Raj Kumar Gupta directed 'Raid' takes us back in the year 1981 in Uttar Pradesh depicting an incredible true story of India's longest Income-Tax raid till date. Already known for his critically acclaimed films like  No One Killed Jessica and  Aamir, Raj Kumar doesn't disappoint us but rather grabs all our attention through this inviting nail-biting thriller.
It is Amay Patnaik the central character of the film played by Ajay Devgn, a credible honest officer being transferred every two months from his job because of his impartial virtuous nature. So here is the woman behind this successful man and it is his wife played by Ileana D'Cruz who stands tall as a wall with him fearless with all her love and care. It is the enemy of the state a powerful politician from the parliament with hell lot of power and influence by his constituency. Yes, we are talking about Saurabh Shukla who essays the role of Tauji an antagonist with a lot of intensity and command challenging the officials to take a U-turn from their task. Patnaik receives a tip from an anonymous individual who urges him to raid the most powerful politician in the state leading him with detailed evidence enough to knock his door. The movie has an intriguing build up that introduces the major characters from the film.
The dialogues of this film are manoeuvred with a mettle of sharpness and authenticity. Some lines from Ajay Devgn leads to whistleblowing moments and claps all around the theatre. Even Saurabh Shukla has woven his dialogues fiercely leaving his mark to the audiences. The supporting cast with lady officers are perfect for their role and everyone acted their part splendidly. Every moment from the film hooks us up and its enticing screen-play just glued us to the narrative of the film.
The Income Tax team begins the raid on Tauji's massive imperial mansion and this Ajay Devgn and Saurabh Shukla face-off is extremely alluring. Tauji lives with his family members including three brothers, daughter and an 85-year old mother. In-fact Tauji's mother played by Pushpa Joshi brings quirkiness in this serious narrative. Her presence adds a lightning charm to this thriller heist. The film has all the elements required for a blockbuster beginning with a true story, magnificent screenplay, deadly dialogues and Ajay's characterization of Amay Patnaik left us applauding till the end. It makes us really realize that yes, officers don't always come in uniform. Some just surprise the hell out of the corrupt. They are the unsung Income-tax officers and the film has paid a true tribute to the most unbiased governing cell of the country. Black money recovery part of the film will just blow your mind.
The songs add an element of grace and affection and majorly Ajay and Ileana's chemistry has been highlighted in a couple of songs. The film begins with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's romantic number 'Sanu Ek Pal Chain' that features the sweet and tenderly chemistry of the on-screen husband and wife. This delightful husband and wife chemistry from the visual of the song truly blends with Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's sufi voice and we just can't get rid of the winsome Sufiness from the song. The next song 'Nit Khair Manga' is another Rahat Fateh Ali Khan number which is embracefully filmed on Ajay and Ileana. This sweet couple from late 1981 has been picturised elegantly with a lot of grace and kindness. Next song carries the Income Tax raid narration with finesse and perfection. As we have Sukhwinder Singh's voice that adds a lot of intensity showcasing the greatest feud between Ajay and Saurabh a fine example of moral officer vs a corrupt politician. Background score by Amit Trivedi is the reason why we are entangled in this spine-chilling thriller.
Director of Photography Alphonse Roy is the man of the match unwinding varieties of shots from the backdrop of Uttar Pradesh. The official raid scenes, the songs and the climax has been shot superbly and is literally an awe to the eye. Editing by Bodhaditya Banerjee is spot on presenting the film's screenplay flawlessly. Production design by Rita Ghosh along with art direction head Rajesh Choudhary and Madhumita Sen has laid a solid 1981 foundation in the rural area of Uttar Pradesh, considering minute details like the older telephones and fax machines from the olden time leading to a perfect continuity.
Ajay Devgn's stellar performance is what remains in our head. There is a short cameo of Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi that was quite unpredictable. Saurabh Shukla as an antagonist steals the show with his UP walla accent and confronting nature woven through his acting prowess that totally left our jaws wide open. You definitely cannot miss this one if you are looking for a good insightful film provoking a dignified thought about honesty after a long long time.
Cancel your weekend plans and give it a sure shot watch.