Bollywood Movie Review: R... Rajkumar

Rashmi Daryanani , 06 Dec 2013
R... Rajkumar review
R… Rajkumar review

All is well and good for Rajkumar (Shahid Kapoor) while he is working for drug baron, Shivraj (Sonu Sood). However, things start to go downhill once Shivraj falls in love with the same girl that Rajkumar loves, Chanda (Sonakshi Sinha). To complicate matters, Chanda is the niece of Manik Parmar (Ashish Vidyarthi), Shivraj’s rival. Now, in order to win Chanda over for good, Rajkumar must rely on the two things most important in his life: pyaar, pyaar, pyaar (love, love, love) and maar, maar, maar (violence, violence, violence).

Mild spoilers ahead (mostly just quotes/scenes, no story details).

Prabhudheva broke into the Bollywood scene back in 2009 with Wanted, and since then has delivered another well-received masala flick – Rowdy Rathore, in 2012. We’re sure he would have liked R… Rajkumar to make a nice masala film hattrick of sorts for him, but this one, unfortunately, has absolutely nothing to it. The problem is not just that R… Rajkumar has an underwhelming story, although that is still an issue. There’s no real, coherent plot, and didn’t we just watch Sonakshi Sinha do the same thing in Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Dobara a few months ago?

You can argue that logic has no place in such a film, and that would be completely fine and still make for a good movie watching experience if the film managed to deliver some laughs. But there are none here. Instead, you get Sonu Sood singing a line like, “I am your bull, you are my sh*t, together we are bullsh*t” repeatedly, as if the filmmakers were deliberately going all out to get you to cringe (by the way, we did that the first time itself – having him sing it multiple times was just like twisting the proverbial knives in our backs).

R... Rajkumar
R… Rajkumar

What is the most grating thing, though, is the treatment of women in this film. There’s really no excuse for it. Allow me to list some examples:

  • A scene implies a policeman raping a woman (prisoner?) but there’s no explanation for it, no need for it, really – it’s just thrown in there like it’s no big deal.
  • Rajkumar refers to Chanda as ‘lollipop’ throughout the film, as if she is nothing more than an object.
  • Shivraj seems to want to marry Chanda for nothing beyond the suhag raat, as all he can talk about is what he’ll do to her and where he’ll touch her once they are married.
  • There are constant references to removing the female lead’s sari, some of which she spouts off herself.
  • At one point, Rajkumar yanks a woman by her ponytail just to pull her away.
  • Shivraj tells Rajkumar that he will make him ‘na-mard‘ and then celebrate his suhag raat right in front of him.
  • The rest of the females in the film have one of the following jobs: serving men (bathing them, holding their phones); being annoying (an elderly man would apparently rather die in a fire than go back to his witch of a wife); or heaving their bosoms (that Kaddu Katega song and Poonam Jhawer‘s character).

And that’s not even forgetting the main point – that the male lead stalks the female lead and, instead of being repulsed and getting a restraining order or something, she ends up finding it incredibly romantic and falls in love with him.

For all the progress we’ve made with strong female characterisation over the years, it honestly does seem sometimes that the only direction we’re headed is backwards.

R... Rajkumar
R… Rajkumar

There’s not much to be said for the performances, either. Shahid Kapoor does his action scenes very well and dances like a charm, but everything else is just overacting. The pouts and the kisses are more annoying than entertaining. Sonakshi Sinha does what she’s been doing in so many other films, and there’s almost nothing to distinguish this performance from Rowdy Rathore or Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai Dobara or Son of Sardaar or Dabangg.

Both of these stars have proven before that they are capable of much more, so chalk it down to bad characterisation or whatever, but they are unable to deliver great performances in this film. Other, more experienced actors are wasted as well, though perhaps nothing is as unforgivable as the role handed out to Asrani. It’s painful to see what has been done to an actor like him.

Verdict:

Skip. The action scenes and their execution may be the only thing worth watching this one for, but even that is just not enough to make up for the illogical plot, blatant misogyny, and lack of laughs. Stay home and watch Shahid and Prabhudheva groove to Gandi Baat instead – that’s easily the best part of this one.

Related Stories

Related Stories

More Showbiz