The big movie release this weekend is John Abraham’s Romeo Akbar Walter. An espionage film that had everything going for it months before its release. Days after the Pulwama attack, the Indian Air Force retaliated by bombing the Jaesh-e Mohammed training camps in the early hours of February 26th. “It’s a mere coincidence,” the makers of the film had said then considering they had been planning for the film for years now. But the fact is that the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan set the right mood, coincidentally of course, for John’s RAW. Here’s the movie review.
Abraham is a teller in a government bank in India. But when he is abducted by RAW agents, he is trained really hard, to tell tales... from the neighbourhood. The training though is not as detailed as the one Alia Bhatt’s Sehmat went through in Raazi but is enough to turn Abraham into a super sleuth based in Karachi. No, he doesn’t like his Kahwa shaken or stirred but he does become super aware of his surroundings.
He befriends Isaac Afridi, a businessman close to the Pakistan Army General and helps send India important information. The most important of which is Pakistan’s plans of bombing an Indian base in East Pakistan. RAW chief, also the boss of baritones, Jackie Shroff helps navigate John and the film but while there’s much happening in the first half, it doesn’t quite seem so due to the narrative’s pace.
As is true with any successful espionage thriller, the thrill is in the tension but sadly Director Robbie Grewal’s film has few of those in its armoury. There’s a lot of chit-chat between characters. When they aren’t chatting, they are writing chits. There are various forms of them. Chits in cigarettes, chits in padlocks. Chits that carry words in invisible ink and others that pop out of oranges. But even those can’t make this story juicy.
But it’s not all downhill for this film. The cinematography is impressive as is the background score. The actors are at the top of their game. John has worked hard on his performance and it shows in several of the scenes. Jackie Shroff is a bhidu but restrains his beeduness to show the more polished side. One that we haven’t seen for a while. Mouni Roy needs a film that can truly do justice to her character if she needs a silver screen lining to her super television career.
The grouse, however, will remain the film’s pace. Perhaps the editor should have rethought some of it on the edit table. RAW is no Raazi but is definitely not a disappointment either.Read More