Movie Review: R…Rajkumar
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
Prabhu Dheva’s “R…Rajkumar is the latest in the series of “masala entertainers” that Bollywood seems to churn out with alarming regularity. Watching one is like watching another, and reviewing one is like writing about all of them. Here are the five commandments that filmmakers follow while making these excuses for movies. We have used “R… Rajkumar” as our test case.
Hero’s raison d’être: win girl, annihilate villain
Romeo Rajkumar (Shahid Kapur) is obsessed with Chanda (Sonakshi Sinha), calling her his “lollipop”, making lewd kissing noises (that sound like a sink is being drained out) and stalking her everywhere. When his mob boss (Sonu Sood) falls in love with Chanda, Rajkumar decides to fight him and his village gang. Couldn’t they just elope to the city and live a peaceful life? No. Romeo has to beat up people with wooden horses and waste litres of fake blood.
Leading lady: spunky and independent. Turns into a doormat when she meets hero – Sonakshi Sinha
Not just in this film, but pretty much every film she’s done. She starts by beating the daylights out of cat-calling men. When Rajkumar stalks her, she shoos him away with a nonsensical song. Then she falls in love with her stalker, runs to him for help when the villain makes advances, and reaches the height of submissiveness by standing and shedding quiet tears while the love of her life is beaten to death.
Your writing, just like your characters, is uncouth
There is dialogue like “I am a bull, you are a shit, together we are bullshit”. Men hit women, elderly men get stripped down. Women bathe and soap a villain. Action scenes make third-degree torture look bearable.
Deafen the audience
To divert attention from the flaws in the film, set the background music to ear-shattering levels.
Treat the audience with contempt
Why wouldn’t the formula of violence, sex masquerading as romance and low-level humour work, when our audiences have told us that it will? Take that combination and milk it dry without stopping to consider creativity or originality. Rope in an actor who sees a chance to cash in.
“R…Rajkumar” follows these commandments faithfully. There is no reason to doubt that more adherents will come along in 2014.