The film opens with scene of a car crashing into a check-post, followed by a scooter rode by Raju. The scene hints about the troubles Raju is about to get into. Police finds the scooter at the accident site, and further investigation states that the scooter belongs to Raju Bambani. Raju is summoned at the police station for inquiry. And the ride begins.
Raju narrates stories from his past to connect the dots for the police. There are two stories going on, one in the present, one in the past. He tells the police how he has been working as a driver for businessman Amitabh Shah and his son Tanmay Shah and how he fell in love with boss Tanmay Shah’s girlfriend Shaily.
Media starts spreading news about Tanmay Shah’s involvement in the hit and run case. Meanwhile Amitabh Shah tries save his son from the police and media. He decides to frame Raju in the hit and run case to save his son.
First half is a little slow paced and goes as per expectations; but then the second half takes an unexpected turn. You try to guess the climax like any other suspense film, but Wrong Side Raju fails you and how! Climax of the film is something no one could have imagined! It is hard to believe that this film is a debut film of Mikhil Musale. He is a master storyteller.
Screenplay and narration are real heros of the film. Taking from bokeh shots to the scene on the terrace to visuals of Garba song and Zindabad Re, cinematography of this film is quite impressive. Background music and songs are cherry on the top. I loved how filmmakers have made most of the songs part of the narration. Most amazing thing about Wrong Side Raju is its casting and performances! Pratik Gandhi, Jayesh More, Asif Basra, Kavi Shastri, Hetal Puniwala and Kimberley Louisa McBeath, everyone has given splendid performances. There are couple of characters in the film played by well known Gujarati actors, which aren’t revealed in public yet but I’m sure you’d love to see them on screen.
Wrong Side Raju is not based on single hit and run case, but it is a fictitious hit and run case inspired by hundreds of cases across the country. Taking from the victims to accused to witnesses to the culprit, writers Niren Bhatt, Mikhil Musale and Karan Vyas have captured all sides of the incident. Role of media and police is perfectly scribbled.
This is the first time I saw people hooting, cheering and clapping for a Gujarati movie. From witty one liners to love story to courtroom drama to emotional journeys of all characters to the mystery behind the accident, Wrong Side Raju has it all. Wrong Side Raju is the right turn of Gujarati cinema. Gujarati audience is now ready to welcome new genres beyond comedy, love stories and friendship. Power packed performances, stunning visuals, soothing music and brilliant screenplay and direction makes Wrong Side Raju, one of the best films of 2016. A must watch!