'Raazi' Movie Review: Alia Bhatt Aces As Vulnerable But Determined Spy 'Sehmat'

Sikka also wonders about the sheer patriotism of Sehmat's father, a rich Kashmiri businessman, who pushed his daughter to take up a risky task for the sake of his country.

Meghna Gulzar, who has a knack of telling real life stories in an unconventional way, "Raazi" truly emerges as sure shot victor. Raazi is an Indian period thriller movie which is directed by Meghna Gulzar and produced by Vineet Jain, Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar and Apoorva Mehta under the banner of Dharma Productions.

Sehmat (Alia Bhatt) winces in pain as a salt bottle is thrown at her. For the objective, she is married off to a serving officer of the Pakistani army.

And when it comes to jang, war, everything is on line - whether it is relationships or lives. The storyline of this film is based on Harinder S. Sikka's "Calling Sehmat" novel. Raazi is utterly serious in its treatement of the idea of a weaponised Kashmiri woman who offers her body in the service of her nation. If you want to know what really happened thereafter, you only have to watch Sankalp Reddy's splendid war-film The Ghazi Attack (2017). She also has to explore a newfound sense of freedom, conquer her inner demons (of having being molested as a child) and finally deal with love for a man who is her polar opposite (there's also the Stockholm syndrome angle). Her life changed when her father Hidayat Khan (Rajit Kapoor) seals her life as an Indian spy.

Hidayat is an incredibly patriotic Kashmiri Muslim.

Director Meghna Gulzar has been hailed for showing yet another compelling story with Raazi. Driven by her father's passion and patriotism, and his failing health, that restricts him from taking on a mission of the sort, Sehmat agrees.

Alia Bhatt hosted a special screening for her industry friends, who couldn't help but gush over her acting, tight & crispy storyline and superb direction of Meghna Gulzar. "It was a very interesting situation where East Pakistan wanted liberation to become Bangladesh, India was there in that dynamic and there was West Pakistan that wanted control over East Pakistan". And visible but quickly masked. Sehmat is trained and sent to Pakistan to gather information for the Indian intelligence.

Full marks are also due to the subdued performance of Vicky Kaushal as Iqbal, Shishir Sharma as his father, and Ashwath Bhatt as his brother.

There was a time when Alia Bhatt had the worst reviewed performance among the three star-debutantes in Student of the Year. That might clear the average bar for a mainstream Hindi film, but Gulzar and Bhatt deserve to be held to a higher standard.

While the film is a much more powerful visual feast than the original Monster Hunt from two years ago, it offers little in terms of expanding the first film's themes or pushing the storyline significantly forward, says The Hollywood Reporter. In Raazi, the music ultimately does the film an injustice, breaking the rhythm of the movie. Instead, Meghna Gulzar's steady hand gradually ramps up the tension throughout, leading to an explosive final act in this strong dramatic thriller.

  • Carolyn Briggs