Mario Puzo must be turning in his grave for Riyasat is a pointless adaptation of his classic. While RGV’s version had ‘Sarkar’ played by Amitabh Bachchan, Riyasat’s ethical Godfather is an ageing Saheb (Rajesh Khanna), who rules the underworld but helps the poor by guaranteeing them money, safety and justice.
His henchman is his elder son Shakti (Aryan Vaid), heir to his crime empire. Younger son Vijay (Aryeman Ramsay) has no interest whatsoever in his family business but obviously, things change.
If you are planning to watch this film solely for Rajesh Khanna, don’t. He looks unwell, can barely speak and thus seems to have been given very few dialogues. He avoids eye contact with co-stars and the camera. Loud music is played in the background every time he appears onscreen in order to make things intense but that fails. Since he looks totally detached and disinterested in the film, you wonder why he did it in the first place.
Besides, the story proceeds unhurriedly and tests your patience. Almost every actor takes ages to finish a sentence. And the silence doesn’t speak volumes, as was the case in The Godfather.
Aryan Vaid and Aryeman Ramsay are decent. The latter even sounds like Abhishek Bachchan. Guess that was the reason why he was chosen for that part. But the filmmaker is unable to create an aura around Saheb, which is the biggest drawback. He doesn’t look menacing or mighty either. To sum it up, this is a poor tribute to the late superstar. You don’t want to see him like that.
Riyasat is the last film of late superstar Rajesh Khanna. It is yet another adaptation of The Godfather.
The Times of India