Raid movie review: Fails to intrigue with an unsurprising narrative

Directed By: Raj Kumar Gupta
Produced By: Bhushan Kumar, Kumar Mangat
Cast: Ajay Devgn, Ileana D’Cruz
Duration: 2 Hours 8 Minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2.5/5

When you think of the title ‘Raid’ and Ajay Devgn, you know what to expect in there. Similar was my perception as I entered to catch a screening of ‘Raid’ which for me promised to be an intriguing plot. Sadly, it wasn’t as nail-biting an experience as I had anticipated.
For starters, the story borrows its concept from a real life raid that happened in the 1980’s and Ajay Devgn as the protagonist Amay Patnaik plays the imaandar Income Tax official who conducted the heaviest raid ever of those times. While we believe that the makers have got it right in terms of their concept, the execution doesn’t live up to it. A lot of time is wasted in establishing Devgn’s character and when we are finally there almost on the edge of the seat, in comes a romantic track with his wife Malini played by Ileana D’Cruz. Just imagine this scenario of an Income Tax officer turning up with his entire battalion outside a big Minister’s bungalow to conduct the biggest raid ever and even before things get started, we have a romantic track just for the sake of depicting a side story of the protagonist’s love life. A big turn off there! This is exactly the case when Devgn lands up at the White House in Lucknow to conduct a raid in the house of the menacingly rich Minister fondly called as Tauji. Saurabh Shukla as the antagonist is in top form but we’ve seen him portray similar characters in the past; so we know what to expect. Ileana D’Cruz looks like a trophy wife whose existence is limited to bringing food for the hubby and being an easy target for the enemy to prey upon. Sounds so boring, right? Ajay Devgn delivers powerful dialogues with a deadpan face that has been a constant since the past few movies, but his scenes with Saurabh Shukla are entertaining, thanks to the well written dialogues.
Well, conducting the biggest raid ain’t an easy job as the officials go about unearthing gold biscuits and infinite notes from wall ceilings, sewers and so on. But, it does get tedious when all that the story sticks to is showing the raid unfold slow and steady. While there were a few scenes that evoked laughs and claps, the plot didn’t seem to have anything different. Also, the huge team of IT officials conducting the raid dutifully did remind us of Neeraj Pandey’s ‘Special 26’ where Akshay Kumar held the reigns. However, this raid lacks the same depth and intensity and only limits itself to come across as a verbal argument between an honest IT officer and a corrupt politician. You can very well predict the outcome and that itself is where the story loses out on some brownie points. While Ajay Devgn’s turn as the heroic no-nonsense officer may impress his fans, we think it’s about time the actor reinvents himself. On a parting note , don’t go in expecting something way too intriguing, but keep your ears open for some good dialogue delivery.