Movies

Gandi baat, badly told

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MUMBAI: Can one say, ‘A love story is a love story’? One cannot; how the story is told makes all the difference. Mughal E Azam, Barsaat, Aradhana, Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Kabhie Kabhie and Hum Aapke Hain Koun..!, among others, were all love stories but each was memorable for its own reasons.

At the opposite end of the spectrum is the recent crop of South Indian-style formula love stories that have been raiding the box office of late. R… Rajkumar is one of them. It is a mindless action film in the guise of a love story, and not a very good action film at that. The villain loses his credibility too many times in a period of two hours 26 minutes to be of any interest by the time the climax comes about. The villain’s superiority, ego and power are all finished long before the final fight; all that remains is finishing him physically. And the film, already bankrupt of ideas, devotes 20-25 minutes just to that. It seems never-ending.

Earlier named Rambo Rajkumar and later forced to withdraw Rambo from its title, it settled for a suggestive R….. Rajkumar which is explained in the film as Romeo Rajkumar; after all, the Romeo, Shahid Kapoor, falls for Sonakshi Sinha at first sight. He has dropped in to an unfamiliar town in midst of two warring groups exchanging bullets. Sonakshi is caught in this crossfire and he stretches his arm to ward off bullets aimed at her, in the process showing off his tattoo to her. (No, the tattoo does not materialise into any Manmohan Desai kind lost and found story.)

Shahid loves to poke his nose into others’ business. Ashish Vidyarthi’s goons plan to kidnap truck carrying opium belonging to Sonu Sood. Shahid saves it and earns an entry into Sood’s gang. Shahid can tackle 100 goons singlehandedly, the goons being very sporting as they tend to be in all South Indian action choreography. They always attack one after the other, each waiting his turn. Sood is thoroughly impressed and Shahid is promoted to his right hand man, displacing Mukul Dev who is also a sport and, instead of hating Shahid, makes him his best friend. Shahid’s reason for staying around in the town is probably Sonakshi as he has fallen head over heels for her.

Producer: Sunil Lulla, Viki Rajani.

Director: Prabhu Dheva.

Cast: : Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonu Sood, Ashish Vidyarthi, Mukul Dev, Asrani, Srihari, Poonam Jhawer; Charrmy Kaur and Ragini Dwivedi (both in special appearance in songs).

Soon, Shahid has a competitor. Sood sees Sonakshi and is besotted by her. She turns out to be the orphan niece of Sonu’s enemy, Vidyarthi, but so what? They decide to bury the hatchet and become rishtedaars. Challenges are thrown and a fight sequence is in place when Shahid leaves the scene. He could have taken Sonakshi along at that very moment but he avoided doing that for the sake of taking the film into the second half and eventually to its never-ending climax. No sense ending a film at interval stage.

In the absence of anything worthwhile, the second half is whiled away with songs, some action and some cell phone romance besides unsuccessfully attempting some Himmatwala, Mawali kind of funny sequences with Asrani, Poonam Jhawar, Vidyarthi etc.

Prabhu Dheva is handicapped as this time he is directing an original and not a remake; he is totally at sea! The film has one item number which is popular with masses in Gandi baat… The background score is eardrum shattering cacophony. The editing department seems to have been passed over. Action is routine South brand where the hero is superhuman. Besides, every action sequence has been stretched as if to make up for the lack of content. Shahid does a tapori role he is not cut out for. Just growing stubble does not make one a tapori. Sonakshi is too large for the frame. She is unimpressive in all that is expected of her. Sood is routine while Vidyarthi, Srihari, Asrani and Poonam Jhawer pass muster. Mukul Dev makes his presence felt.

R…. Rajkumar has nothing to offer to multiplex audience and, may be, three days’ worth to single screens before it ends its reign.

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