Cast: Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Rajt Kapoor, Soni Razdan, Shishir Sharma Amruta Khanvilkar & Others
Direction: Meghna Gulzar
Nikhil’s Rating: **** (Four Stars)
Raazi Alia Bhatt’s new movie is based on the book Calling Sehmat written by Harinder S Sikka. It is a dramatised retelling of a true story based on the Indo-Pak war of 1971. Alia Bhatt plays Sehmat, a college student who is thrown into a scenario of becoming a spy.
She gets married into a Pakistani family to Iqbal Sayed, a military officer played by Vicky Kaushal. Since she does not have the experience of being a spy/agent, she needs to learn the tricks of the trade. Guiding her through this journey is Khalid Mir played by Jaideep Ahlawat. As the Indian agent, Khalid Mir. His character draws some parallels to Manoj Bajpai from Naam Shabana which released a few years ago.
There are a few extremely well crafted scenes in this movie. A few particular ones need to be mentioned here: The scene in which she learns the few requisite skills such as Karate and how to read Morse codes, just to name a few. Apart from these there are a host of others that leave a very high impact on the audience. Have I missed something, oh yes watch out for the climax. It is certainly one that will stay with me for a lifetime.
Raazi does not have songs just for the sake of it. The songs serve the narrative of the movie and are melodious at the same time. Listening to Ae Watan or the other one being the title track gave me goose-flesh. That said, every song has been penned masterfully by Gulzar and scored to perfection by the talented trio of Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Trust me when I say this, many people will think about listening to the songs on loop, well after the movie ends.
Jay I Patel, the film’s Cinematographer captures the valley of Kashmir with aplomb. The editing by Nitin Baid is skilful and only improves the impactful narration and engaging screenplay. I am sure that some of you would want to read Sehmat’s true story after one has experienced the film. Incidentally this film has been shot in Kashmir.
Alia Bhatt as Sehmat delivers an outstanding performance. She is very brave and acts effortlessly with her eyes. Vicky Kaushal as Iqbal Syed delivers a dignified yet restrained act and complements Sehmat perfectly. In fact, all the actors have sunk their teeth into the respective roles assigned & surrendered to the vision than Meghna Gulzar had.
Executing a film like this in the Hindi film Industry is commendable. It takes courage and skill to deliver a film that steers away from being clichéd & conventional. It is an experience that is very fulfilling and satisfying for content driven cine lovers and others alike. It is definitely a must watch.