'R...Rajkumar' review: R.. for Rubbish, zero star
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Director: Prabhu Dheva
The Indian Express rating: Zero star
'R.. Rajkumar' is the worst film of the year. It has not one redeeming feature. Nothing. Zero.
Shahid Kapoor plays R...Rajkumar. The R.. was meant to be Rambo. The name was axed because of copyright issues. It is now Romeo. It makes no difference. This is a role that will, and should, haunt Shahid Kapoor: it is empty of all sense and sensibility. Shahid Kapoor presents a head full of carefully streaked hair, cultivated stubble, puckered lips, and swinging fists. He mouths crass dialogue. He thrusts his pelvis. His idea of romance is to stalk and harass and bludgeon his girl into submission, and his idea of vengeance is to batter bodies till blood spurts.
His love interest is played by the actor who has done this so many times in her brief career that she may find it hard to remember which set she's on. Chanda (Sonakshi Sinha) submits to her romeo's stalking after pouting and swinging her waist. She shows up in a song called 'Gandi Baat', which happens early in the film, and which turns out to be sorely prophetic: there is not one 'acchi baat' in this atrocity.
'R..Rajkumar's has one friend (Mukul Dev). And two enemies. Nemesis Number One is the muscle-bound Shivraj (Sonu Sood). He plays it in the defunct-Bollywood-thakur mode, beheading innocent gaon-walas, and casting a lascivious eye upon Chanda. Her uncle, also a baddie, is played by an Ashish Vidyarthi, who seems to crawl out of the woodwork strictly for these unsightly parts. R..Rajkumar goes after these two one at a time before the interval; after that, it's open season on broken limbs and spattered gore.
When you are bereft of all ideas, this what comes of it: one fight scene with hapless extras being subjected to all manner of ghastly violence, one song with a line of pelvises ready to meet our face, rinse, repeat. And a background score that is set poundingly to head-busting levels in every single frame.
Prabhu Dheva, with an extra 'h' in his name, has designed a film that gives us everything that Bollywood doesn't need at this point: a setting that has no roots (where is this village, who are these people?), an atmosphere brimming with viciousness, crudity, and misogyny (the lead female part is barter between men), and a hero who stands for nothing.
I was left asking, why was R.. Rajkumar made? It is nothing but blank putrid noise. R.. for Rubbish. Zero star.