Hindi movie "Raazi" starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal was released in India and across the world on May 11, 2018.

“Raazi” is a spy thriller which is offbeat but relevant, slick and immensely enjoyable. Meghna Gulzar must be credited for presenting the story of a Kashmiri girl who is sent on a mission of national significance by her patriotic father who values his nation supreme to the extent of marrying his daughter to a Pakistani army officer so that sensitive information is obtained which will turn the course of the 1971 war.

Sleeping with the enemy-Recurrent fantasy

Sleeping with the enemy is a fantasy which has titillated the viewers since ages.

The very fact that you are a spy attached to your enemy in a conjugal bond gives goosebumps and also immense possibilities for the director to let the imagination run riot.

Meghana paints an enthralling and edgy portrait of a bubbly Kashmiri bride Sehmat (Alia Bhatt) who is placed by the nation’s secret service into a family of influential and honorable Pakistani army men to obtain sensitive intelligence information which can change the course of the war.

Thriller with a humane side

Films of this genre have been released in the past.

However, “Raazi” is different because there is more compassionate side to the story. In any espionage drama, the players are merely pawns in the broader game plan which are devised by big powers and ruthlessness and slyness are essential qualifications in this game.

Meghna has managed to inflate the human side of the story and kept the action to the barest minimum. Still, the tension is palpable and keeps flowing underneath to reach the climax when it hits the viewer with full force.

Another true event inspired story

Meghana Gulzar has over time picked stories which have been inspired by real events. She made “Talwar” based on the Arushi Talwar murder case, and her latest work “Raazi” is no different. It is an adaptation of Harinder Sikka’s novel Calling Sehmat.

It was the true story of an Indian spy who is married off to a Pakistani Army officer to extract sensitive information.

All the actors have done their roles perfectly. Alia Bhat is phenomenal, and her transformation from a cute and shy Kashmiri girl into a ruthless spy is gradual and real. Vicky Kaushal plays Alia’s husband and also steals the show with his excellent performance.

Public response - first-day first show:

The first half deals with the transformation of Alia from a cute girl into a ruthless spy. The film moves fast in the second half when Alia enters Pakistan. The second half is racy and ominous, and Alia is brilliant in portraying her character which is naïve and gritty at the same time.

No jingoism or Pakistan bashing

The movie is set in a timeline of 1970’s, trying times when India was led by Indira Gandhi and beset with problems of gargantuan proportions. The food situation was precarious, and the Eastern part of the nation was plagued with an influx of East Pakistan refugees fleeing their land ruled by a military strongman hell-bent on genocide.

India was getting ready for an inevitable war in the winter and wanted to know the psyche of the Pakistani Military higher-ups. This when the Intelligence Agencies of the nation planted a mole in the higher echelons of the Pakistani brass in the form of the wife of a Pakistani Military officer played by Alia Bhat in the film “Raazi.”

It was a cross-cultural marriage laced with deception, with the bride’s father believing that her daughter is a perfect alibi for a spy placed in the deepest section of the Pakistani army and is willing to martyr her for the sake of the nation. There are many emotional scenes in the flick, and the most poignant was when the husband, the Pakistani army officer discovers his wife’s treachery.

One of the best things in the flick is that the Director has resisted any temptation of bringing in jingoism or crass nationalism in the film.

There is no Pakistan bashing or surging patriotism but a simple story of people stuck in a particular circumstance. A highly recommended film and will be loved by the young and the old alike.

Box-office collections:

This film is expected to be the best from Alia Bhatt in terms of the box-office collections. The first day collections are predicted to be in the range of Rs 2-15 Crores and are expected to cross Rs 25 crores in its opening weekend.

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