Director: Raj Kumar Gupta
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz & Saurabh Shukla
Story, Screenplay Dialogues : Ritesh Shah
T Series Films and Panorama Studios’ RAID is a tale of an honest income tax officer Amay Patnaik (Ajay Devgn) who has been transferred 49 times and now heading the income tax department in UP. Devgn gets a tip off from a random source about the excessive undeclared monies held by a local MP Rameshwar Singh a.k.a Tauji (Saurabh Shukla). After collecting all the needed proofs Devgn and his team decides to conduct a massive raid at Shukla’s household which is supposed to be worth over 420 crores. Once in the house, the movie moves like a tense thriller with twists and turns laid out in regular intervals to entice and also keep the audiences guessing. There is a final big reveal in the end as well. The rest of the story becomes about how Devgn is able to successfully conduct the raid.
For starters this is a very important film as it deals with such a topical issue of scams and the rich fleecing the poor to fill their pockets. The movie gets a lot of things bang on. The film is based in 1981 and the period is very well created and executed in it. Some of the writing in the film is spot on as well with the writer getting the nuances of the languages and even the situations perfectly. The tension in the house is very well implemented as well, it almost plays out like a cat and mouse chase which is good to see. The banter in the house between Devgn and Shukla is some of the wittiest we have seen at the movies in a long time.
What however doesn’t work in the movie is the unnecessary romantic track of Ileana D’Cruz and Devgn. This is one of those rare movies which could have done without music in the film but the makers pack with songs which take you away from the whole film and are absolutely not needed. The movie has a runtime of just over 2 hours but it feels long because of things especially in the second half of the film feel repetitive. There is some convenient rounding off some characters as well and the biggest let down in the film is the final major reveal which is honestly a dumb squid.
Production values are adequate. Cinematography by Alphonse Roy is good. While the editing by Bodhaditya Banerjee leaves a little more to be desired. Music by Tanishk Bagchi stands out like a sore thumb while the original music and background score by Amit Trivedi is good. Production design by Rita Ghosh is great.
Performance wise, Ajay Devgn gives a vintage Ajay Devgn performance. He is restrained and measured to a T and brings his A game to the table. Ileana D’Cruz leaves a mark in her bit part. Saurabh Shukla is in top form he delivers a sensational performance and is a treat to watch. Amit Sial as one of the crooked officers who has a change of heart in the movie is brilliant. Pushpa Singh as the grandmother in the house is marvellous and brings the house down with her witty one-liners. Gayathri Iyer, Saanand Verma, Amit Bimrot, Akshay Verma and others provide great support.
As a director, Raj Kumar Gupta does well for the most part and makes an important movie.