Directed By: Meghna Gulzar
Starring: Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Jaideep Ahlawat, RajitKapur, Shishir Sharma, Amruta Khanvilkar and Soni Razdan
Screenplay: Meghna Gulzar and Bhavani Iyer
Dialogue: Meghna Gulzar
Dharma Productions and Junglee Pictures’ RAAZI is based on a book named ‘Calling Sehmat’ by Harinder S. Sikka. The film is about an Indian spy married to a Pakistani officer so that she could pass on crucial information to Indian intelligence as a warbetween India and Pakistan in 1971 was about to start. The film starts with an elderly Kashmiri gentleman named Hidayat (RajitKapur) travels back and forth between India and Pakistan under the pretext of business dealing but served as an agent. His friend in Pakistan Brigadier Syed (Shishir Sharma) is convinced that Hidayat is spying on India for Pakistan but it’s the vice versa, he is actually a loyal lieutenant of Indian intelligence service but now as he is suffering from tumour, he tells his 20 year old daughter Sehmat (Alia Bhatt) to continue his mission as tension were running high in the midst of the independence war in East Pakistan, now Bangladesh. Sehmat agrees to become a spy and gets married to Iqbal Syed (Vicky Kaushal) younger son of Pakistan Brigadier Syed so that she can pass on the necessary information required, she agrees to do so as she is taught that no one is bigger that the nation. Will she be able to pass on the necessary information required and what struggles she will face in the process is what the film is all about.
The film is a tight thriller with the right moments dedicated in the screenplay for the thrills. Especially in the first half the movie moves really well between nails bitting sequences to some really good edge of the seat thrills. But when the movie moves in the second half the situations become repetitive and the way Alia’s character comes out of tight situations becomes more contrived. The biggest flaw in the movie is the climax which is way to convenient. But having said that a thinking thriller like this is hardly ever properly attempted in the movies here and for the most parts the film stays true to its genre.
Technically the film is shot brilliantly; cinematographer has done an excellent job and has captured some brilliant scenes through his camera lens. Editing is good. Music and background score goes very well with the film and triggers patriotism in you. Screenplay written by Meghna Gulzar and Bhavani Iyer is nice, though the film largely is all about Sehmat, all the other character are given good amount of screen space.
Alia Bhatt is superb as Sehmat, she once again shows everybody why she is considered as one of the best actress of this generation. Alia has given her career best performance easily in this one.Vicky Kaushal is a delight to watch, though the film largely revolves around Alia Bhatt, Kaushal touches your heart with his performance. Jaideep Ahlawat is outstanding as the Indian intelligence head. Rajit Kapoor makes his mark as Hidayat who reluctantly chooses his daughter’s destiny, placing the devotion of his country above all else. Iqbal’s father, played by Shishir Sharma, lends a commanding presence to Brigadier Syed as a man committed to his official duties over his family. It was an absolute delight to see Soni Razdan play the mother to her real life daughter on screen. Amruta Khanvilkar also does justice to her role.
Director Meghna Gulzar delivers a heart breaking thriller drama;she paces the film well and just at the right moment turns the film into a thriller which keeps one at the edge of their seat.