index of Raees
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(2017).mkv, 2017 12:13,
Released on 25 JAN
- Shah Rukh Khan as Raees
- Mahira Khan
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui
- Sunny Leone as Guest appearance in song “Laila Main Laila”
Filming and development
Shooting of the film began in April 2015. The film has been shot in Mumbai, and sets were re-designed to depict Ahmedabad slums. The last schedule of the film was shot in Gujarat in January 2016. Despite protests, the film was shot in Bhuj without disruptions between January and February 2016.
The film was scheduled to be released on Eid, 6 July 2016, but was postponed to avoid box office competition with Salman Khan’s Sultan. The film was then rescheduled to be released on 26 January 2017, India’s Republic Day, which conflicted with the Hrithik Roshan film Kaabil, but then both films were moved to 25 January 2017.
There was a clearance issue by Archaeological Survey of India for shooting at Ahmedabad at the ancient mosque and tomb complex, Sarkhej Roza. In March 2016, a legal notice was sent by an alleged gangster, Abdul Latif’s son, Mustak, asking how or why a film on his father’s life is being made.
A few days after the 2016 Uri terror attack, the Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) banned films featuring Pakistani actors on the basis that the actors were not openly condemning terrorism. Raees was on their list, because cast member Mahira Khan is Pakistani. MNS put forward a condition to lift up the ban, that producers shall never cast Pakistani artistes in future and they have to give ₹5 crore as penance to the Indian Army welfare fund, but Indian Army refused to accept it by saying sacrifices should not be politicised. Later, ban was lifted without the conditions on Raees as demanded by MNS.
Farhan Akhtar, co-producer of the film said Raees will never pay, and was threatened by MNS. The Chief Minister of Maharashtra and member of the BJP and the RSS, Devendra Fadnavis said at the meeting with MNS and the producers ₹5 crore as contribution to the Indian Army welfare fund was not quoted compulsory and was never a condition for lifting ban on films featuring Pakistani actors demanded by MNS, and earlier at an event praised Shah Rukh Khan as an “icon” and a “proud Mumbaikar”.
Ankita Shorey was the first choice for the female lead of the film, but Mahira Khan got the role, Shorey confirmed that the consideration was not due to the nationality, the script needed a real Pakistani look. Shorey later stated that she did not speak about replacement, and did not spell part of the project phrase in her last interview regarding Raees, the actual phrase was “strongly considered for the project”, the journalist who took her interview apologised for it. Farhan Akhtar clearly stated that Mahira Khan is in the film like before and nothing has been changed for her part, and the film is ready to release, he further said that if they started the whole film shooting after the terror attack then they would never have signed her depending on the present situation, and concluded by saying showing solidarity to Indian Army is up to them, and only Indian government has the authority to brief them regarding dealing with their conscience, and not by any outsiders.
After the controversy of the film by coinciding the release with Kaabil, the film dives into another controversy. A day after the release of the trailer of the film, members of the city’s Shia community protested the use of religious symbols in the film. They lodge a police report. The letter to the police has requested Khan to withdraw all such scenes, and intimated them about a possible peaceful protest in case the request is not met. When contacted, Shilpa Handa from the film’s PR agency Spice said that they were still trying to understand the nature of the complaints.
On 11 December 2016, Shah Rukh Khan met MNS supreme Raj Thackeray to assure him that Mahira Khan won’t be coming to India to promote the film.