After Filhaal, Just Married and Talvar, Meghna Gulzar’s next Raazi is a spy thriller and it deserves a place in a list of realistic spy thrillers. It’s an espionage thriller packed with chilling twists and turns which masterfully narrates the fate of warring India and Pakistan and how a seemingly pliant Kashmiri college girl becomes one of the crucial reasons of a dramatic Indian victory in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Harinder Sikka, the writer of the book Calling Sehmat on which Raazi is based, had written the story of a brave heart who went to great lengths for her country. His point was simple - Kashmiri Muslims be shown in the right light, for what they are, in most cases true Indians.
Set in 1971, film Raazi revolves around Delhi University student Sehmat Khan (Alia Bhatt), whose father (Rajit Kapoor), a veteran spy marries her off to Pakistani army officer Iqbal (Vicky Kaushal) on discovering that his days are numbered due to a lung tumour and that the Pakistani armed forces have some notorious plans for India. Sehmat, a soft-spoken and gentle girl, is trained by spymaster Mir (Jaideep Ahlawat) and wedded to Iqbal. Soon after the wedding, she embarks on her mission of spying for India and the difficulties and challenges she faces on this mission, forms the rest of the plot.
Alia Bhatt has proved her mettle again with her best performance as Sehmat. As Sehmat, Alia easily shifts between gentleness and deviousness. This is Alia’s one of the best performances. Vicky Kaushal’s dignified and gallant act as Pakistani Army officer Iqbal is noticeable. Jaideep Ahlawat also captivates in his spymaster act. Veteran Soni Razdan is OK in her brief role.
Film Raazi’s plot is crisp and taut and edgy, it is not a fast-paced potboiler with car chases or gun battles or slick action sequences. But, Meghna succeeds to keep the audiences on the edge of their seats and that is precisely where Raazi proves to be a winner. Meghna also earns praise for keeping the plot restrained and dignified. Writer Bhavani Iyer and director Meghna Gulzar take the source material and weave magic. Raazi is praiseworthy for its novelty and creative quotients.
Overall, film Raazi is praiseworthy to watch once for Alia Bhatt’s impeccable act and distinctive plot as a spy thriller.