Before you scroll down to find how many stars or what numerical rating I’ve given this film, let me make it clear that I believe in descriptive reviews rather than a quantitative verdict. Thus, this review of the Gujarati Film “Romeo and Radhika” that I watched yesterday in the premier at Ahmedabad is going to be a long read. You can check few of my past Gujarati Film Review Blogs to know how I review:

The title of the film “Romeo and Radhika” brought up Shakespeare’s well known play “Romeo and Juliet” to my mind. I tried to draw parallels at various instances and I failed, so I had to believe that there is no influence or inspiration from our dearly respected Shakespeare. I then put aside my English Literature glasses and got on the Indian Cinema glasses (or rather the Gujarati Cinema glasses). The film’s summary indicated it to be a romantic film, and that was evident at all possible instances. There were romantic songs, proposal attempts, cheesy romantic dialogues and all those “must haves” in films of this genre. To top it all, the lead Tushar Sadhu’s screen name was Rahul.

Anyways, let us get back to the film. The leads Tushar Sadhu (Rahul a.k.a. Romeo) and Vidhi Parikh (Radhika) are best friends in college. Rahul falls in love with Radhika (didn’t we guess that?), Radhika then creates few complications (yes we guessed this too) which are then overcome by Rahul post which they live happily ever after (we did not really try hard to guess this). I believe that the youth has now moved on from such drags. May be in late 1990’s or early 2000’s this would have interested and excited us all, but in the times of WhatsApp, Facebook and Tinder (though it won’t make you lucky in Gujarat I’ve heard), this is not an exciting script. I would want to re-iterate that a viewer, to some extent, may be attracted to the cinema hall by the marketing and the star-cast, but the film runs by a strong script! A bad story will not do any wonders irrespective of all the 5-star marketing attempts. The film is heck predictable. There are few twists and turns they’ve attempted:

1) Bank fraud to get rich- This was a genuinely good attempt to bring about an interesting twist in the film. However, it could have been built-up more. Rahul and his friends Bhuppi (Hemang Dave) and Sunny (Shyam Nair) could have struggled a bit more before getting that amount, or may be done something else and evoked some interest. I’m not a film writer so cannot tell you what exactly could be done, but I believe this could have been elaborated as the entire film revolves around this.

2) A hooligan sarpanch- This is a stereotype I believe created by several Bollywood movies and has been carried ahead by this film. When the world has been talking about the likes of Chhavi Rajawat, why are we not moving ahead? Anyways, when Radhika is done with her Engineering, she gets back to her village and assumes her family responsibilities (in short and hot pants by the way). There are a lot of clashes with the sarpanch JD (Shahbaz Khan) but there was no rape or molestation attempt (which was a welcomed change).

3) The bank fraud saga- So Rahul and his friends fraud was to claim a fixed deposit of Velji (Raj Premi) and as soon as he comes out of the jail, Velji goes to the bank to claim this fixed deposit. Moreover, he also had the fixed deposit receipt ready with him, wow! Velji sees that the fixed deposit was falsely claimed by Rahul so he takes his picture from the bank records to trace him. Well, if the fraud was to be done, could Rahul not submit a false image? Why did Velji not create a fuss in the bank? Who would not go mad when their life savings (or even a meagre 5 Thousand) is blown away by a trusted bank?

 

Performances:

  • Tushar Sadhu – I have seen him in several short films and every performance has been genuinely nice. Here too, his acting is appreciable and the hard work put in is evident. He makes us live the struggle he is going through in the film. He manages to dance well too. Overall, he successfully holds the audiences’ attention.
  • Vidhi Parikh – She has been successful in putting a brilliant performance. Her diction and expressions go in sync with the scenes and she is certainly going to create ripples with her performances in the films ahead.
  • Hemang Dave – From a negative role in Bas Ek Chance to a humor sensation in this one, he has been successful in engaging the audiences both the times. His performance here keeps you engaged all the time. His comic timing is wonderful and I hope he keeps on experimenting with his roles and not limit to humor.
  • Shyam Nair – A soft spoken character here who could have been shown aggressive for the physique he has. He does not disappoint but does not even create a lasting impact. His dialogue delivery and act was good, but not what you would recollect after the film. May be a more prominent role in his future films will bring out the real actor from within him.
  • Commendable performances from Shahbaz Khan and Raj Premi and they are successful in terrifying the audiences with their looks and aggressive dialogue delivery. There are no visible flaws in their Gujarati, which is seen in Mushtaq Khan (it was evident in Bas Ek Chance as well).
  • At times, there were dialogues in English which were grammatically wrong and pronounced badly. Our state isn’t the best when it comes to conversing in English and we know this. May be, we should avoid English dialogues if we cannot give the best on-screen experience to the viewers (this is just a personal observation and I’m sure many in the audience wouldn’t notice or get bothered by this).

The music in the film is good and I could see the audience humming along while the songs played. Overall, the film has a weak script and quite a long duration. However, the performances wouldn’t disappoint or disengage you. It won’t frustrate you like how Happy New Year and Sultan did. Against Romeo and Radhika, we have “Great Grand Masti” releasing today and I’m sure the former ‘vegeterian & family’ regional film can be given a watch against the latter ‘adult & nonsense’ Bollywood release.

July 15, 2016

Review of the Gujarati Film – Romeo and Radhika

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