CAST & CREW
In many ways, Prabhu Dheva has been credited with the revival of the “classical” masala type movies, one after the other, and all of them with some injected desi rustic flavor. For instant inspiration, however, he has often used the plots of his own or other’s Southern films. As an exception, in this instance he has used his own supposedly original story and screenplay. “R…Rajkumar” thus clearly bears the stamp of Prabhu Deva, howsoever difficult it may be, to pronounce that uniquely punctuated name of the movie.
Plot: The actions are centred round the small town of Dhartipur, home to drug barons Shivraj Gurjar characterised by Sonu Sood and his main rival in this business, Manik Parmar, enacted by Ashish Vidyarthi. Both of them are in turn are controlled by the super don Ajit Taaka, played by Srihari, resident in Hong Kong. Into this simmering landscape surfaces our hero, referred as Romeo Rajkumar, a seemingly vagrant young man, ever on the lookout for beautiful damsels, and it does not take long before he finds and falls for the beautiful and erudite Chanda, portrayed by Sonakshi Sinha. As invariably happens in plots of this type, Chanda has been reared by one of the drug dons – Parmar. As luck would have it, just when Rajkumar and Chanda’s courtship was blossoming, Parmar decides to marry off Chanda to Shivraj, to seal a recent compromise that the two rivals had agreed upon. This triggers on Rajkumar to immediate action to win back his new-found lady love.
What follows after this is a strange sequence of events that reveal shifting loyalties and allegiances between the main players, and an improbable happening where Rajkumar is killed and once again literally dug out from his grave. The concluding shot shows Rajkumar and Chanda holding hands after all the “baddies” have been eliminated. While Prabhu Deva might have gambled once again with a repeat of his previously successful masala formula, the very predictability of the unfolding events leave very little of the surprise elements. In fact, some of the surprises used in this film verge almost on improbability – like the coming back of Rajkumar all alive after being beaten black and blue till death, and then being dug out of his grave by his own rivals, with an overnight change of heart. Challenging audience credulity to such an extent may be extremely unwise unless they treat this as a comedy of the absurd! The story line and screenplay, therefore, falls flat on several counts.
As for the casting and the interactions between the main characters, although Shahid delivers the “soft” scenes containing dance and romance comfortably, his macho scenes quite appear unbalanced in the way they are conceived, showing him single handedly thrashing the otherwise all-powerful acknowledged villains like Ashish Vidyarthi and Sonu Sood. As for Sonakshi Sinha, this film once again underutilises her obvious acting talents by using her only as an incidental glamorous backdrop and at most an attractive prop for the song and dance numbers. In fact, one of the only redeeming features of the film is Pritam’s musical score, with several catchy numbers. But music cannot itself prop up a film that was originally conceived wrong.
Verdict: There would surely be a committed audience for the film who would like to ‘view’ the songs after hearing them during the music launch period. As for the rest, die hard Prabhu Deva fans may still make a visit to see if it is more of the same or something different.
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