The genre of Spy-Thriller is trending in the industry and we had Alia Bhatt starrer ‘Raazi’ that released last year in 2018 and gone extremely well among the audience. Now let us see John Abraham starrer film RAW (Romeo Akbar Walter) makes a striking impression or fails to do the same.
Romeo Ali (John Abraham), who is a teller in a bank by day and a theatre artist by night, catches the eye of RAW Chief Srikant Rai (Jackie Shroff) during one of his performances. The finesse with which Romeo disguises himself on stage every day wins over the RAW chief, who decides to recruit him for an important mission. After a crash course in spying, Romeo is dispatched to Pakistan as Akbar with a new haircut and kohl-rimmed eyes. From a common man turning into a spy, Romeo is now responsible for carrying out one of the biggest undercover missions across the border. What follows next forms the crux of the story.
Screenplay and Direction
It’s more or less same like Raazi, and one can easily find many similarities between both the films. While Raazi focused on the cost of war and empathy towards people from the other side of the Line of Control, RAW hammers home the point that interpersonal relations only make spies weaker and derail them from their path to serve their country. However, Rome Akbar Walter fails to do impress like Raazi. The story is promising, but could have added more thriller elements in it.
The first is half is dud slow, but gladly it picks up from the second half. Over a point, it again drops down a bit, but luckily the climax saves the film to some extent. The last few minutes do evoke patriotism and tries to move viewers, but the makers succeed only partly due to this as it comes too late in the day. And so, except for the final scene, one doesn’t root for RAW. On the whole, audiences might not be able to easily comprehend what’s going on.
Direction is decent and if the slow pace of the film plays a spoiler, John Abraham’s wooden expression adds to the 144-minute long trauma. In addition, most twists and turns neither evoke excitement nor nervousness. There are too many loopholes that even a layman will be able to point out. Also, John and his mother’s story in the film was half-baked, John and Mouni’s romantic angle in the film was looked like a forced one, Pakistanis trust factor with John in the film seems like piece of cake, and other sequences were difficult to digest in the movie.
Music and Other Technicalities
Music has no scope, whereas background score works well for the screenplay. Cinematography is good and Editing could have been more measured to make the film look effortless. Dialogues are well worded but nothing memorable.
John Abraham is good, but nothing extraordinary. His deadpan expression confuses more people, but impresses well in rest other. Mouni Roy has nothing to do here, where makers don’t even bother to show what happens to her character in the movie later on. Jackie Shroff gives a powerful performance, but her character needs to be more polish here.
Sikander Kher, who plays a menacing Pakistani police officer, delivered a commendable performance. He oozes fear and terror and gets the accent right. Raghubir Yadav (Mudassar) and Anil George (Isaq Afridi) leaves a mark. Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, who returned to the big screen nine years after her last appearance in Rann, was wasted here with as many as three very-short scenes in the film.
So is it Paisa-Gul or Dabba-Gul?
Average! Romeo Akbar Walter could have been a far more gripping film if only it had sorted out the issues of tone and texture a bit better. The film impresses in bits and parts, but one can watch Raazi another time to experience the right kind of spy-thriller drama film.
Rating: 2.5 / 5