RAW - Romeo Akbar Walter Review (3/5)

RAW isn’t jingoistic either, it’s a well-intended but drab drama that fails to hold your attention.

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Romeo Akbar Walter

Critic's Rating: 3.0/5
Avg. Users' Rating: 3.5/5

RAW Story: Romeo (John Abraham), a bank cashier is recruited by India’s foreign intelligence agency — the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). They believe he’s a master of disguise and can operate as Akbar, India’s undercover agent in Pok (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) during the events leading up to the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Can he pull it off?

RAW Review: What happens when a spy has his cover blown? Does he continue to be a valued patriot who once served his country by putting his life in danger or does he become a liability? Would survival lead him up to being a double agent, go rogue or perhaps move on? What choice does he have and what choice does he make?

Apparently inspired by true events, Robby Grewal’s film could have been an interesting human/psychological drama that understands the psyche, emotional upheaval of unsung heroes (spies). But it takes the conventional route and merges patriotism and espionage thriller, overshadowing the human aspect of the story. Raazi rightly tapped into this territory without succumbing to jingoism. While RAW isn’t jingoistic either, it’s a well-intended but drab film that fails to hold your attention. What you get is a monotonous costume drama that lacks emotion and tension.

The script might have looked interesting on paper with its share of dramatic twists. However, flawed execution, lacklustre storytelling, languid pace and far-fetched writing, makes this one a tad hard to embrace. You appreciate the no-nonsense narrative but it struggles to keep you engaged.

John Abraham, Sikander Kher and Jackie Shroff (who plays the head of RAW) give decent performances. Jackie’s sense of style stands out as always.

RAW has its moments but is rough around the edges. The climax is audacious and you need to suspend your disbelief, if you plan to watch it.