Romeo Akbar Walter Reviews (Top Critics)

Bollywoodlife.com
By Urmimala Banerjee (3/5)

The year is 1971 and there is an uprising in East Pakistan, now known as Bangladesh. They are revolting against the Pakistani Army for their oppressive rule. India is on East Pakistan's side. The Indian intelligence knows that Pakistan can strike anytime and wants as much information as it can get. They zero down on the son of a soldier Rahamatullah Ali (Romeo Ali) who is a bank employee and theatre enthusiast to act as an undercover agent.

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Filmcompanion.in
By Rahul Desai (2/5)

After Ek Tha Tiger, Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) is the second mainstream Hindi film to have been inspired by the real-life story of alleged RAW agent Ravindra Kaushik. Kaushik is said to have spent his adult life undercover in Pakistan - complete with a Muslim identity, an LLB degree, a military career and a second family. The Indian government disowned him when he finally died, captured and ill, in a Pakistani prison. While Kaushik's family demanded credit for the Salman Khan actioner (Kaushik's moniker: Black Tiger), I'm not so sure they will be clamouring for one with this John Abraham-starrer, despite the swinging '70s hairstyles.

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Komalsreviews
By Komal Nahta

Viacom18 Motion Pictures, Kyta Productions, VA Film Company and Red Ice Productions' R.A.W. (UA) is the story of a secret service agent of India who spies in Pakistan. Romeo (John Abraham) works in a bank but is picked up by Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) chief Shrikant (Jackie Shroff) to go as a spy to Pakistan. Romeo goes to the neighbouring country as Akbar and soon wins the confidence of Isaq Afridi (Anil George). Isaq Afridi is an arms supplier and has an equation with Gen. Zorawar (Purnendu Bhattacharya). Isaq Afridi's own son, Nawab Afridi (Shadab Amjad Khan), has attempted to kill him as Nawab's rise is stunted by Isaq's presence.

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Mid-Day
By Sonil Dedhia (1.5/5)

John Abraham's latest nation-in-peril movie is set against the backdrop of the 1971 India-Pakistan war. Releasing nearly a year after Raazi, this one suffers from an acute hangover of the Alia Bhatt-film. It even ends with a song that seems inspired (read blatantly copied from Ae Watan...).

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Glamsham.com
By Vishal Verma (2.5/5)

Rehmat Ali aka Romeo (John Abraham) is an actor on stage who can easily get into any character though he works as a cashier in a bank for his livelihood. Before we can figure out, the on-stage chameleon quality of Romeo strikes a chord with Shrikant Rai (Jackie Shroff) - Director, Research & Analysis Wing (R.A.W.)!!. Romeo is the chosen one and he in reality is the son of a brave heart Indian soldier. Romeo joins RAW, changes his identity to Akbar Ali and begins his mission to gain information from the Pakistani establishment.

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DNA
By Meena Iyer (2.5/5)

It's 1971. When he's not manning a bank counter, Rehmat Ali aka Romeo (John Abraham) acts on stage. Convinced by his performance as an old man, Shrikant Rai, Director, Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) (Jackie Shroff) tests him further. Pleased with his quick thinking, he asks him to follow in his late father's footsteps. He asks Romeo to join RAW. Romeo becomes Akbar Ali, a hotel staffer in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and is asked to infiltrate the Pak establishment.

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Scroll.in
By Nandini Ramnath

In Robbie Grewal's Romeo Akbar Walter, cigarettes and cigars are more than just harmful addictions. As the spy thriller unfolds, the cancer sticks play their part in ensuring that Indians have a good night's sleep while undercover agents lose theirs. Notes are tucked into the backs of lighters and paper cylinders double up as clandestine messages. Smoking kills but sometimes saves too.

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The Indian Express
By Shubhra Gupta (2/5)

The title smartly abbreviates to RAW, which is short for Research and Analysis Wing, a sort of 'desi' MI-5 which nurtures and sends brave spies into the cold, to get back vital information from behind enemy lines, and to keep the country safe. Robbie Grewal's film is set during the 70s, when the conflict in East Pakistan was coming to a boil, when West Pakistan was going all out to overrun its 'counterpart', and in which India played a decisive part in containing it.

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The Hindu
By Namrata Joshi

Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) takes patriotism way back to 1971, to the times of Indira Gandhi, of all the prime ministers. At its core is a spy, who is only Hindustani, not a Muslim or a Hindu. Rehmatullah Ali aka Romeo (John Abraham) is the sort who would put nation before self, would sacrifice his present for the country's future, would even go so far as to erase his identity for India and would choose the motherland over his mother (Alka Amin).

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Intoday.in
By Charu Thakur (2/5)

Romeo, Akbar, Walter - three identities, one person and zero expressions. That's the best way to sum up RAW, the two-and-a-half hour long yawn fest directed by Robbie Grewal. Set in 1971 when relations between India, Pakistan and East Pakistan were tense; back home, R&AW (RAW, Research and Analysis Wing) was busy polishing their best spy to go behind enemy lines. His job: get as much information as possible.

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Taran Adarsh
By Taran Adarsh (1.5/5)

One Word Review... Romeo Akbar Walter: DULL. Interesting stories don't necessarily translate into interesting films... Half-baked writing + slow pacing play spoilsport... John, Jackie Shroff and Sikandar Kher excel... This thriller lacks thrill and grip.

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FilmFare
By Devesh Sharma (3/5)

Romeo Akbar Walter is a period spy film set in the '70s. In 1971, at the height of Indo-Pak tensions, India was able to place a high level mole in Pakistan who was able to provide vital information about Pakistan's war plans. The film revolves around Romeo/Akbar/Walter (John Abraham) a patriotic young man whose father belonged in the army and was killed in action. This is the reason his mother doesn't want him to join the army. Jackie Shroff, who plays the director of India's intelligence bureau, recruits him all the same, trains him to be a clandestine agent, and transports him to POK.

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Firstpost.com
By Devansh Sharma

In terms of its design and atmospherics, Robbie Grewal's espionage thriller Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW) is very similar to Meghna Gulzar's Raazi from last year. John Abraham, like Alia Bhatt in Raazi, plays an Indian spy deployed in Pakistan who earns the faith of Pakistani big shots hatching a conspiracy against India ahead of the 1971 Indo-Pak War.

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BollywoodHungama.com
By Bollywood Hungama (2/5)

ROMEO AKBAR WALTER is the story of a patriot who takes extreme risks while spying in enemy country. The year is 1971. Romeo Ali (John Abraham) works in India in a bank. He stays with his mother Waheeda (Alka Amin) who is overprotective about him since Romeo's father had died while serving the country. Romeo too has the passion to work for India but is unable to do so due to his mother.

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Koimoi.com
By Umesh Punwani (2/5)

The narration starts with explaining the birth of Bangladesh and how the situations were there during the Indo-Pak war of 1971. After a few very poorly showcased about the information, we see an old man reciting a Shayari in a hall. It just needed a camera focus on his face to recognize the guy is John Abraham (Romeo here). Romeo works in a bank in Delhi, from where he's abducted by the chief of Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) - Srikanth Rai (Jackie Shroff).

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The Times Of India
By Renuka Vyavahare (3/5)

Romeo (John Abraham), a bank cashier is recruited by India's foreign intelligence agency - the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). They believe he's a master of disguise and can operate as Akbar, India's undercover agent in Pok (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) during the events leading up to the 1971 Indo-Pak war. Can he pull it off?

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News18.com
By Priyanka Sinha Jha (2.5/5)

The film starts with a chilling torture scene. A prisoner's nails are being pulled out in order to make him spill some state secrets during the Indian-Pakistan of 1971. But, just as one settles down to enjoy a tough as nails yet palatable spy story, what is served up instead is a smorgasbord of under-done contrivances. Director Robbie Grewal has stated that his film was inspired by conversations with his father, an Army officer, who had at one time even worked for the Indian military intelligence.

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Hindustan Times
By Raja Sen (1.5/5)

Spy movies speak their own language. British spies in the movies have confidential conversations in public parks, spilling secrets while feeding ducks. Our spy movies, mostly set between India and Pakistan, feature agents and double-agents chatting at qawwali performances, presumably thinking the wails will drown them out. Romeo Akbar Walter follows spy clichs dutifully and drowns us in minutiae, but never feels immediate or exciting. It's a slow film, and the spies at the qawwali are played by John Abraham and Mouni Roy.

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Ndtv.com
By Saibal Chatterjee (2/5)

The opening shot of Romeo Akbar Walter is an extreme close-up of the bloodied visage of John Abraham lying prostrate on a hard, cold concrete floor. He has been subjected to third degree in an Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) detention cell in Karachi. In the next sequence, a Pakistani colonel, for good measure, picks up a pincer and pulls out his fingernail. The man lets out an elemental shriek, the screen turns blank and, split seconds later, fades in to the captured spy's beginnings.

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