Bollywood film Raees was released in theatres yesterday. The movie has been receiving rave reviews and, for the most part, so has Pakistani actress, Mahira Khan, for her role opposite Shah Rukh Khan in her Bollywood debut. A quote from a fan on The Indian Express stated, “Mahira Khan is so much better than many Bollywood actresses.” A simple reminder than talent is talent. However, some other Indian sites have not been so kind, saying that the actress’ performance did nothing special.
The movie focuses on the prohibition era. Fans were impressed with Shah Rukh Khan’s performance and the duality of the character he played, as both a fierce gangster and a loving husband.
Prior to the release of Raees, Mahira was not allowed to do any kind of promotion regarding the film in Pakistan and did not get to take part it any of it in India (Although, she did posts on social media). Khan and many other Pakistani actors were told to leave the country, even if they were in the middle of a project, due to the tension between India and Pakistan. A debut moment that should have been a great time for the star had to turn out like this because of those unfortunate circumstances. As for the negative reviews of the starlet, one has to wonder if all the politics also played a part in the integrity of the Indian critics undermining her performance.
Khan is quoted as saying in an interview with Pakistani publication Dawn, “I want my country to see this. I want everybody to see it, every person in the world. My friends keep saying you did it, it’s enough, you can just keep it in a box somewhere… I do that, but there’s a part of me that says, no, I want everybody to see my blood sweat and tears for these two years, because it’s been tough and I want people to see it even if I fail at it. But if it’s one thing I’ve learnt over these two years it’s that there are somethings beyond one’s control. I mean you can save a scene, you can fix things later in film but there are somethings that are out of your reach. You just can’t do anything. But I’m dying for it to come here (Pakistan).”
Hopefully, all of this can be overlooked with the success of the film. Raees is on path to becoming one of the first blockbuster hits of 2017.
By Rhea Braganza