Raagdesh – Movie Review

Director: Tigmanshu Dhulia

Shah Nawaz Khan (Kunal Kapoor)
Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon (Amit Sadh)
Prem Sahgal (Mohit Marwah)

Paisa Vasooli: 3 / 5

There are essentially two types of movie goers in India; one, who go to the theater to be entertained and two, who go for the love of some quality cinema (which includes entertainment, of course). Raagdesh suits the second category. We are not picking sides here, but for God’s sake we need a little more of the latter lot. In the times of forced nationalism, Raagdesh highlights something straight forward, Patriotism. Patriotism here has 3 elements – Discipline, Belief and Persuasion.

Raagdesh is a periodic drama based on the iconic Red Fort Trials of 1945. Colonel Prem Sehgal, Colonel Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon and Major Shah Nawaz Khan, officers of the British Indian army are accused of conspiring against the British Empire and are being court marshaled. The story is how 3 ardent soldiers of the British Indian army lose faith in the system and start syncing with the ideologies with the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and the Indian National Army.

One distinct characteristic of the film is that it is a heavy dose of Nationalism. Even though you are completely aware of the proceedings of the film (Because history, DUH!!), but the screenplay creates an engrossing platform for the audience to stay involved.

The biggest strength of the film is the amount of research that has gone behind it. There is not one loose end that you spot in the film and the complete credit goes to Tigmashu and his team.  Even though there will be occasions where you will feel that the patriotism is going a little over the top, but that was the reality back then. It was indeed nation before any rational or logic which is exactly what is depicted.

Coming to the performances, Amit Sadh is the real back bone of the film. There could have not been anyone better to play the role of Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon. The application and dedication that went into playing the character is evident on screen. The look, the accent, the turban and more importantly the arsenal, Amit Sadh got it just right.

Now Kunal Kapoor is coming back from a long break to get a significant chunk in a main stream Hindi film. There will be traces where you might feel that he is a little rusty but overall, his portrayal of Shah Nawaz Khan will go down as satisfactory.The performance of Mohit Marwah somehow got eclipsed by Amit Sadh and the Kunal Kapoor, but largely it is a good day in the office for him.

Tigmanshu Dhulia has a very strong resume with films like Haasil, Paan Singh Tomar and Sahib Biwi & Gangster. Understandably, it is very difficult for a live up to that with every venture you take up. By no means are we saying that this film is bad, but definitely not his finest work either. His understanding of the script and the acting ability of the actors that he casts is the reason why he is such an asset to the industry.

We recommend you to watch this film in a theater.

Raagdesh is a good film aimed at a mature audience. However, it is light years away from the ‘Crowd Pleaser’ concept of making films.

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About Aditya Kaul
He wants to make his life interesting but he's in a typical marketing 9-7 job which keeps him on his toes. He's better than that. Like every ordinary guy, he grabs his creative side and tries to do something extra ordinary. Like every ordinary generic person, this avatar represents the extraordinary version of himself.