Movie Review: Romeo Akbar Walter (Raw)
Producers- Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Ajay Kapoor, Dheeraj Wadhwan, Vanessa Walia and Gary Grewal
Director- Robbie Grewal
Star Cast- John Abraham, Jackie Shroff, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, Mouni Roy and Sikander Kher
Steers clear of jingoism!
Set in 1971, ‘RAW – Romeo Akbar Walter’ is the story of an Indian banker, Rehmat Ali aka Romeo (John Abraham), who is chosen by the RAW chief (Jackie Shroff) to go to Pakistan as a spy. The film covers the timeline when cross border tensions are at their peak which ultimately leads to the birth of a new nation, Bangladesh. Based on true events, RAW brings alive the true story of the banker turned a true patriot, a forgotten hero, a man of many faces and names who lives for one and only one purpose- to serve his country.
Whether it was Madras Cafe, Parmanu or for that matter Satyameva Jayate, patriotic films are a genre that John Abraham has been dabbling into and he moulds himself comfortably with a poker face. In the latest outing in ‘RAW’, John morphs himself convincingly as he changes his identities and has a poker face for most of the screen time. Sadly, I feel that his performance could have been enhanced with a script with lesser loopholes. Jackie Shroff as the Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Shrikant Rai is stylishly dressed and succeeds in hogging most of the screen time after John Abraham, mouthing his dialogues with a finesse and panache that he has mastered, sans jingoism.
Sikander Kher as ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence) Col Khudabaksh Khan leaves an impact with his impressive character, when compared to his inane performance in Milan Talkies. Raghubir Yadav as Akbar’s undercover colleague lends emotional quotient in the film. John’s love interest, Mouni Roy, who plays the Indian commissioner in Pakistan, has hardly any role worth etching and ends up just serving as dispensable eye candy.
On the whole, though the plot has a decent storyline, director Robbie Grewal is not able to churn out an edge-of-the-seat thriller and the movie appears ‘raw’ at many instances, with a climax which is illogical to the core. Though Robbie tries hard to make RAW go the Raazi or Uri way sadly it does not quite happen that way, but thankfully Robbie has steered ahead of jingoism with the film. Strictly not for the front benchers but strictly only for intelligent audiences.
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