Tigmanshu Dhulia brings industry’s new favorite subject: Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (Indian National Army) in form of his new film titled “RAAG DESH”. He presents the story of three INA soldiers — Shah Nawaz Khan (Kunal Kapoor), Gurbaksh Singh Dhillon (Amit Sadh) and Prem Sahgal (Mohit Marwah) — and their Red Fort trials, that made for a rare display of retreat by the British Empire. Besides the three chief actors, Kenny Desai proves his mettle as a nuanced actor & shines in the grave role of Bhulabhai Desai, the legal representative of the three INA soldiers. All his scenes, particularly the concluding monologue, are impressive.
Through the eyes of the three soldiers— a Hindu, a Sikh, and a Muslim–we see how a remarkable ‘army’ was born, and how ‘desh ki azaadi’ was also its motto, even if its ways were so antithetical to Mahatma Gandhi ‘s nonviolent struggle. Dhulia holds the film, with myriad characters and historical events, together. His most remarkable achievement, besides the choice of subject, is maintaining the consistency of pace. There is not even one dull moment in the film. Film is not engaging enough mainly due to its editing department. It lacks thrill and engagement which are improtant ingredients such historical subjects. Also, the length of scenes does not remain consistent which makes it difficult for the viewers to keep pace with the story. The war scenes are very poorly shot. However, the treatment and the research of the film looks authentic. Dhulia initially wanted to show the story as a 6 part TV series, and it would’ve been better if he had followed that plan instead of crystallizing everything into commercial cinema. Having said all, its worth to read this un-touched history chapter.
Pick D Flick Verdict:
“Raag Desh” is a little above average film mainly for its performances, detailing and casting. Three cheers to Tigmanshu Dhulia for bringing in front the lesser-known story from Netaji’s forgotten books.
Pick D Flick Rating: 2.75 / 5