Cinema | Movie Review: Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai
Salman and the Secret of a Comfortable Shoe
The veteran actor’s Radhe offers an escape in these stressful times
14 May, 2021
It is like an old, well-loved shoe, one that is slightly scuffed but you don’t have the heart to turn it out. Think of Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai and it reminds you of that. The shabby comfort of something well-loved which you may be slightly embarrassed by, but it’s too late because you’ve already started watching the movie, and started humming the ridiculously addictive ‘Seeti Maar’ and laughing at all the old jokes.
Yes, we know all the counter-arguments. Disha Patani, his beautiful co-star, was not born when Salman made his cinematic debut. The belt dance has only a slight variation this time. The villain is bigger than him—a Salman must-have so that he looks even more powerful. The humour is juvenile or improvised or both. And the objectification of the female lead faces tough competition from a sexualised Salman.
Yet, with the doom and gloom around us, the escape he affords is welcome. This is Salman, redone for a younger generation, with something old and something new. There is a new don in town who is out to destroy the youth of Mumbai with his drugs and Salman will have none of that in his Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. ‘I will clean this city,’ he says throughout the film in his familiar Mumbai-meets-Manhattan drawl, even as he retreads lines from his 2009 hit Wanted. This is Salman urging young people to use social media for a good cause and prevent their friends from falling prey to drugs. This is Salman counselling a young woman police officer to lose her fears: ‘Darr ke peeche lapko aur use bhagayo.’ And this is Salman having his cheek pinched by a young woman and being told: cute boy.
There are no fancy labels, no shiny locations (only grungy, closed textile mills) and no swanky cars. There is only Salman, doing a shirt-strip for the camera, one moveable pectoral muscle at a time. And his women friends—one, Jacqueline Fernandes, does a strange version of Indian dance in the song ‘Dil De Diya’, and another, Julia Vantur, sings most of them.
Salman promised his fans that he would release the film on Eid, and indeed, the first scene is an allusion to that, when he wishes everyone Eid Mubarak. The film has been released on Zee channels as pay-per-view and in theatres, wherever they are open. It doesn’t diminish his stardom. It’s time his contemporaries learnt from him and decide to release their movies in innovative ways rather than sit on them till audiences lose interest. Salman has an opinion on this too. As a photographer says in the movie: if you don’t get a chance to be on the big screen, there’s always OTT, and if even that doesn’t work, there is Bigg Boss.
Want a bit of escapism? Watch Radhe, measure the bags under Salman’s eyes, roll your eyes at Jackie Shroff’s attempt at comedy (which includes wearing a short dress) and admire Disha Patani’s ability to move on the dancefloor. Go on, have a bit of fun.
About The Author
Kaveree Bamzai is an author and a contributing writer with Open
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