Prabhu Deva and Salman Khan’s third outing is dull and unintentionally hilarious
Mumbai is in the grip of a drug mafia. Teens are falling prey to substance abuse. The existing crime lords of the city don’t seem to be the main culprits. The perplexed police force decides to bring in a specialist to ‘clean up the city’. The latest Salman Khan starrer Radhe, directed by Prabhu Deva, acknowledges that the film is inspired by the 2017 South Korean film The Outlaws.
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But seriously, one needn’t look at international content for a storyline such as this one. There are enough masala films in India that have had similar storylines.
Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai
- Cast: Salman Khan, Disha Pathani, Randeep Hooda, Jackie Shroff
- Direction: Prabhu Deva
- Music: Devi Sri Prasad, Himmesh Reshamiyya, Sajid-Wajid and Sanchit Balhara
- Streaming on: Zeeplex by Zee 5
Radhe plays out like The-Outlaws-meets-Darbar-meets-many-masala-movies. Rajveer Shikwat or Radhe (Salman Khan)’s entry will put superheroes to shame. Who needs a Spider-Man or Superman when Radhe enters like a whirlwind and those at the receiving end are left to reconstruct what has just happened, in hindsight. The science-defying entry is meant solely for the massy superhero movies, to be lapped up by cheering fans in theatres.
As theatres remain closed in many parts of the country, Salman keeps his almost annual date with Eid, through ZeePlex this time.
Radhe’s reputation precedes his arrival. He is credited with 97 encounters and has been transferred 23 times. No task is challenging for him and he throws away redundant a punch line ‘ek baar commitment kar diya toh apni bhi nahin sunta’. It’s a role that Salman can sleepwalk through.
If that isn’t enough, Dia (Disha Patani) believes that Radhe is an aspiring model and gives him suggestions for modelling and body language. Ghajini anyone? Disha is saddled with a ‘cute but downright dumb’ character.
Megha Akash and Bharath are relegated to the background as young cops. At least Megha gets two scenes to make her presence felt.
There isn’t much in the film to hold interest, but for the menacing Rana (Randeep Hooda) who proves to be elusive and a tough nut to crack, even for Radhe. But their face-off, especially in the pre-interval segment, falls flat. One can recall several Tamil and Telugu masala films that have gotten these pre-interval clashes right, however repetitive or banal the storylines might have been.
Rana goes about slashing anyone who hinders his path. But there aren’t enough cat and mouse games between Radhe and Rana to keep us hooked. It’s a straightforward ‘I will clean up the city’ (there’s even a mention of Swachh Bharat) remark by Radhe and a smirk from Rana.
Radhe’s story is all over the place and you hardly care for what’s happening on screen. Dance numbers are thrown in, including the much-publicised ‘Seeti Maar’ (originally composed for the Telugu film DJ).
One of the biggest puzzles has to do with Jackie Shroff’s character. He plods through the film with ‘the script said so’ demeanour.
Radhe is dreary and listless, with no attempt to do anything innovative within the purview of star-led masala entertainers.
(Radhe can be watched on ZeePlex, the pay per view service of Zee5)