Reviewing the Reviews: Ratings ranged from 0 to 2 for R…Rajkumar

09 Dec,2013

By Deepa Gahlot


R… Rajkumar

Director: Prabhudheva

Starring: Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonu Sood


It’s the kind of masala film that opens well (according to trade experts), sometimes does great business, but has critics curling up their noses in disgust.


Shahid Kapoor tries very hard to follow in Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar’s ‘rowdy’ footsteps, but can’t match their insouciance when doing mindless action. Prabhu Deva could make Shahid dance, but the rest is lacking.


Ratings ranged from 0 (yes!) to 2, except for the quotable critics who have to give 3 stars and above to every film to get their names in the ads. But everyone know what their credibility is like, so their raves hardly matter


Shubhra Gupta of the Indian Express called it the worst film of the years. “It has not one redeeming feature. Nothing. Zero. Shahid Kapoor plays R…Rajkumar. The R.. was meant to be Rambo. The name was axed because of copyright issues. It is now Romeo. It makes no difference. This is a role that will, and should, haunt Shahid Kapoor: it is empty of all sense and sensibility. Shahid Kapoor presents a head full of carefully streaked hair, cultivated stubble, puckered lips, and swinging fists. He mouths crass dialogue. He thrusts his pelvis. His idea of romance is to stalk and harass and bludgeon his girl into submission, and his idea of vengeance is to batter bodies till blood spurts.”


Mihir Fadnavis writing in hated it too. “In one excruciatingly long scene of R…Rajkumar, Sonu Sood sits with a bunch of his goonda cronies and jovially sings, “I am your Bull. You are my sh*t. Together we are Bullsh*t.” Never before in the history of Hindi cinema has a film so astutely relayed its intentions from the makers of the film to the viewers. Which is why I need to take a leaf from a song in R…Rajkumar to elucidate the film’s overall quality: gandi film, Gandi gandi gandi gandi gandi film.”


Vinayak Chakravorty of India Today wrote, “With R… Rajkumar, Prabhu Dheva commits his second blunder this year after Ramaiya Vastavaiya. He needn’t have made this film. The film does not leave you with a single memorable scene despite its loud effort to impress. Prabhu Dheva clearly loses track of his own film early on. The first half is a jumble and the second seems too long. R… Rajkumar will not break Shahid’s wretched run at the box-office, coming after Mausam, Teri Meri Kahaani and Phata Poster Nikhla Hero. He has chosen too hackneyed a project to get back in business.”


Saibal Chatterjee of ranted, “Prabhu Deva tends to direct a film pretty much like he choreographs a song. He packs both, from end to end, with a frenzied flurry of brisk hand and feet movements and a surfeit of high-decibel musical clatter. The astoundingly lithe dance steps that he conjures up tend to flummox the eyes; the attendant sounds unleash a non-stop assault on the eardrums. The two together (and singly as well), have clearly outlived their utility. R… Rajkumar is incontrovertible proof that Prabhu Dheva has been hit by the law of diminishing returns.”


Karan Anshuman of Mumbai Mirror wrote. “If you think about it, Rajkumar’s catchphrase ‘Pyaar pyaar pyaar ya maar maar maar maar’ is very much in theme with the film because that’s all there is. Certainly if you like the idea of your girl whipped by a belt and then the idea of the hero whipping the whipper in a comedy scene, then R… Rajkumar will be on your all time list of favorites. For minor humor, there is major offense to be taken here.


And who doesn’t like a hero who can break every rule, maim every person, and match dance steps with Prabhu Dheva? The smiling, joking protagonist turns underdog and faces minor difficulties (multiple stabbings, buried alive) for only about ten minutes in movie that is just short of three hours. Too little, too late, utterly unconvincing. Why even bother.”


The three stars Madhureeta Mukherjee of the Times of India accorded to the film are puzzling, because she wrote, “While ‘R…Rajkumar’ entertains at some levels, it suffers from utter plainness and predictability. The raw action is impressive (Ravi Varma), the songs (Pritam) and the choreography are routine attractions. The second half seems like a sari too long and the comedy is often forced. It has some ‘Must Haves’ of a pot-boiler, but misses the real thing – a SOLID STORY!”


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