Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Sonu Sood
Director: Prabhu Dheva
Rating: One and a half stars
To be fair, one can’t really complain about Prabhu Dheva’s 'R... Rajkumar' because he informs and warns us right at the beginning of this ridiculous and rambunctious journey about where he’s taking us — to narak. His almost-dead protagonist, Romeo Rajkumar (Shahid Kapoor), says as much even as he’s being dragged to a hole in the ground. So if you stay on, it’s really your choice. I had to, but you are a free bird.
The hell hole into which we are dragged is Prabhu Dheva’s own creation — a village set that he calls Dhartipur, the epicentre of afeem trade. Two months ago, the aforementioned Rajkumar arrived on his own two feet in this maut ki basti which is coveted not just by the two resident rival gangs — one led by Parmar (Ashish Vidyarthi) and the other by Shivraj (Sonu Sood) — but also one mehndihaired Indian goonda residing in Hong Kong. The bone of contention is Dhartipur’s afeem ki kheti that burly men with guns and lathis from both sides protect for their bosses. They also hijack loaded trucks and use various ways and means to kill the other.
Anyway, barely has Rajkumar, like a nai-naveli bahu, put his right foot into this moronic inferno that he spots Chanda (Sonakshi Sinha) and decides that she’s the one. But currently she’s in harm’s way. Actually it’s her arm that’s in harm’s way. A bullet is on its way to bruise her rather ample biceps. So Rajkumar dashes and with his bare hand diverts the bullet.
The bullet doesn’t even bruise him. It just changes course, like those bumper cars in kiddie play areas.
But Chanda is no chui-mui as Rajkumar and we learn a little later. She’s capable of breaking bottles on silly heads without much help or provocation.
Rajkumar, who has an unkempt look and a reluctantly-vertical demeanour, as if woken up and dragged in midsleep, now goes dizzy and starts to drool and babble every time he sees Chanda. She’s just irritated.
So he must stay on and pursue her. And since he’s here and is a rowdy, he starts working for Shivraj. After he knocks off some of Parmar’s men, Shivraj makes him Minion No. 1, and Chanda eventually just tires of his stalking and herogiri and relents.
But soon after, a wet and pious Chanda bobs up in front of Shivraj. He falls for her and the film settles into a perfectly predictable love triangle.
Shivraj wants Chanda but Chanda wants Rajkumar and Rajkumar may be short and pudgy and not look like he’s really paying attention, or even cares, but he cares. Deeply. Because, you see, there are only two things in his life — pyaar, pyaar, pyaar or maar, maar, maar. So he throws a challenge at Shivraj as only heroes in Bollywood do — tera mandap, meri shaadi.
This is where this atrocity should have ended. By law. My post-interval experience is dizzy. I felt like the spinning target in a knife-throwing act.
'R... Rajkumar' is stretched, dragged and pulled in all sorts of irrelevant directions just so it covers the remainder time.
Prabhu Dheva’s films are infantile fantasies that seek to gratify the fragile male ego and libido. Any further analysis of this imbecility would be a waste of time.
For Shahid, this stuttering film is probably a talisman, a remedy to ward off box-office evil eye. But given the reaction of the tiger tattoo on his wrist, I’m not so sure. As reels progress and the film plummets, the tiger starts fading away, as if it could possibly be more bored than us. Lucky bloody tiger tattoo....