In one excruciatingly long scene of R Rajkumar, Sonu Sood sits with a bunch of his gunda cronies and jovially sings ‘I am your Bull. You are my shit. Together we are Bullshit’.
Never before in the history of Hindi cinema has a film so astutely relayed its intentions from the makers of the film to the viewers. Which is why I need to emulate a song from R Rajkumar to elucidate its overall quality: Gandi film, Gandi gandi gandi gandi gandi film.
Directed by Prabhudheva, R Rajkumar secures the honor of justifying the fact that Bollywood can be full of surprises – just when you think you’ve seen the most annoying film of the year, up pops an even more mind shreddingly irritating one. This movie also earns the prestigious honor of being the only mainstream film of the year that I’ve walked out of (and I’ve sat through Grown Ups 2).
Every limitation of any movie can be forgiven if it makes you laugh. R Rajkumar has only one such moment, when you realize that Bollywood is attempting to make money by trying to make 90’s Telugu movies. At all other times the film is a thoroughly laugh-free, idiotic, juvenile, maddening, moronic, outdated gulag of guano that galls and irritates with every passing second of its interminable stream of pig swill pretending to be humor. The movie was originally called Rambo Rajkumar, and I believe Stallone enforced a ban on the name not because of copyright infringement but because he didn't want Rambo to be associated with something so knowingly wretched.
Here's what happened - a couple of years ago when Rowdy Rathore hit 100 crores a producer realized 'Holy crap! What a magician Prabhudheva is! Someone get him to make another Simbly South style film, hire a fledgling actor and get it done asap! We have a December weekend to exploit!' This theory explains why the plot of the R Rajkumar is reminiscent of 80's Bollywood and 90's Telugu cinema, and that's a huge slap in the face to film buffs. Here's all you need to know about the story - hero joins villain's gang as henchman, both hero and villain like the same girl, hero will do anything to save the girl. That's it. And that was the plot of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobara as well, and the girl in that movie was also Sonakshi Sinha.
The trio of actors involved are: Shahid Kapoor, who we know has better cinema sensibility than this (hint: Kaminey), Sonakshi Sinha who looks like she is extremely grateful for any acting gig that she can get, and Sonu Sood who is both completely devoid of comedic talent and utterly uninterested in anything happening on the set. The love-lust triangle between the three is crass and asinine and utterly unbecoming of a film releasing in 2013. You can't even credit Prabhudheva for trying to evoke ancient mysoginist desi B-cinema because instead of parodying the genre he actually takes it seriously. After two hours of this junk you feel like leaping into the screen and do to the filmmaker what Lisbeth Salander did to her lawyer.
The saddest part of all this is Asrani, who at his age and experience, is handed cringe inducing pathetic lines, and made to tear his clothes and stand in his undies for 'comedy'. His performance here is the absolute zenith of career humiliation, and is used to complement the donkey carnival show of shameless, unfunny and obsolete skits on 'massy hero vs villain'. You also get choice lines like 'mere mooh mat lagna, mai sehed ke liye haanikaarak hoon', along with a barrage of 'comedic' sound cues. If this is what you want to see in a movie, call me. I have a couch at home. We'll talk about your life, your priorities, your cerebral harmony and what is best for you as a modern civilized human being. I can help. I promise.
(First published in Firstpost)