Raazi movie review: A film like Raazi needs to be made

When they look at the ‘other’, they don’t see an enemy, but people similar to them acting out of that same patriotic instinct. In fact, the nice moments in the film as strangers Sehmat and Iqbal inch towards each other make us wonder if therein lay a better story. It was promoted as an ‘unknown true story’ of the 1971 war, and was given a willing platform by the Indian Navy — some said, for highlighting the Navy, that poorer cousin of the defence forces, in a pivotal role. For peeping into the Valley and finding a true-blue patriot, for looking across the border and finding decency, and for giving Kashmiri embroidery as worn by Alia an authentic, modern, featherlight touch. Also Read | Raazi movie release highlights: Review, audience reaction and more
However, at a time when hate and anger are the currency of the subcontinent, a film like Raazi needs to be made. Where Raazi fails is in rousing any kind of emotions about its many likeable actors, who are all reasonably good, especially Ahlawat as Sehmat’s trainer and handler. Raazi hangs on to that ‘true story’ claim, adding ‘incredible’ to it. And only some of it has to do with the fact that her father was friends with her father-in-law in college, before Partition. Rajit Kapur as Sehmat’s father Hidayat is inconsequential; the mother played by real-life mom Soni Razdan remains in grief about this arrangement regarding her daughter, but almost completely silent. While the ease with which Sehmat sends messages across the border, duping so many people at so many levels, in one of the most high-security houses in the country, is a little dubious, the film is at least professional and thorough about it. 2018-05-11T22:06:37+05:30″>
Updated: May 11, 2018 10:06:37 pm

Raazi movie review: Alia Bhatt strains to convey the range expected of her. No one brings up Sehmat being an Indian in Islamabad, at home among family, or in parties among guests. That Raazi never becomes a chest-thumping spectacle of jingoism, despite all that is tempting in the preceding sentence, is presumably the work of the refiner sensibilities of writer-director Meghna Gulzar, with father Gulzar around as lyricist. The sense of what is at stake is lost in the minutiae of Sehmat’s operations, and the little details of her life in a family she is about to destroy are lost in staging the bigger plan. Raazi is an adaptation of Lt Commander (retd) Harinder S Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat, on a Kashmiri girl of mixed Sikh-Muslim parentage who gets married into a high-ranking Pakistani military family, so as to spy for India. Related News
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Raazi movie cast: Alia Bhatt, Vicky Kaushal, Jaideep Ahlawat, Soni Razdan, Rajit Kapur, Arif Zakaria, Ashwath Bhatt
Raazi movie rating: 3.5 stars
Bring in Karan Johar, an India-Pakistan war, a Kashmiri family, and a novel springing from the pen of a retired defence officer, and you can almost hear the drumroll. But never mind, for Raazi is as true as mainstream Bollywood can get in dealing with two countries now joined only by rancour and wars. Her husband Iqbal, played by a very, very understated Kaushal, in fact, apologises when his father bursts out against India once, in the build-up to the 1971 war. It covers most details economically, and doesn’t spare Sehmat the dirt. For at the heart of it are two normal families, separated by a border not yet as delineated by hate, and joined in their individual love for own motherland. There is a lot of reference to “watan”, “mulk” etc, and how “it is above everything else”, but we are spared speeches about one country being better than the other. That means it has almost all ground covered, apart from the fact that you should know by now that ‘a true story’ doesn’t have to be ‘the true story’. For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App Sehmat, played by Alia, is welcomed with open arms by the large, elite Pakistani family she gets married into. Like a delicious Indian irony, expect the clothes to linger around longer. Meghna paces the film well, fleshing out the characters who make up the Sayed family, into which Sehmat is married, and then gradually turning up the tension as the bride’s cover wears thin. Besides, Alia strains to convey the range expected of her, and there is just one too many scenes of her wailing loudly at every emotional crisis.