Disclaimer: Before you scroll down to find how many stars or what numerical rating I’ve given this film, let me make it clear that I believe in descriptive reviews rather than a quantitative verdict. Some of the past Gujarati Film Review Blogs to know how I review:

 

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‘Wrong Side Raju’ is the first Gujarati movie of Phantom Films and the third of CineMan Productions. It is directed by Mikhil Musale. Considering the track-record of both the movie houses, the expectation from ‘Wrong Side Raju’ was sky high. CineMan has delivered two consecutive hits and Phantom Films has multiple successful films to its credit (Yes I do know about Bombay Velvet, but that is another topic for another day). The premier of this film was held on 6th September, 2016 at Mumbai and 7th September, 2016 at Ahmedabad and I watched it in the latter.

 

Quite often it is said that one should watch a movie with an open mind with no pre-conceived notions. Perhaps, this is what took me a long time to blog about the movie, for my mind has been in a constant conflict between my pre-film thoughts and the actual film. The story and the climax that I had thought of and predicted was way different from what it was in the film. This suspense thriller with a chutki (big one) of romance and emotions has a climax which you would have never thought of (unless you are Karan Vyas, Mikhil Musale and Niren Bhatt), and will put you in a puzzled state, and to people like me this will go on for several hours. ‘Truth is stranger than fiction’ aptly fits in here.

 

The film revolves around Raju (as the name suggests), played by Pratik Gandhi. Raju Bambani (full name) is a young Amdavadi chhokro who works as a driver in the day and as a bootlegger by night. On one ‘happening’ night (which was a Navratri night by the way and the quoted word is not for what ‘happens’ in the festival), Raju’s life takes a turn when his boss (and son of a rich and well-known lawyer cum builder) Tanmay Shah (played by Kavi Shastri) takes a turn in his car. This turn is the reason for all the twists and turns of the film and I emphasize that you watch this turn carefully (and not the WhatsApp messages) in the cinema hall, for all that happens is around this. Post this, there is a lot of blame-game, accusations, legal battle and hunt for the truth. Oh by the way, if you thought ‘Shaily Medam’ (played by Kimberley Louisa McBeath) is in the movie to fulfill the ‘mandatory actress requirement’, you can definitely not predict the climax. Enough said!

 

 

Music

Sachin-Jigar have composed the music for ‘Wrong Side Raju’ and Niren Bhatt has penned down the lyrics. “Satrangi Re” sung by Arijit Singh and Dawn Cordo is my favorite of the five songs. “Amdavad Re” sung by Vishal Dadlani takes the 5th position in my list. The music is engaging and appealing and I could see a lot of people humming it.

 

Filming

There is no disappointment when it comes to the product. The cinematic experience is at par with Bollywood, if not more. Direction, screenplay, cinematography, dialogues – all seem perfect. Except the language of the film (and people munching on popcorns noisily), there is no reason that will make you feel that you’re watching a Gujarati film (in Gujarat). The overall experience of the movie is delightful and a total paisa-vasool!

 

Performances

  • Pratik Gandhi– His screen-presence and powerful performance had impressed me in Bey Yaar, and it has gone up by leaps and bounds here. You will feel the turmoil in Raju’s life which has been very beautifully portrayed by Pratik on screen, and his struggles and helplessness in the film (couldn’t resist sharing this) would want to make you cry. His dialogue delivery is effortless and convincing. It is tough to visualize any other actor replacing Pratik if this film gets re-made in Hindi.
    P.S. – I expect no less from him, he is an Industrial Engineer, afterall! 😉
  • Kimberley Louisa McBeath– Though with limited dialogues (none of which are in Gujarati) and screen time, she leaves a lasting impact on the audience with her impeccable performance. Her perfect Garba will make you smile. However, the necessity of the lead actress being a foreigner is not justified by an otherwise flawless script.
  • Performances of Asif Basra, Kavi Shastri, Hetal Puniwala, Makrand Shukla, Ragi Jani, Alok Gagdekar, Jayesh More, Maulik Chauhan and more are all impressive.

 

Overall, the film is moving and a positive change in the otherwise comedy dominated regional cinema. It is of utmost importance that we explore parallel cinema and this film has successfully entered into new waters. The speed of the film (at certain instances) was a bit of turnoff, however that won’t affect its box office collection. ‘Wrong Side Raju’ will certainly hit a hat-trick for CineMan and an opening homerun for Phantom, and also raise the benchmark for Abhishek Jain‘s third directorial film, which I’m sure he’ll ace!

Mr. Anand Bhate
Mr. Anand Bhate

Mr. Anand Bhate is the Director of ‘Jeevan Anand Builders’, a Gujarat based real estate development company. He is an active investor in the Indian Stock Markets. Moreover, writing is his passion and in 2016, he co-authored a fiction novel “C + Plus Doctor Thepla”, which went on to create a World Record! He has pursued his MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bengaluru.

6 Comments

  1. Kartik Pandit says:

    Thank you, joi leshu

  2. Mira Dhamecha says:

    Sir please reply to our email for fest partnership, thanks

  3. Vishal Rajdut says:

    kimberley no number aapo ne

  4. Ashok Makwana says:

    I totally agree with this review as I seen this film.

    It is amazing film by Abhishek Jain with different story line in Gujarati Regional Cinema.

    It is really courageous steps started by ‘Cineman’ since their first film ” Kevi Rite Jaish” particularly in Gujarati Film Industry, which may have to face risk in competition with long run pure Gujju Style stories. But I am glad to have experience of breaking old trend in this industry, as last 5- 6 films has turned even urban gujju film fans towards Gujarati Cinema Screen.

    In my view, “WSR” has done best in Script, Acting, Cinematography, Music, Direction, Post Production etc etc…

    At this time I must specially mention Pratik Gandhi as “Raju” whose eyes are acting superbly.

    My Best Wishes for this film’s Grand Success in Big Screes every where…

  5. Thanks for such a great info sharing with us here !!!!

  6. Nice post it is!!
    Keep updating like this!!!!

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