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Raid  : Waylaid By Distractions
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Friday, March 16, 2018
Raj Kumar Gupta
Ajay Devgn, Ileana D Cruz, Gayathri Iyer, Saurabh Shukla

It should’ve been the taut and dramatic tale of an upright Income-Tax officer conducting the biggest raid of his career. But in trying to go big scale, director Rajkumar Gupta who’s in his element with realistic, small-budget cinema like No One Killed Jessica and Aamirgets distracted.


Much time is spent on establishing Abhay Patnaik as upright and non-buyable with a wife who simpers her support, repeatedly. The antagonist is the familiar zamindar-type Tauji with an army of supporters, a mansion stacked with ill-gotten wealth and political reach right up to the Prime Minister’s Office.


With corruption and honesty atthe core, there was room for Gupta to go straight for the jugular and make a thriller that would resonate with the current mood of the people.


But he gives in to old-fashioned essentials like a wife who turns up with tiffin boxes and an ill-placed flashback song that merely re-establishes the husband-wife intimacy with no add-on value. Apart from an unnecessarily lengthy film, Gupta doesn’t bring drama to the narrative. The only relief is not the wife but the charming old Amma of the mansion who’s refreshingly funny.


The director also loses the dramatic hold of the subject by trying to be politically goody-goody with Patnaik getting the support of his superiors and his team. Even the Prime Minister declares that the country needs incorrupt officers like Patnaik. So why is he transferred again, Ma’am?


Ajay Devgn brings his stock of credibility to the central role of the income-tax officer. The swagger of Singham continues, only he doesn’t wear a uniform this time. Saurav Shukla as power-drunk Rameshwar Singh makes a perfectly annoying Tauji. But haven’t we seen them all go through such situations and characters before?


It would’ve turned out well if Gupta had made a shorter and tighter film. He should’ve stuck to power games, to Abhay and his team finding the undisclosed wealth of Tauji, and to the mystery informer who made it possible. In fact the informer is unveiledin a hurried wind-uplosing its impact.


For a film that has a good premise but wavers in its telling, Raid gets a 2.5* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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