A few minutes into “R Rajkumar,” and I double checked the time and date. Are we really in 2013, because with every frame and dialogues experiencing a roid rage of their own, I felt the ghosts of the eighties hovering over me.
Here’s a hero – Romeo (Shahid Kapur), who believes in only two things: “maar, maar, maar ya phir, pyaar, pyaar, pyaar.” As dysfunctional as it sounds, our boy is a man of extreme emotional expression and is seen indulging in either gravity defying stunts, kicking and boxing the hell outta baddies or cornering and stalking his girl into submission, all the while calling her a lollipop, watching her change clothes and relishing her abuses and thappis (thappad and puppy). As Chanda, Sonakshi Sinha slips into yet another monotonously disappointing gaon ki gori role, and is tossed around as a piece of furniture between her villain of a chacha (Ashish Vidyarthi) and a violent Thakur Shivraj (Sonu Sood), who is hell bent on marrying her, and sharing the how-I-will-squeeze-you-on-your-first-night with her. Standing between them is her Romeo, the superhero who rises from the dead to – no guesses – beat the crap out of everyone. Who is he, why is he, what is the whole point of this face off beats me. Seriously – of all the decent scripts, stories, creative stuff doing the rounds in an industry embracing experimentation – is this the best a director of Prabhu Dheva’s stature can come up with? Is this what Shahid Kapur and Sonakshi Sinha, even an actor of Sonu Sood’s caliber want to be remembered by?
“R Rajkumar” is one of those Hindi films custom made for single screen lower stall folks, who cheer and clap when their hero knocks the daylights out of a 100 goondas in one blow, and when their heroine flashes in a ghaghra choli, plays the damsel in distress and dances around her hero. “Himmatwala,” “Rowdy Rathore,” “Bullett Raja,” “Singh Saab the Great” – The 1980s have come back to haunt and taunt the Hindi cinema. And I’d like to say only one thing to directors who are playing the devil’s advocate: silent hoja, varna main (audience) violent ho jaonga