Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai
Writers: Vijay Maurya, A.C. Mugil
Cinematography: Ayananka Bose
Cast: Salman Khan, Disha Patani, Randeep Hooda, Jackie Shroff
Streaming on: Zee5, ZeePlex
However patchy, Wanted (2009) was a thoroughly entertaining film. Prabhudheva made his Hindi feature debut as a director by remaking his Telugu film Pokkiri. After Wanted, Salman Khan has seldom seen a flop. Wanted followed by Dabangg (2011) started yet another trend of cop movies in Bollywood. Akshay Kumar came up with Rowdy Rathore whereas Ajay Devgn’s Singham became a cult of its own. Both actors are now part of a cop movie universe created by Rohit Shetty.
Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is an unnecessary film added to the cult of Salman Khan. The elitists or cinema purists may criticize the actor for his acting abilities but there’s an inherent charisma that Salman possesses. It’s a different kind of movie magic. Of course, some of his performances are grossly underrated – Hum Aapke Hain Koun, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Tere Naam, Jaan-e-mann, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Sultan.
Didn’t watch Radhe to try and find something to ridicule. But it was served on a platter scene by scene. To begin with there’s a sequence where the auto rickshaw drivers have gone on strike. The film’s heroine Diya (Disha Patani) gives Radhe (Salman Khan) a lift to his home. When Radhe is dropped at Galaxy Apartments – Salman’s real home, you can see the auto rickshaws moving swiftly carrying passengers. At least this much continuity should have been looked after, no?
After this gem, you only wish to at least enjoy the cult of Salman done gracefully. But that isn’t the case. The writing by A.C. Mugil and Vijay Maurya (his last release was Gully Boy, still baffled) is sheer lazy. The superstar also appears to be there without an ounce of enthusiasm in his performance. Disha Patani as his love interest is cast in an uninteresting and unnecessary part. Jackie Shroff is the only actor having fun in the film. Shroff appeared nude for most of OK Computer (on Disney+ Hotstar) and in crazy outfits in Hello Charlie (on Amazon Prime Video). Here, he appears in a strappy dress dancing with Salman (as imagined by Radhe – don’t ask). His wardrobe completes a full circle of life.
Also read: The Disciple review: Simply Magical!
Randeep Hooda plays the villain Rana. Khan and Hooda have acted twice together before – Kick (2014) and Sultan (2016) and they play well off each other. In fact, Salman often enhances his performance when teamed with a fine actor – Nawazuddin Siddiqui (Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Kick), Sunil Grover (Bharat), Ranvir Shorey (Ek Tha Tiger). In Radhe, Salman and Randeep don’t have much to do.
The sloppy screenplay, unimaginative dialogue, unimpressive music, loud and poorly executed VFX action just add to the incoherence of the film. There’s also product placement for Being Human bicycles and realme phones. The senior police officers just sit in a conference room and rave about Radhe’s valor. The junior police officers look like kids in kindergarten – amused by a magician aka Radhe; because he can do anything. Wanted was gripping, brutal, funny, romantic packaged well. Radhe has neither of this to offer. The only two positives from the film are Ayananka Bose’s cinematography and production design by Durgaprasad Mahapatra.
Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai trailer:
Prabhudheva butchered the flamboyant and delightful Chulbul Pandey in a tiring Dabangg 3 and here he has done the same to Radhe. Won’t be surprised if there’s no next film in either of the franchises. Look forward to Tiger 3 and whenever/if Khan collaborates again with the likes of Ali Abbas Zafar or Kabir Khan. There’s always scope for good content to meet superstardom.