Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Rahul Dholakia|
|Produced by||Ritesh Sidhwani
|Written by||Rahul Dholakia
|Starring||Shah Rukh Khan
|Edited by||Deepa Bhatia|
|Distributed by||Red Chillies Entertainment|
|Box office||est. ₹304 crore|
Raees (English: Wealthy) is a 2017 Indian action crime thriller film directed by Rahul Dholakia and produced by Gauri Khan, Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar under their banners Red Chillies Entertainment and Excel Entertainment. It stars Shah Rukh Khan, Mahira Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.
Raees was said to be based on criminal Abdul Latif's life but, the filmmakers denied this, saying "The story of the film is a pure work of fiction, not based on any person; living or dead." The film was released on 25 January 2017.
Raees, from Fatehpur, Gujarat gets involved in illegal liquor trade at a very young age. Along with Sadiq, Raees works for a notorious gangster Jairaj, smuggles alcohol illegally by bribing the police. Though he is a smuggler, he lives by the philosophy, as taught by his mother that every occupation is good, and no religion is greater than any occupation till it does not cause any harm to anyone. He decides to part ways with Jairaj and start operating on his own. He meets Musabhai and Nawab in Mumbai, and with their help he starts his bootlegging business. Meanwhile, an honest police offer of the IPS cadre, J. A. Majmudar, wants to end this illegal liquor trade.
Raees is already in love with Aasiya and she accepts the proposal to marry him and the two soon get married. Majmudar gets transferred to Fatehpur, and starts a major crackdown on alcohol dealers. All the dealers decide to collaborate except Raees. Majmudar continues to gather intelligence about Raees, and Raees consistently find ways to avert him and continues on with his trade. Due to his differences with Raees, Jairaj tries to get Raees killed. Musa informs Raees about Jairaj’s attempt and Raees survives by killing Jairaj and his associates at a bar.
Majmudar gets transferred from Fatehpur to Kutch. Gujarat's Chief Minister and Pashabhai, dealing with politics supports Raees for liquor and money. With his money, intelligence and tact, Raees wins over the administration. He also assists his community by offering employment to women to sew cloth bags, which he uses to smuggle alcohol and get them delivered to homes. In the meantime, Aasiya delivers a baby boy. Raees is offered a project by the Chief Minister to eliminate the illegal occupants at a land and construct a housing project. Still a hindrance to Raees' business, Raees manages to get Majmudar transferred to control room department, where he thinks he won’t be able to impact his business at all. However, tables turn with Majmudar's transfer as he starts listening in to all the Raees' telephonic conversations and get the updates of his every move. Pashabhai plans a march to end illicit liquor trade, as a part of his election campaign, which would pass through Raees' area. Raees assaults him the march. The CM advises Raees to go to jail for a while for his act but assures he would get all the facilities and carry on his trade from there. While still locked up, the CM and Pasha form an alliance, that could potentially wipe out Raees’s whole business. To counter them, Raees decides to fight the election from jail and wins.
Raees visits the location of the housing project with his wife and paints a picture of tall houses. He dreams that there would be abundance in the air of that locality, where there would be no poverty or hunger. Meanwhile, Majmudar gets transferred back to Fatehpura as SP – Crime.
Communal riots break out in the state. People start running out of food. Raees dispatches free food to four localities the city, which takes a heavy economic toll on Raees. Considering Raees a threat, the CM puts Raees housing project in green zone. The construction of the project comes to a halt, as it is banned by the government. Raees suddenly finds himself broke with all his money dwindled on housing project, elections and dispatching food supplies.
Moosa offers to help Raees by offering him money for an assignment to smuggle gold from Doha. Raees returns the money of all his investors in the housing project. News breaks that there have been five serial bomb blasts in north India, killing several people. Police investigations lead to Raees, where the gold he smuggled, contained RDX and Raees was unaware of this fact. Raees is morally devastated by this shock because his philosophy was broken. Majmudar wants to arrest Raees but considers he might escape due to the corrupt system. Raees kills Moosa for betraying his trust and killing innocent people to incite communal riots. Majmudar orders his officers to shoot Raees at sight, but Raees brings press with him and surrenders and is well aware Majmudar would kill him. Majmudar takes him to an isolated place and shoots him. As he is being shot, Raees experiences a dramatic flashback of his entire life as he falls down dead.
- Shah Rukh Khan as Raees
- Mahira Khan as Aasiya, Raees' wife
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui as IPS Jaideep Ambalal Majmudar
- Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub as Sadiq, Raees' friend and confidante
- Sheeba Chaddha as Raees' mother
- Shubham Chintamani as young Raees
- Shubham Tukaram as young Sadiq
- Atul Kulkarni as Jairaj
- Narendra Jha as Musa
- Jaideep Ahlawat as Nawab, Musabhai's assistant
- Uday Tikekar as Pasha Bhai
- Pramod Pathak as Chief Minister of Gujarat
- Utkarsh Mazumdar as Dr. Sanjanwala, Eye Specialist
- Kundan Roy as Kalupor
- Ashutosh Jha as Rasul
- Sunil Upadhyay as Taufiq
- Fareed Arif as Eijaz
- Loveleen Mishra as Ratna madam, School teacher
- Anil Mange as Qasim
- Sanjay Gurbaxani as Commissioner
- Raj Arjun as Ilyas
- Bhagwan Tiwari as Inspector Devji
- Sunny Leone as Guest appearance in song "Laila Main Laila"
Filming and development
Shooting of the film began in April 2015. The film has been shot in Mumbai, and sets were re-designed to depict Ahmedabad slums. The last schedule of the film was shot in Gujarat in January 2016. Despite protests, the film was shot in Bhuj without disruptions between January and February 2016.
The film was scheduled to be released on Eid, 6 July 2016, but was postponed to avoid box office competition with Salman Khan starrer Sultan. The film was then rescheduled to be released on 26 January 2017, India's Republic Day, which conflicted with Hrithik Roshan starrer Kaabil, but then both films were moved to 25 January 2017. Raees opened to 3500 screens worldwide.
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama rated the film 4 out of 5 stars and said director Dholakia "depicts the power play and the cat and mouse chase between Raees and the honest cop Jaideep with flourish and that, in my opinion, is the mainstay of the enterprise."
Nihit Bhave of The Times of India rated the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "The movie can feel a bit long, but if you're going for a great SRK performance and some good ol' popcorn-entertainment, it might just 'raees' to the occasion."
Devarshi Ghosh of India Today rated the film 3.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "The filmmaking is pure masala and this is one well cooked masala movie. The story is not suprprising, but Rahul Dholakia's treatment seems fresh."
Writing for The Hindu, Namrata Joshi gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and wrote, "In Raees, he (SRK) and Dholakia would rather dare than play it safe. The character, a complicated portrayal, is in line with grounding SRK in his faith, and making him rise above it."
Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV rated the film 3 out of 5 stars and commented, "Raees might be markedly unfamiliar territory, but [Dholakia] doesn't let that fact undermine the content and its context. The balance that he achieves lends the film sustained solidity."
Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express rated the film 2.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "SRK breaks through in some moments but is stymied by florid, seen-too-many-times flourishes in Raees. It is Nawazuddin Siddiqui who really shines through."
Raghav Jaitly from Zee News rated the film 3 out of 5 stars and applauded its "powerhouse performances". He described the film "From dialogue delivery to slow motion sequences, the movie will give you goosebumps at times. If you want to witness high-octane actions, intense emotions and sincere filmmaking, then go for 'Raees'. It amalgamates Shah Rukh's charm and Rahul's intelligence."
Writing for Hindustan Times, Sarit Ray gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, saying "Raees also deserves credit for going with a principal set of Muslim protagonists, a rarity for present-day Bollywood. Nawazuddin Siddiqui has the best lines. Raees perhaps works only as an SRK showcase.", and Anupama Chopra gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, saying "The best way to enjoy Raees then is to manage expectations first. This is an uneven film. In places, you will applaud and whistle. But you might also find yourself utterly exhausted."
Sneha May Francis and Mahwash Ajaz of Dawn respectively commented, "This isn't a fine film. It's vintage Bollywood fluff, which SRK will manage to turn into box-office gold." and, "Raees is the story of neither a hero nor a villain – it is the story of a man who lived in a corrupted system with corrupted morals."
Manjusha Radhakrishnan of Gulf News gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and wrote, "While the film is engaging, what lets it down are some of the contrived and ridiculous twists in the second half. But the climax packs a punch and that misgiving — 'where is this film going?' — is erased."
There was a clearance issue by Archaeological Survey of India for shooting at Ahmedabad at the ancient mosque and tomb complex, Sarkhej Roza. In March 2016, a legal notice was sent by an alleged gangster, Abdul Latif's son, Mustak, asking how or why a film on his father's life is being made.
A few days after the 2016 Uri terror attack, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) asked for ban on films featuring Pakistani actors on the basis that the actors were not openly condemning terrorism. Raees was on their list, because cast member Mahira Khan is Pakistani. MNS put forward a condition to lift up the ban, that producers shall never cast Pakistani artistes in future and they have to give ₹5 crore as penance to the Indian Army welfare fund, but Indian Army refused to accept it by saying sacrifices should not be politicised. Later, ban was lifted without the conditions on Raees as demanded by MNS.
Farhan Akhtar, co-producer of the film said Raees will never pay, and was threatened by MNS. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra and member of the BJP and the RSS, Devendra Fadnavis said at the meeting with MNS and the producers ₹5 crore as contribution to the Indian Army welfare fund was not quoted compulsory and was never a condition for lifting ban on films featuring Pakistani actors demanded by MNS, and earlier at an event praised Shah Rukh Khan as an "icon" and a "proud Mumbaikar".
Ankita Shorey was the first choice for the female lead of the film, but Mahira Khan got the role, Shorey confirmed that the consideration was not due to the nationality. Shorey later stated that she did not speak about replacement, and did not spell part of the project phrase in her last interview regarding Raees, the actual phrase was "strongly considered for the project", the journalist who took her interview apologised for it. Farhan Akhtar clearly stated that Mahira Khan is in the film like before and nothing has been changed for her part, and the film is ready to release, he further said that if they started the whole film shooting after the terror attack then they would never have signed her depending on the present situation, and concluded by saying showing solidarity to Indian Army is up to them, and only Indian government has the authority to brief them regarding dealing with their conscience, and not by any outsiders.
A day after the release of the trailer of the film, members of the city's Shia community protested the use of religious symbols in the film. They lodge a police report. The letter to the police has requested Khan to withdraw all such scenes, and intimated them about a possible peaceful protest in case the request is not met. When contacted, Shilpa Handa from the film's PR agency Spice said that they were still trying to understand the nature of the complaints.
On 11 December 2016, Shah Rukh Khan met MNS supreme Raj Thackeray to assure him that Mahira Khan won't be coming to India to promote the film. On 11 January 2017, it was reported that Shiv Sena again demanded for ban on the movie. They have threatened the cinemas' owners in Chhattisgarh not to screen the film.
Three days before the release of the film, Kailash Vijayvargiya, National General Secretary of BJP, termed Raees as "dishonest" and "anti-national" film, while termed Kaabil as "Patriotic" film, and said earlier in 2015 that Shah Rukh Khan is a defector and he also didn't react to 1993 Bombay bombings and 2008 Mumbai attacks.
|Soundtrack album by Ram Sampath, Jam 8, OmGrown, Kalyanji–Anandji|
|Released||24 January 2017|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
The song "Laila Main Laila" from the 1980 film Qurbani was written by Indeevar, and was originally composed by Kalyanji–Anandji, and it was sung by Kanchan, Amit Kumar, Chorus, has been recreated for the film by composer Ram Sampath. Additional lyrics are written by Javed Akhtar. "Saanson Ke" track is sung by Javed Ali in the film. The song "Halka Halka" was removed from the film and the album because it didn't suit the film's script, but was later released after the film's theatrical release.
|Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|1.||"Laila Main Laila"||Indeevar,
|2.||"Zaalima"||Amitabh Bhattacharya||JAM8||Arijit Singh,
|3.||"Udi Udi Jaye"||Javed Akhtar||Ram Sampath||Sukhwinder Singh,
Karsan Das Sagathia
|4.||"Dhingana"||Mayur Puri||Aheer (JAM8),
|5.||"Enu Naam Che Raees"||Ram Sampath,
|Ram Sampath||Ram Sampath,
|6.||"Saanson Ke"||Manoj Yadav||Aheer (JAM8)||KK||4:02|
|7.||"Ghammar Ghammar"||Traditional||Ram Sampath||Roshan Rathod||2:39|
|8.||"Halka Halka"||Javed Akhtar||Ram Sampath||Shreya Ghoshal,
Raees was promoted on various shows which includes The Kapil Sharma Show and Bigg Boss 10, and was also promoted in Dubai. Shah Rukh Khan and Sunny Leone even took a special train ride on August Kranti Rajdhani Express from Mumbai to Delhi on 23–24 January 2017 for promotions, but Farid Khan Sherani, fan of Shah Rukh Khan, also a member of Samajwadi Party died in hospital due to stampede on Vadodara railway platform when the train was leaving the station after a long halt for the promotion infront of huge crowd, many were injured too. Shah Rukh Khan later condoled for his fan's death.
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