RAJA NATWARLAL (earlier titled SHAATIR) starts off with Raja (Emraan Hashmi) a con artist by ‘profession’ and his partner in crime Raghav (Deepak Tijori) and their means to survive in the big bad city of Mumbai. Life goes on smoothly for Raja, courtesy Deepika Padukone and Waheeda Rehmaan and Zia (Humamima Malik), something that you will understand on watching the film. Despite being a conman, his heart bleeds for the helpless children and beats for the bar dancer Zia. Raja and Raghav seems to be really satisfied with their petty con-crimes for survival till Raja overhears two men discussing big money. Wasting no time, he gangs up with Raghav and they both hatch a foolproof plan to seize their big-ticket con with both their hands.
Even though they become successful in executing their plan and become overnight millionaires, little did they know that their ‘loot/booty’ actually belonged to Varda (Kay Kay Menon), a cricket obsessed dreaded gangster based abroad. When the news reaches his ears about his men being looted by the duo, he wastes no time in bumping off Raghav, something that happens in front of Raja’s eyes. That’s when Raja decides to go on a mission to avenge Raghav’s killers, during which he encounters Yogi (Paresh Rawal), a highly experienced con artist, who is now based in Dharamshala, because he renounces the world of conning and crimes. It really takes lot of conviction for Raja to make Yogi help him avenge Raghav’s death. How do they hatch a foolproof plan to destroy Vardas’s empire despite the many odds against them is what forms the rest of the film. The reason why Yogi agrees to help Raja also gets revealed almost towards the end of the film. Director Kunal Deshmukh, who had earlier teamed up with Emraan Hashmi and had delivered hits like JANNAT (2008) and its sequel JANNAT 2 (2012), does a reasonably good job in RAJA NATWARLAL. The companionship between him as the director and Emraan as the actor is clearly the highlight of the film.
As far as performances are concerned, Emraan Hashmi is top rate as he delivers exactly what was expected of him. On the other hand, debutante Humaima Malik, despite commanding a strong screen presence, is merely reduced to a prop in the film. She does deserve brownie points for her confidence to stand against Emraan Hashmi. Deepak Tijori, despite being in a cameo, registers a strong screen presence. Even though writer Parveez Shaikh deserves to be applauded for the film’s storyline, the same cannot be said for the film’s editor Anand Subaya, who could have really churned out a miracle with his editing, a factor that is responsible for the film dragging. Even though the film’s background music (Sandeep Shirodkar) is engaging, the same cannot be said about the film’s music director Yuvan Shankar Raja. RAJA NATWARLAL is essentially an Emraan Hashmi film. A 7/10 from us at The Bollywood Tempest