From the looks of it, Romeo Akbar Walter looks like Raazi's testosterone version.
Like Alia Bhatt in Raazi, John Abraham's character in Romeo Akbar Walter is air-dropped into Pakistan (don’t miss those fluttering green flags with moon crescents) by a gravelly-voiced Intelligence officer Jackie Shroff who reminds John that country comes first. John looks clenched-jawed and determined. His only condition? 'Please look after my Ammi, no matter what happens.' Ammi is fine. But what about our spy hero’s love interest? Slinking in the shadows is Mouni Roy. Clearly she has no say in what goes across the border.
RAW (Romeo Akbar Walter) is the story of an Indian intelligence officer spying in Pakistan. The film was originally meant to star Sushant Singh Rajput but was later turned towards John Abraham.
From the trailer, there are two things that emerge clearly from the dark whispering waves of espionage during times of stressful peek into the biryani bartan in the neighbour’s kitchen. There is a certain level of jingoism but it is played down. It was perhaps this reined in patriotism that may have possibly worked for Uri. While the makers of RAW are hoping to cash in on the current climate of aggressive infiltration into the enemy territory to become another Uri, Uri didn’t aspire to be a flag-waving homage to the cinema of Manoj Kumar and J P Dutta.
The trailer of RAW is somehow not the dizzying espionage thriller we would like it to be. It seems restricted in its thematic resonance and also delimited by a cramped spatial disharmony evident in the hemmed-in places where stealth secrecy and suspense is attempted to be created.
All this may just not matter because Indians want to see Pakistan down to its knees. Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) falls right in the category of topical films. It is intriguing to see John play not an action hero but a reaction hero. There is an appreciable amount of understated responses instead of immediate aggression which is probably what makes John Abraham very fit for this role.
The film releases 5th April. Watch the trailer here: