'Raid Movie' review: Raider of a lost ark.

The diversion of the supposedly longest income tax reform could have been much more tight, taut and thrilling than it turns out to be Raid Movie would score on novelty. It's indeed quite original to fashion a two-hour-long movie on the allegedly longest ever income tax reform, which, from what I hear from my retired IT officer uncle, is anyway a dull and back-breaking exercise. Cinematically it provides many challenges: restricted, single space, defined group of individuals and not much motion and action. Despite these odds, director Raj Kumar Gupta and his author Ritesh Shah do be able to hold the audience attention but only intermittently so. Bollywood raid is the follower of Hollywood the raid redemption.

The Raid Movie start with the narrative of an honest officer Amay Patnaik, (Ajay Devgn) directing an IT team to unearth the black cash stashed away in the "White House" of the wicked, corrupt politician Tauji (Saurabh Shukla), Raid might have been more tight, tight and thrilling than it turns out to be.

Part of this problem are the distractions on the side; Amay's romance and the portrayal of his domestic life with wife Malini (Ileana D'Cruz), for example, provide little other than obstructing the story flow with obviously tunes. And, of course, giving a token acknowledgement to the "courageous" wives of the IT officers. The track is rendered even more colourless by an Ileana that was ill at ease, simpering and righteous. The raid redemption continuous… 

Ajai Devgn does the identical old hooded eyes-dour face-faux extreme turn yet again, with nothing new to offer other than some recently grey hair and cracked heels peeping in the sandals (yes watch out for his intro scene). His chemistry at Raid movie, thanks to a dramatic confrontation, is far better with his bête noire Shukla who walks away with the movie were it not for the character of his mother. Hugely reminiscent of Farrukh Jaffer's Amma in Peepli Live the role attracts from the unwitting eccentric comic touch. In actuality, I was left wishing Jaffer could have played this one too.

Then there is a celebrity of Sheeba Chaddha's calibre who gets a short shrift in a forgettable role in the Raid movie. But she's immensely watchable as always even if she isn't doing anything in front of the camera. The appearance and demeanour of her personality seem to hide many secrets and lies that the director-writer duo prefers not to research.

At the Raid movie the harping on the specific amount of Rs 420 crore black money becomes overly convenient as does the familiar talk of holding the wealthy revenue tax defaulters responsible for the nation's poverty and harping on the fact that only the salaried middle class pays taxes in India. 

The movie Raid show case the taxpaying civilians stage at our country. Regardless of these noises that are ideal things do not turn out rousing enough. A messy climax and awkward reveal further seal the bargain.

We're the stories we opt to tell. In keeping with the spirit of these times, if we are tracing all of the issues in our polity, economy, society back to the past, Gupta chooses to make a movie on corruption in the 80s when Indira Gandhi was in power. Fair enough. Why not? Only I'd want to know which Bollywood Braveheart will dare train the camera on corporate crimes and corruption as they're unravelling in 2018.

Director: Raj Kumar Gupta

Starring: Pushpa Joshi, Ajay Devgn, Saurabh Shukla Sheeba Chaddha

Storyline: Ostensibly inspired from real income tax raids from the 80s, the film is about an honest IT officer holding the huge mansion of a corrupt politician under siege to unearth the hidden black cash.