Raazi Review: The Film Completely Belongs To Alia Bhatt

Alia Bhatt plays a Kashmiri undercover agent in Raazi

The only reason for a Delhi University student to don the cloak of an intelligence agency spy, slip a gun in her salwar and get married into a high-profile Pakistani family is the love for her nation, India, argues Meghna Gulzar's film, Raazi. Meghna Gulzar's Raazi is based on Harinder Sikka's novel Calling Sehmat. In Talvar it was the family honour at stake, in Raazi it is "country". The trailer of the flick introduced us to the courageous Sehmat, for whom nothing matters than her country.

Raazi is a film that gives us true female hero of her times and our times. Sehmat's father played by Rajit Kapoor informs his daughter the importance of patriotism and protecting the country. Will Sehmat's personal equations take a toil on her patriotic plans? But what if she got an opportunity to spy on someone in real life?

Given the current unrest in Kashmir, it can be a challenge to imagine that such a woman could have even existed.

Sehmat's one line- "Watan Ke Aage Kuch Nhi, Khud Bhi Nhi" justified the film's tagline "The story of an ordinary in extraordinary circumstances". What she is not aware of is that her father, a wealthy businessman in Kashmir, uses his trade links to spy on Pakistan and pass on information to Indian intelligence.

In Meghna Gulzar's Raazi, she will be seen playing one of the most complex characters in her short career. This is at once the film's biggest strength and its greatest failure. It took eight years of toil, research and a few trips to Pakistan for Sikka to research and compile the story of this fantastic lady based on whom a film titled Raazi starring Alia Bhatthas just been released. As much as it is a poignant story of human relations, Raazi is also a suspense thriller tautly executed, the unrelenting parade of risks and unexpected twists owes as much to Meghna's conviction as to Nitin Baid's brisk editing, Kunal Sharma's intelligently crafted sound design and the nerve-wracking background score by Shankar Ehsaan Loy & Tubby. But Sehmat's in-laws and specially husband are suave, gentle educated cultured people.

Speaking of silence there is plenty of it in the storytelling.

Watch it not for Alia Bhatt or Vicky Kaushal. Technically, Monster Hunt 2 is faultless, courtesy the work of its largely Hong Kong-based crew. Hidayat Khan (Rajit Kapur), a Kashmiri trader, often travels to Pakistan on the pretext of business. But during the 140-minute movie, I felt it could have done without the musical breaks.

There is something about the way Alia Bhatt cries. It is the only time Alia is unconvincing perhaps because she is unconvinced. The final escape seems a shade credible, but how did the commanding officer who trained her reach Pakistan so easily?

In fact, Khalid as the Indian commander comes across relatively as a larger-than-life character - cold as marble outside, and so ruthless that we can shudder for the enemy because such a devilish thinker is on our side!

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