Radhe Shyam Review: All The Hollow Postures Without Substance, Entertainment News
With Prabhas, Pooja Hegde
Written and Directed by Radha Krishna Kumar
Note: * ½
Vikramaditya, our hero in this Tsunami of a Movie, can predict the future. He reads the palm of Mrs. Gandhi (yes LA Mrs. G) with monastic calm and declares that she will soon declare a state of emergency in the country. Onscreen, Mrs. G raises an eyebrow in her bush of bleached hair and asks Vikramaditya, “Do you even know what you’re saying?”
This is exactly the question that often comes to mind when enthralled by the very strange happenings of ‘Radhe Shyam’. Is it a bird or a plane or pain in the lower regions?
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Say say. What does that mean? Can’t hurt superstar Prabhas says it’s a “pure” love story. But sorry, there’s nothing pure about the style in which writer-director Radha Krishna Kumar put together his failed monumental romance, so offbeat it’ll put you off palmistry and all things mistry, including chemistry, palmistry and Amit Mistry for all time to come.
Yes, I’m trying to be facetious. It’s a survival instinct that I use when I’m in deep pain. Like losing a loved one to Covid. Or watching a movie so insufferably important and so ridiculously determined to be intense that the whole effort seems designed to knock down every love trope you’ve ever seen in any “Romeo and Juliet” love movie. to “Love Aaj Kal”.
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By the way, ‘Radhe Shyam’ is not ‘Love Aaj Kal’. It is the love of the 1970s in the mixed imagination of a strange art creator who proposes a marriage of baroque with plastic. The costumes are largely floaty dresses for Pooja Hedge and light polo necks with tight pants for Prabhas accompanied by several accessories like scarf belts, a brooch, antique telephones and fancy tableware that suggest an affluent lifestyle .
Unfortunately, the frames convey a feeling of sterile emptiness, as if the art designer and other technicians had built a life-size dollhouse with Barbie emotions to match. Prabhas and Mrs. Hegde whisper sweet nothings to each other, literally: it’s about posing postures and pretending to be masquerades.
It’s all a masquerade of true love, with fanciful ideas about fate encroaching on the pristine artificiality of what happens like a dollop of homemade honey tossed onto a gooey, gooey mound of chocolate ice cream made in plant. The main cast seem utterly indifferent to each other and with the ersatz intensity and intimacy the storytelling generates like electric logs, with leaping flames that are just for show.
As for supporting roles, some good actors like Sachin Khedekar, Sathyaraj and Jagapathi Babu are reduced to mere caricatures. The hospital where part of the drama takes place feels like a museum in transition where every illness, from hypochondria to cancer, is turned into comic relief.
In the end, only one of the two lovebirds is destined to live. And we really don’t care which one it is.