Udita Jhunjhunwala’s Review: R… Rajkumar – ‘R’ For Rowdy, Ridiculous, Regressive

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R-Rajkumar-ReviewUdita-6Dec

Is Shahid Kapoor this desperate to reinvent himself as an action hero and Sonakshi Sinha so pliant that she would attach herself to a film that demeans women to this extent? I certainly hope there was some great subterfuge at work that misled them into this venture, as I would like to give these two young actors the benefit of the doubt.

Prabhu Dheva helms a film that has shades of Rowdy Rathore, Dabangg and Wanted – in order words this is another action-comedy film with large-scale song sequences, hardly any story, much gratuitous violence and giant male egos battling each other.

Romeo Rajkumar (Shahid Kapoor) easily gets accepted into a gang in northern India. While he can dodge bullets, beat a gang up single-handedly and orchestrate assassinations in broad daylight, he can just easily lose it all when he sees his “lollipop”Chanda (Sonakshi Sinha). Chanda slaps eve teasers around but is putty when it comes to her uncle’s evil machinations. After Rajkumar, with his streaked, tweaked and teased hair, stalks and threatens her, she finally submits thanks to a heroic action on his part.

But peace cannot survive long in this multi-hued lover’s paradise where couples sing about “sari falls”. The muscle-flexing Shivraj (Sonu Sood) also covets Chanda and strikes a deal with his archenemy and her uncle Parmar (Ashish Vidyarthi) to trade in their rivalry for her hand in marriage. But Chanda and Rajkumar will have nothing of it and for some reason, rather than elope or marry anyway, they decide to wait till Dassera and marry on the same mandap being set up for Shivraj and Chanda!

This makes it open season for Kapoor to punch, thump, kick, jump and beat up goons left, right and centre, without one streaked hair out of place! On the upside, at least Sinha and Kapoor share decent chemistry, even if she does look too mature for him (sorry Shahid, the stubble ain’t fooling anyone).

Sundry characters flit in and out as the script goes from drama one minute to comedy the next to action and back to comedy. This does not work at all. So in one scene you have Chanda being belt-whipped by her uncle and before you can absorb the torture she has endured you see the uncle squirming comically as Rajkumar subjects him to the same humiliation.

In this outdated, regressive story that spits out sexism and machismo, eventually you are quite sure that Shivraj and Rajkumar are no longer fighting for Chanda (so what if she has made her choice clear!) but they are fighting to assuage their own stoked male egos.

There are scenes that made me cringe. Like an English tutor who teaches Shivraj the couplet: “You are bull, I am s***, together we are bulls***”. As the song says, ‘gandi baat’. Everything about this film is ganda, and I have not even gotten started on how offended I felt as a woman!

Rating: *