Review: Radio is only for fans of froth!
By: Sonia Chopra
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Saturday 05 December 2009
Himesh Reshammiya, Shenaz Treasuryvala, Sonal Sehgal, Zakir Hussain, Rajesh Khattar and Paresh Rawal
It?s complicated, goes the film?s tagline. As is the film, and unnecessarily so. Inspired by the chapter storytelling technique of Kill Bill (here you twelve chapters, phew), Radio?s story begins with Vivan?s (Himesh) divorce from wife Pooja (Sonal Sehgal).
He meets ditzy Shanaya (Shenaz Treasurywala) that very day who mistakenly delivers flowers at his place. Next, he meets her as a chef just about to get fired from her job, on his complaint about the food. When he goes to her home to apologise, she lies to her family claiming him to be her boyfriend to get out of a forced engagement.
The Punjabi-Parsi family adopts him as their daamad (son-in-law) and make him do odd jobs around the house from fixing the cable satellite to gardening. Gradually, he develops a genuine fondness for this family that he admits is completely mad. An RJ, he gets Shanaya onboard his radio show as a `Mystery Girl?, a concept that becomes hugely popular. Meanwhile, Shanaya realises she?s falling for him, even as the ex-wife realizes she misses Vivan tremendously and gives him drunken calls at three in the morning.
Chapter by chapter we see Vivan?s confusion, even as two attractive women find themselves hopelessly in love with him. This adoration is somewhat believable as Vivan is portrayed as an extremely likeable and progressive guy, sweet and unassuming, stopping midway to tie a child?s shoelaces, doing his share of the housework and all that.
The main sore point is that the divorce is shown as the wife?s fault who screams incompatibility and files for divorce even as he begs her not to.
Strangely, at all times, the two seem perfectly compatible and happy, calling on each other in times of need and sharing coffee. Naturally, as the film progresses, the ex-wife `changes? and even buys a chandelier called the `karvachauth chandelier? for its moon shape. In this love triangle, Vivan appears as the only sensible character, while the two women, especially the ex-wife are shown to be rather unstable without him.
For example, Pooja calls on him when a work problem crops up or when she needs company to go to a party. Shanaya has no goals and shows no thrill at being offered her own show at the radio station; the moment things go awry between her and Vivan, she just quits her job without any future plans. All three constantly act out-of-character and even go on a plate-breaking spree in a restaurant just for fun, encouraging other diners to follow suit.
There are a few fun moments: when a caller asks Vivan the meaning of Facebook, the newfound closeness between the ex-lovers, friendship between the two women in Vivan?s life and Shanaya?s father, a cop, grilling Vivan about not regularly coming to their home right in the middle of a shootout. In the same sequence, the portion where a TV reporter risks her life to get closer to the shootout for better coverage is hilarious. Paresh Rawal adds a few seconds of humour.
Writer-director Isshaan Trivedi tries making a contemporary film with colloquial dialogues and new-age professions, but the attempt is half-baked.
Himesh Reshammiya is on a self-flattering trip here portraying his character to be immensely likeable and super-popular among women. Despite the patchy dialogue delivery and not entirely looking the part of a young RJ, Reshammiya is passable. Shenaz Treasurywalla lights up the screen with her effervescent smile and screen presence and has shown improvement in her acting as well. Sonal Sehgal looks pretty, but is hardly an actress.
The songs are fun all the way and are the highlight of the film. A very simplistic story made unnecessarily gimmicky with the story told in chapters and sketchy characterisations, Radio is watchable only for fans of froth. Verdict: Two stars
Sufiyum Sujatayum has a few good moments but gives the feeling that with so much potential, this one could have been a better watch
Bajpayee essays a near-silent role, for Bhonsle is a man of few words. The subject of Bhonsle has been attempted in Hindi cinema, but no one has dared directly mention ethnic identities
Krishna and His Leela