Demystifying Don Abdul Latif: The Alleged Inspiration Behind Shahrukh Khan’s Raees

The Shahrukh Khan starrer Raees finally hit the cinema halls on January 25th, after witnessing a series of delays since its first teaser launch in July’15. Although no King Khan starrer ever gets released without an obvious amount of hype surrounding it, Raees was a bit of a special case. The movie was taken to court by the son of criminal and underworld figure, Abdul Latif.

 

Who was Abdul Latif?

Abdul Latif started out as a petty bootlegger who did the illegal smuggling of liquor in the dry-state of Gujarat. Latif started out young and grew up in the business and eventually built his own empire but ending his rivals. It wasn’t long before Latif was crowned as don of his area and business.

Abdul Latif had plenty of political connections that led him get his way through every obstacle that he faced in expanding his business ventures. He also contested and won quite a few municipal elections, that too from jail.

Latif was a comrade to underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and was involved in receiving and holding a large quantity of explosives particularly for smuggling RDX into the country, that would further be used in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts.

Facts meet fiction – Similarities between Raees and Abdul

Although, Raees was released with a disclaimer that stated that ‘all characters appearing in this work are fictitious’, the word going around is that it is indeed inspired from the life of Abdul Latif. Here are a few similarities that I noticed between Raees and Abdul:

Raees 122
Right: Shahrukh Khan as Raees

Facts depart fiction – Differences between Raees and Abdul

There are more than a few instances where the character of Raees was significantly different from Abdul Latif. Here are a few differences that I noticed between Raees and Abdul:

Raees (11)
Right: Abdul Latif

It is right to say that the character of Raees was not entirely based on Don Abdul Latif but had elements of his life. There’s good percentage of fiction added into the movie so that the man that Shahrukh Khan plays could be partially seen in the light of a protagonist. Who doesn’t like a man with a conscience, right?

To make the movie a little more likable for the Indian audiences, the character of Raees is inspired by the life of Abdul Latif but definitely not based on it. May be if that taken the risk of not making Raees a secular man, the movie would have not been so unnoticeable among the other 100 criminal-and-gangster-lives-inspired movies in Bollywood.


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