Romeo Akbar Walter(RAW) Movie Review 2019: Patriotic Spy Thriller

Romeo Akbar Walter(RAW) Movie Review 2019: Patriotic Spy Thriller

Movie Name
Romeo Akbar Walter(RAW)
Robbie Grewal
Action, Drama, Thriller
02 hours 30 minutes

Romeo Akbar Walter(RAW) Review

Espionage and patriotism. Tension and emotion. Writer-director Robbie Grewal mixes all these four elements in the right proportion to deliver a taut thriller.

Much like Meghna Gulzar's Raazi, the many twists happen inside Pakistan where RAW, the department that takes care of India's external security, has planted its agent.

But Robbie Grewal writes a totally different spy story where RAW chief Shrikant Rai picks the right man to infiltrate Pakistan before the 1971 war. RAW agent Akbar Malik'smany messages from Karachi to Delhi help India stay a step ahead of Pakistan in the war which ultimately bifurcated the neighbouring country into Pakistan and Bangladesh.

There are several factors in the storytelling that work in its favour. One, despite its length of 2hrs and 30 mins, Robbie keeps it engrossing with unabated intrigue over what's happening. Two, it's interesting that he makes the Pakistan's ISI officers also fit and alert like Col Khan catching one word on a taped conversation and sniffing out that Akbar is an Indian plant. When the enemy is just as smart, the cat-n-mouse thrill becomes that much more interesting. ISIon the RAW agent's trail inside Pakistan gives it additional tension. Three, by showing an Indian Muslim as the agent who sacrifices every familial relationship for his country, Robbie sends out an important message about the minority community being just as patriotic as the next person. He makes the point without hammering it on the head with short unstated scenes like Akbar wearing a taveez with the Indian flag pinned on his shirt. Or the RAW chief being casually questioned whether a Muslim could be trusted to work for India.

Apart from the many twists that keep the screenplay going, insights into the world of spying up the interest factor. Like how to beat a polygraph test or how to interpret an indirect messageare woven in at the right time and not shown like the routine training sequences that Hindi films normally resort to.

There isn't a great romance but there's poignancy in Akbar's relationship with India diplomat Shraddha. What is milked dry is the mother-son sentiment between Akbar and his Ammi which is the supreme sacrifice he makes. He chose motherland over mother, as RAW boss Shrikant says.

The background score and music are also uniformly good with numbers like 'Allah Hoo Allah'well-composed and well-picturised.The set designers must also be complimented for making the screen look like it's really Pakistan of the 70s.

John Abraham has a presence about him that makes him move from Romeo to Akbar and Walter with likeable ease. Mouni Roy is fine as the Indian diplomat in Pakistan. Jackie Shroff brings dignity to the role of the RAW Director who's the guru of espionage all the way. Among the many smaller roles, Sikander Kher makes an impact as the menacing Pak officer who's on Akbar's trail. Shadaab Amjad Khan in the short role of Nawab is impressive and Suchitra Krishnamoorthy as Rehana the ace journalist is cast well.

Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.

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  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

Finally, it is so frightening for a country to have a mole in the highest levels of security that after watching this film, I wouldn’t be surprised if Pakistan’s ISI starts wondering if there’s an India-planted Walter Khan among their senior intelligence officers.

For a spy thriller that’s engrossing and patriotic which is the right note to take today, Romeo Akbar Walter gets a 3.5* rating.


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