R Rajkumar review: R for run!
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 6 December 2013
Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonu Sood, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukul Dev, Asrani
So you?re supposed to munch popcorn as people incessantly kill each other, a man stalks a woman and puckers up every-time he sees her, and the story is interrupted by alternate romantic and crude dance songs.
So the very ?dabangg? Rajkumar (Shahid) arrives in Bharatpur where two gang-lords compete over ?afeem ki kheti? (opium farming). He is immediately recruited by the much-feared Shivraj (Sonu Sood) who likes to bathe in the open as women in low-cut blouses scrub his back. Like all Bollywood villains, he also has his own pet dialogue which goes, ?Main sehat ke liye haanikarak hoon? (I am injurious to health). It?s all quite unintentionally hilarious.
Not to be left behind, our puny, artfully disheveled hero Rajkumar also keeps saying a dialogue that rhymes silent with violent. They?ve both fallen for the same girl, see, and are locked in a battle of 'pyaar pyaar pyaar and maar maar maar' (their words, not mine).
Rajkumar and Shivraj both fall for the girl (Sonakshi) at first sight. While Rajkumar stalks her into submission (she slaps him, he kisses her hand) and proceeds to address her as ?my lollipop? (a thing to be consumed, not a human), Shivraj prefers locking her up and trying to marry her forcibly. She chooses the lesser of the two evils and proceeds to sing a few inane songs in fluttering sarees with the disheveled guy.
Their battle reaches to a head, and both begin screaming out their dialogue about ?being a mard? (being a man), which is confusing. If being a man is such a matter of pride, being a woman is?.? Aha!
Then there?s a dialogue where Shivraj describes how he?ll take off the unwilling heroine?s saree on their honeymoon. A mob boss confesses he murdered the girl he loved, because she was a ?distraction?. The film is full of such third-rate, sexist lines.
The finale is a mess, and straight out of a bad ?80s film. The cronies all watch as the good and bad guy finally have a hand-to-hand combat. In this portion, the background score goes nuts and we get to hear everything from the ?Psycho? tune to what sounds like an injured beast.
Now Shahid Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha make a nice onscreen pair and have the chemistry thing going. But the film fails them. Shahid, who was seen in a similar character mould in his last film Phata Poster Nikla Hero, does the same ol?. He has conviction, but what is he really doing? chasing (harassing) the heroine, fighting the baddie, dancing to a few songs. Hardly inspiring stuff!
Same goes for Sonakshi who looks great in her ethnic avatar, but you won?t be able to tell the difference in her character or styling from her last film, Bullett Raja.
It?s a case of two promising actors stuck in multiple films that are showcasing them in a repetitive manner. It?s tiresome for both the actors and the viewer.
On the bright side, the film has some wonderful dancing by Shahid, and Prabhu Dheva joins in for a song. There are a few humorous portions that could amuse you. The action is mainly of the ?dishoom dishoom? variety, but there are a couple of well-choreographed action scenes. Sadly this is too less a respite from the rest of the film.
Filmmakers like Prabhu Dheva aren?t even trying to make good films. It?s a set formula that benefits average filmmakers and audiences that either don?t like being challenged, or don?t have other options.
Avoid, unless you?re stuck in a time-warp.
Rating: One and a half stars