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Raazi is a fictionalised account of a true story. A story of the courage and heroism shown by a civilian who puts her entire life on the leash for her country. I’m not giving away the entire story; i watched a movie “first day, first show” for the first time probably after college years today, so unfair to do that; but the verdict is – Go for it.

The name Meghana Gulzar raises expectations in the minds and she doesn’t disappoint. The story progresses at its own pace, with a couple of hummable songs woven in, not much melodrama, but enough thrill and suspense a spy movie should have. At the same time it does not ignore interpersonal relations either. It mustn’t have been easy for Sehmat, the protagonist, to spy on her own family, especially when the family treated her absolutely as their own. There was love, dignity and respect. There was happiness. But finally the motherland came above all else. It is painful for Sehmat to make all the tough calls against her own, but duty calls. Her invaluable intelligence inputs helped India win the war, but lead to the inevitable loss of lives and love of her near and dear ones. Her poignant question “do lives and relations don’t matter at all?”; and her handler’s answer “war is above everything else…neither you, nor I are important!” aptly sum up both the futility and inevitability of man-made borders which pervade physical as well as mental space and limit and harm love and relationships.

Alia Bhatt is (and I’ve said this before) one of the finest actors of the current generation. Controlled, restrained and yet powerful. Vicky Kaushal, as her Pakistani husband is good as an easygoing, loving and caring husband. He conveys great emotions through his eyes. Coincidentally I saw another one of his movies “Love per square foot” yesterday, and I think we can expect good cinema from him. An able supporting cast has ensured that the film doesn’t go overboard and stays well on the right side of sensitive commercial cinema rather than becoming a commercial potboiler with over-the-top patriotism or heroism. Glimpses of beautiful Kashmir and the lovely song “Dilbaro” add to the “watch it” quotient.

My rating: 4/5.

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