>

‘Radhe’ film review: Salman Khan outdoes himself in his Eid release

Ambica Sachin /Dubai
ambica@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 13, 2021

Bollywood superstar supersizes everything - the action, the drama, the dance moves and the acting in the Prabhu Deva directorial

The hero: Encounter Specialist Radhe (Salman Khan) an amalgamation of the superstar’s flamboyant characters down the years from Wanted to Dabangg 3.

Claim to fame: 97 encounters and 23 transfers in his illustrious police career.

Special Power: Ability to launch himself through solid glass and make a grand entry with shards flying all around but nary a scratch on his buffed up muscular body.

Mission statement: ‘Swachh Bharat’ (Sounds familiar?) To cleanse Mumbai of a deadly drug trafficking mafia headed by Rana (Randeep Hooda with a serious Loki hangover) and his two hysterical tattooed sidekicks.

What does Radhe do? When he’s not single handedly pummeling his way through a swatch of baddies (we counted over 20 in one scene alone), he’s grooving alongside some seriously cool background dancers (don’t forget the movie is helmed by ace choreographer-turned filmmaker Prabhu Deva) or turning on the histrionics with impassioned speeches about saving India’s future generation from the debilitating drug menace.

What role does Disha play? You mean apart from driving around the city in skimpy clothes and looking extremely fetching and filling out some sensational hot pants and indulging in some fancy footwork on the dance floor? She’s an aspiring model with a huge hoarding to her credit for a jewellery brand headed by some dodgy men who also deal in fake passports as a side business.

And Jackie Shroff? ACP Avinash Abhyankar is Diya’s loving brother and Radhe’s superior who fumbles his way through his police station. To be fair he looks pretty dashing in his well cut suits and even manages to score a dance number with the lead hero clad in a satin dress (no doubt the makers’ idea of a fun sequence but a bit disturbing no less)

What about the songs; one hears they are chart busters? Salman Khan can turn the simple act of fiddling with his belt into a hit dance move, so of course the songs accompanying these killer steps have to keep pace. Disha holds her own in Zoom Zoom and Seeti Maar even when saddled with some de rigueur Prabhu Deva moves - hiphop meets quirky steps with some truly noteworthy facial expressions. Jacqueline Fernandez sizzles her way through a melodious Dil De Diya with her 1000watt smile firmly in place.

The best part of Radhe? Has to be Randeep Hooda hands down. Despite being weighed down by some clunky dialogues, a hairstyle better suited to a 70s show, and a Bollywood villain’s trademark black gear, with a fashionable long jacket, camouflage pants and boots (who said drug dealers can’t be stylish?) it’s a testament to his acting chops that he manages to infuse a certain menace to his character. Even while he is relegated to strutting down the streets of Mumbai and conducting his business from ramshackle warehouses, there is a badass swagger you can't help but be taken in by. In short he’s the only real character in an otherwise over-the-top, larger-than-life drama.

So should you watch Radhe? If you are a Salman Khan fan, it’s of course a rhetorical question. And that’s the only reason why you’d go to the theatre to watch Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai, right? The superstar has never looked as good, or seemed as indestructible (he survives a helicopter crash and is in short a desi version of Iron Man and Super Man and all the superheroes you can name put together), or grooved as stylishly as he does in the dance numbers, especially Zoom Zoom and Seeti Maar where he manages to make even the most clumsiest step look cool and aspirational. Fans are no doubt going to want to ‘Seeti Maar’ this one.

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is playing now in UAE theatres

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai

Director: Prabhu Deva

Cast: Salman Khan, Jackie Shroff, Randeep Hooda, Disha Patani

Rating: Strictly for Salman fans

author

Ambica Sachin

Armed with a double masters in English Literature, Ambica Sachin embarked on a career that has seen her straddle teaching, assisting an award-winning author, and reviewing books and movies, before finding her forte in critical writing and interviewing celebrities. She is currently Editor, City Times, the lifestyle and entertainment portal of Khaleej Times.