Planet Bollywood
Producer: Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Kumar Mangat Pathak and Abhishek Pathak
Director: Rajkumar Gupta
Starring: Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz and Saurabh Shukla
Music: Amit Trivedi and Indraneel
Lyrics: Manoj Muntashir and Indraneel
Reviewed by: Anish Mohanty  - Rating: 6.0 / 10
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As a director, Rajkumar Gupta has made three films, namely, 'Aamir', 'No One Killed Jessica'. Though all of these were thrillers, the tone and the subject each of them dealt with was vastly different from each other. His latest film 'Raid' is, as the name suggests, is based on an income tax raid that was conducted in the early 80s in Lucknow. The film comes at a right time as money laundering or hoarding is a hot topic in the country at the moment.

Amay Patnaik (Ajay Devgn) is an honest income tax officer who has been transferred forty-nine times in his seven year long career. His honesty can be aguged by the fact that he carries a bottle of liquor with him when he goes to a party. When asked the reason behind it, he says 'main who peeta hoon jo khareed sakoon" (lit: I drink what I can afford to buy myself). Amay's wife Malini is supportive of him but is worried about the consequences his honesty could lead to. One night, Amay gets a mysterious call from a stranger who gives him some important tip about Rameshwar Singh, a local politician and businessman, who could be hoarding cash and valuables worth Rs. 420 crores. Despite not having enough evidence to substantiate his claim, the caller gives Amay enough impetus raid Rameshwar's residence.

On paper, the film deals with a subject which seems difficult to execute. How does one make a full length feature film that revolves around a single raid? Rajkumar Gupta manages to achieve this and he does this quite well too. The first half of the film keeps you completely hooked to the narrative. There are times when you feel things are going to get over but then, suddenly, a twist turns the plot upside down and takes the film in another direction. The romantic track between Amay and Malini does act as an aberration and slows things down. Gupta seemed to have been forced by the producers even when there was no need to do so. There is a scene in which Malini comes all the way to Rameshwar's residence to deliver lunch for Amay and his colleagues. The silly scene was probably written to accommodate the song "Sanu Ek Pal". Gupta and co-writer Ritesh Shah seem to have run out of ideas in the second half as some of the episodes seem uninteresting or implausible. Despite that, the second half has its moments and the climax does pack a punch.

Ajay Devgn effuses sincerity and intensity as Amay Pattnaik and does not hit a false note as an actor. Ileana D'Cruz does not get much screen time. Her flawed Hindi does great disservice to the character she plays. One would run out of adjectives to describe how great Saurabh Shukla's portarayal of the ruthless and unscrupulous Rameshwar Singh is. Amit Sial is terridic as Lallan. Gayithiri Iyer leaves a mark as Mukta. Pushpa Joshi gets some really god, clap-trap dialogues as Dadi and she delivers a very impressive performance. Sulagna Panigrahi is good as Tara.

'Raid' is based on a topical subject and tells a rather novel story in a very convincing manner. The power-packed performances by Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla are the film's highlights.

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