Everytime there is a Shahrukh Khan movie release, I get excited. And Raees was no different. The excitement increased some for Mahirah Khan Bollywood début, and then some more to see Nawazuddin Siddiqui again on-screen. As a rule, I stay away from all reviews, memes, and anything that might give the story away.

And so I sat down to watch Raees with no background, minus what the trailers gave away.

It’s a story that Indian cinema has used and abused and exploited for years. A child from the street gets involved in the wrong kind of business, and grows up to be an ultra-macho, ‘ye dhanda mujhe de de thakur!’ hero. There are a few sidekicks that add a slightly distinct flavour – a maa with the best one liners, and a friend who doesn’t hate on the hero for being… the hero?

Shahrukh Khan looks great, with kohl lined eyes, multi-purpose spectacles,extended goatee, and black shalwar kameez (haye! I was sold at that. every man should have at least two pairs of black shalwar kameez in their wardrobe, with patiala shalwar). His star presence, powerful delivery of bejaan dialogues, and muscle flexing during action sequences that would otherwise call for an eye roll, made Raees worth it. But just about.

This is what I am talking about!

I tried to skip talking about Mahirah Khan altogether, but that wouldn’t be fair. Cinema screen time nahi tou blog time hi sahi? Personally, I love her to bits, for she embodies all that’s Pakistani to me, but even the ardent fanship didn’t make her shine in the movie. Somehow, every time she’d appear on screen, the movie would turn into a drama serial by Hum TV. Also, she has a rather compromised role and no on-screen chemistry with Khan; there was actually nothing that screamed ‘lead heroine’. But, in her defense, I think a lot of her performance was chopped off in editing (for political or cinematic reasons, we’d never know).

She’s such a cutie!

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a pleasure to watch as usual. He has enough substance to stand ground against a star like Shahrukh Khan, and that says it all.

As intended, no spoilers, for many of my “beloved” friends in Pakistan haven’t seen it yet.

And should you go watch Raees? Only if you are a massive Shahrukh Khan fan. Raees is all about him. Men, please buy tickets at your own discretion. N could only stand the first one hour.

And with that, happy weekend!!