercial cinema - Raees - seems to be borrowing from the '70s film order, the angry young man with a hint of arrogance, the deep baritone, the perfect villain, the good cop, the lover in troubled times and high-voltage drama in the form of some in-your-face punch lines.
"Baniye ka dimaag aur Miyabhai ki daring" could well be the "Mere paas maa hai" of this decade. With a fair share of negative roles to his credit, SRK unapologetically left a little of his charisma in Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam or even Don. Overplay has been King Khan's strength. He embraces the exaggeration in each of his roles unabashedly - without qualms - and essays them exceptionally well.
Raees looks like a breakaway from Khan's previous commercial ventures. It is not about the Bond-style drama, expensive cars or gadgets - packed in an inflated fashion. It is about a roller-crushing liquor bottles, desi style. It is not about stammering, stalking or seeking revenge.
It is about a business, a mafioso - a desi don whose vehement love for his business is as intriguing as his passion for the love of his life, played by Pakistani actress Mahira Khan. Put together, the stubborn businessman and lover make the character of Raees Khan real.
However, one finds an uncanny resemblance to Bollywood's first angry young man in more ways than one - SRK's trimmed stubble, the intense eyes perfectly lined with kajal, the demeanour, screen presence, diction and the protagonist who serves one-liners to friends and foes faster than the speed of light. Raees Khan does not fail to surprise the audience with his wit, and his honesty reminds me of several Vijays played by Big B.
He quickly strikes a chord with a dialogue that comes straight from the heart. "Ammijaan kehti thi koi dhanda chota nahi hota aur dhande se bada koi dharm nahi hota." The umbilical connection never fails. The quintessential Indian male from the '70s generation who seeks resonance in his love for familial ties. Nostalgia. Deja Vu ala Deewar - a win-win plot.
And on this platter of not-so-original, yet brilliant-looking performances, the cherry on the cake remains Nawazuddin Siddiqui, whose performance could be a show-stealer. Going by Siddiqui's past screen brilliance, he could well be a threat to Raees Khan on-screen and literally.
Clash of the Titans
It would be interesting to see if Siddiqui's presence as a cop would bear any resemblance to Shashi Kapoor's idealism in Deewar and his hapless love-hate relationship for his brother (played by Amitabh Bachchan).
The trailer brings to us Pakistani talent Mahira Khan too, who - besides being SRK's love interest in the film - could well become a subject of national interest.
When Sunny Leone is set to do an item number in SRK's film, you expect fireworks. But, it gets tough for us to place her Zeenat Aman's "Laila main Laila" - despite it being a new version and Leone dancing to its iconic tune.
It is definitely SRK's biggest commercial comeback vehicle and - going by the trailer and the star cast - there are more reasons than one to watch this firecracker of a film.
Raees looks like a seven-course meal served to perfection, with precision and impeccable style. But, for all you know, it could be the Abdul Latif saga.
Watch: How 2016 has turned out to be a Khantastic year