RAW Review: John Abraham's film overuses patriotism to salvage lazy storytelling

RAW Review: John Abraham's three-faced character is heavily flawed just like the lazy storytelling by writer and director Robbie Grewal. The theme of patritotism is taken for granted and tries to salvage the rest of the movie.
RAW Review: John Abraham's film overuses patriotism to salvage lazy storytelling RAW Review: John Abraham's film overuses patriotism to salvage lazy storytelling
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Movie Name: Romeo Akbar Walter

Director: Robbie Grewal

Cast: John Abraham, Mouni Roy

Rating: 2/5

The first sequence of RAW welcomes us with a bloodied and battered Akbar at the hands of a smirking Khudabaksh. With acute precision, his nail is snatched away viciously and Akbar lets out a guttural screech. Just as your goosebumps has reached the mountain peak you are thrown off with an immediate song sequence to add fodder to a half-baked love story and the plantation of seeds for typical twists and turns. Welcome to RAW, indeed!
RAW takes place in 1971, when tensions were high between India and Pakistan with the matter of Bangladesh's (then East Pakistan) Independence, in jeopardy. Srikant Rai (Jackie Shroff), enlists Romeo, a common man with a bank job with a talent to become many faces, into the Secret Service. Romeo becomes a spy for India and is sent to Pakistan as Akbar, to gain the trust of the enemies and provide valuable information to his mother land. Everything is working in Romeo's favour untill suspicion arises and trouble brews in the name of ISI officer Khudabaksh Khan.
Robbie Grewal (writer and director) could have created gold out of this interesting storyline but his overambitious route leads to the downfall of RAW. Convenient and lazy storytelling is interspersed with shoddy editing and overuse of close-up angles. The darkness in the cinematography is overlayed by shabby dialogues and the background score is a major turn-off. The journey is such a zig-zag maze that when you reach the destination, you're left exhausted. 
John Abraham tries his darnest to save face for the lackluster character he is given but just like his wig, you will want to scream, "Thank you, next." Robbir tries to use the age-old tale of giving Romeo a loving mother but the emotional aspect is very half-hearted and cumbersome. Even Jackie Dada's swag can't make you ignore the obvious plotholes. Mouni is left to be a caricaturish woman character we are trying to say goodbye to in Bollywood. Except for her on point eyebrows, nothing works for Mouni in RAW. Sikandar Kher has a few moments of redemption but you can't neglect his mockable attempt at a Pakistani accent. There is an extremely long and tiresome chase sequence between John and Sikandar that will make you want to run to the exit door.
The imagery of the Joker card is evident throughout the film but it looks like it is the audience who got played. Patriotism is overused to compensate for RAW and bland storytelling.

Also Read: Romeo Akbar Walter Trailer: John Abraham’s RAW is intriguing as the actor explores patriotism


Had forgotten he exist.

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