Posted in Reviews

“‘R..Rajkumar” review – Exhaustively Excruciating Experience

In a recent interview couple of weeks back, Shahid Kapoor candidly confessed that he is an under-rated actor of  his generation, who is desperately looking for a hit to get back on track to match  the mercurial rising of his contempories, especially Ranbir and too an extent, Ranveer. His desperation is genuine, since his last solid hit was Badmaash Company, way back in 2010. Since then, he has shown flashes of brilliance in all his films, but that has not resulted in good box office numbers. His desperation is vivid in his latest outing R..Rajkumar, helmed by Prabhu Deva, where he dons a completely new avatar of a beefed up action hero in a trademark masala potboiler, with loads of action/stunts, gyrating numbers and a skeletal storyline. But R..Rajkumar begins and ends with just one experience–Exhaustion!, and a clear indication that a talent like Shahid Kapoor needs a miracle to end his drought of miserable films.

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A film which offers a zero sum value in terms of characters and plot,   R..Rajkumar unfolds the story of Rajkumar Shahid), who mysteriously lands in a lawless village bifurcated between  two gangs. He sharply joins Sivaraj ( Sonu Sood), and thus begins the tryst of mindless action and songs. Add to it a mandatory track of wolf whistling with a girl Chanda ( Sonakshi),and you have a film ready on your platter.

A film pompous with corny dialogues and extremely pathetic performances, R..Rajkumar is an assortment of crass and crudely directed scenes, beneath the veneer of an entertaining film. Shahid tried hard and sometimes really hard to make a mark, but the role of a beefed up goonda smashing and pounding people simply doesnt suit him. So as Sonakshi Sinha, who is getting completely monotonous in her inconsequential roles in these mindless flicks. Sonu Sood tried to reprise his Dabanggiri here, but falls flat on a skeletal plotlne.  The saving grace of the film is undoubtedly its music, and Shahid’s bravura dance moves.

 

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R..Rajkumar offers exhaustion in terms of entertainment, with complete wastage of time and money. I am not sure about its box office prospects, but i really felt sorry for Shahid. The supremely talented actor deserves a much better film to over write his recent failures, and a bad dream called R..Rajkumar..!

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Posted in Reviews

“Once Upon Ay Time in Mumbaai Dobaara” review- Never Takes off !!..

First thing first, I was completely floored by Once Upon a Time in Mumbai. The Ajay-Emraan starrer was one of the most engaging  gangster flicks in my opinion, which succeeded primarily due to its absorbing screenplay, retro look, soulful music  and riveting performances by the two leads at  loggerheads- Ajay’s bouyant portrayal of Sultan Mirza clashing with his nemesis Shoaib, a defiant and ruthless character rendered wonderfully by Emraan. So expectations are bound to be high when its sequel is out in the theatres, with its promos promising to carry this  legacy forward. But I felt a bit cheated after watching  Once Upon Ay in Mumbaai Dobaara , because its masquerades a love triangle behind the veneer of a gangster drama. And ironically,its not even  close to the high standards set by its prequel. In nutshell, Director Milan Luthria fails to replicate the novelty of his original here.

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This basic plot of this rather inferior sequel revolves around Shoaib ( Akshay Kumar), the dreaded gangster/don who comes to Mumbaai  with his coterie in the hunt of Rawal ( Mahesh Manjrekar).  Aiding him in this mission is his trustworthy aide Aslam ( Imran Khan), along with his friend Dedh Tang ( Pitobash Tripathi). Both Shoaib and Aslam fall for a struggling actress Jasmine ( Sonakshi Sinha), who is “good’ friend with both but is unaware about their complicity and profession. As expected, things go haywire when the truth unravels, and the climax , to cut it short…involves who wins over whom !

The film starts with a bang, with an explosive introduction of the pivotal characters- Shoaib and Aslam- and some interesting sequences, including one well shot chase scene inside and the peripherials of a running train. The first odd 15-20 mins sets up the tone required for a underworld drama, and one expects the story to gain momentum. But the film slowly fizzles out and loses steam, with the  focus diametrically shifting to the love triangle between the three leads.  The flick loses its originality completely to a rather insipid  love triangle, frustrating the viewer with an anticipation that some action will take precedence till the end. But what remains constant throughout the film is  the voluble  barrage of some interesting and most of the times, incomprehensible and overbearing  dialogues. This aspect, was suitably mellowed in the prequel, and worked predominantly because of its ideal placement in the narrative. Here its inconsistent, and a bit too much sometimes. Some dialogues(Rajat Arora) deserves special  mention though–Shoaibs take on love :”Pyaar aaj kal naukrani jaise ban gaya hai. Aata hai, bell bajata hai, kaam karke chala jaata hai“. On the changing face of Mumbai, Shoaib declares “Yeh bambai, Kumkum se Kimi Katkar mein badal gayi hai’ . On friendship , Aslam opines to Jasmine ” Dosts aasun ke tarah hote hain. Yahan Dil Dukha, wahan who bhi nikle“. Some scenes too stand out because of its novelty , specially in a scene where Shoaib storms through a police station with an intention to surrender himself, only to  witness that he is  completely ignored by the folks who are busy making plans to nab him anywhere he is seen.Ironically,  these gems are too few and far between.

Akshay performs earnestly, lending his own unique swagger to his devilish act of Shoaib, but just like the film, his portrayal too gets banal because he just doesnt get the scope to be at the menacing best. Imran tries hard, but is unconvincing. Honestly, this role was never meant for him. He lacks the rustic and diabolical look which is imperative for a role like this. Infact, the two leads here fail to deliver a compelling clash here,a thing which was the standout feature of the first installment.

Sonakshi Sinha performs well, but she has done this before as well, so there is nothing new in her act. Abhimanyu Singh in the role of a cop is ok, but you sorely miss Randeep Hooda here . Mahesh Manjrekar is completely wasted, though, Sonali Bendre delivers an inspired cameo, and shines in almost every scene of hers. The remaining cast are adequate. Music is ok, but nothing in comparison to the soundtrack of the prequel.

If this film didnt had its illustrious original , i might have rated this film a bit more. But Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara reaffirms a fact that every successful film need not necessarily  be made into a franchise. As Imran Khan mouths a dialogue in one of the scenes ” Teen Tigara Kaam Bigda“, this film is an absolute failure in comparison to a mesmerizing  prequel–Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai.