Writing a review of a movie that stars Himesh Reshammiya is tough going! And this is because of the sole fact that Himeshâs detractors are as many as his admirers. Writing bad about the movie would be a disgrace to his fans. Writing good about the movie would be a disgrace to his detractors. What should one do in such a case?
Expectations of another movie starring Himesh would probably have been zilch, most probably because of the immensely pathetic excuse of a movie called KARZZZZ directed by a decent director, Satish Kaushik. Whilst one expected something decent from a director of his stature (Tere Naam then), we really didnât get what we expected. Also Aap Ka Suroor was unfortunately a surprise hit only because of the curiosity value associated with Himeshâs acting skills â that also being his debut venture into acting.
But Radioâs promotion being very apt and understated, yet reachable, has already reaped into profits for its whole team â so people would have had something to expect from the movie, also considering that the music of this movie has been fantabulous and enjoyed by both Himesh-admirers (obviously) and his detractors (now thatâs surprising!).
With most of the critics already bashing the movie, and the box-office verdict already out due to the so-called ânegative reportsâ, does the movie really disappoint? Read on to find out...
Radio is about a DJ called RJ Vivaan Shah, who has an exotic lifestyle, but his personal life sends his own life into a tizzy. Recently acquiring divorce from his wife Pooja (Sonal Sehgal) on grounds of incompatibility, his mind is a confused mess and his show spirals downwards. This is when he meets the bubbly cross-breed of a Parsi and a Punjabi, Shananya (Shehnaz Treasurywala), who always loses jobs at the drop of a hat. After a disastrous first meeting they soon become friends and she agrees to help him win his audience back by becoming a âmystery girlâ in his show. But the entry of Pooja back into his life gets his confusion back again. Now with two ladies in his life, both of whom love him dearly, what should he do? Pooja wants him back, and Shananya is ready to sacrifice. Who will win his heart? Will Vivaan get his mind back on track and choose the right person?
The story is simply put, dĂ©jĂ vu. But here, it is the screenplay that gets a completely different finishing touch. The non-linear way of presenting storylines via âchaptersâ (thanks to Tarantino, again?) is actually a brilliant idea. Characterizations are not sketchy, and people are not weird and over the top. People donât cry bawling their eyes out, dialogues are not perfect, and people really donât sing and dance, but yes â they live life normally.
While I was a bit disappointed with Poojaâs characterization, Shananyaâs layered character sketches awed me. Vivaanâs character also was really well written and should be appreciated on that aspect.
After 99, Love Aaj Kal, and Kaminey, Ishan Trivedi has joined the bandwagon and taken a bold stride of presenting a simplistic story in a completely non-linear format â at least in its first hour. While Love Aaj Kal received mixed reactions, and 99 and Kaminey were acclaimed, this one was given an immediate thumbs down due to the extreme bias many critics have toward the movie.The chapters in Radio â though Tarantino-ish â have worked out really well, and each chapter really is actually a discovery of something new in the movie â it is Vivaanâs confused journey and the events that happen around him to desperately make him realize that he needs to come out of his confused rut.
Execution deserves thumbs up simply for the way the events have been consistently arranged. While yet another movie with chapters (well-sort of!) â Whatâs Your Raashee? â was rejected earlier because viewers just keep dumbing down their brains when they go in for a romantic comedy, thinking that all romantic comedies are sweet and sugar-coated and musical with songs and dances. RADIO has also suffered from the same âtunnel visionâ effect of people not wanting to look beyond the âsame old story told in the same old wayâ.
Before we discuss performances, it is very important to see Himesh here with an unbiased view. Oddly, whilst Iâve always wanted Himesh Reshammiya to stop acting in films since Aap Kaa Suroor and Karzzzz (and I really didnât want to go for the movie fearing Himeshâs dastardly performance), I was actually overwhelmed and shocked, precisely, for the simple fact that he could act! What surprised me more was his relative understated acting. Whilst he consistently bawled and shouted in his previous attempts to perform on celluloid, this one really shows that heâs serious about what he does. He has improved leaps and bounds!
Sonal Sehgal is somewhat of a disappointment. While she was actually decent enough on the acting front, the director gave her no other job than crying and looking confused. She did whatever was given to her decently though.
Apart from the whole surprise package that Himesh turned out to be, the other surprise package in this movie is Shehnaz Treasurywala. Her âcomebackâ with Aagey Se Right might not have given her enough scope to further demonstrate her acting skills (though she did really well), this movie has given her enough scope to showcase what she wasnât able to perform even in her debut venture Ishq Vishk. Her emotional outbursts and the way she mouths her dialogues â theyâre all perfectly nuanced and restrained. On a side note, the witty manner in which Ishan Trivedi has actually put her pronunciation mistakes ("bhot" instead of "bahut", which actually means âa lotâ) as one of her habits is clever, and indirectly, if not overtly, shows the family and the culture she lives in.
As far as the supporting cast is concerned, Zakir Hussain is the most useless of the lot. Considering his acting prowess, the director didnât make much use of him â and itâs a shame. Paresh Rawal is also put down, thanks to his overtly flat characterization, but since he was a special appearance anyway, that doesnât make any difference. In fact, his reprisal of the troublemaker Ghanta Singh is hilariously likeable. It is not always that you end up getting underplayed humor like this in the theatres. His mock-serious face was the funniest of the lot â and the best part comes when he actually ends up showing his grinning side at the end of the movie.
Technically the movie was decent, considering the low budget it had to work with. Cinematography was decent, but it was the editing and motion graphics that caught my attention. These two aspects deserve brownie points, as I didnât see any repetition of shots (compared to say Apne which had a lot of irritating and consistently repeated shots). Sound design and background score by Bapi-Tutul are good, but Himeshâs music actually takes away the cake, so much so that their background score has fear of being ignored.
Himeshâs music is brilliant, and really has perfect melody. Subrat Sinhaâs lyrics are beautiful. And considering the movie has a runtime less than 2 hours, all the tracks are well blended, with âTeri Meri Dosti Kaa Aasmanâ, âKoi Na Koi Chaheâ and âJaanemanâ getting decent picturization (with the situation being that they are music videos). Well-edited and well picturized, these songs have an impact. Other songs like âPiya Jaise Ladoo Motichur Waleâ (why was the remix version used?), âRafa Dafaâ, âShaam Ho Chali Haiâ and âDaamaadjiâ are used in bits and pieces in the right situations, and coalesce well into the movie, thus making it a very short musical, and the music very useful to the movie.
Okay now onto some of the things that didnât work too well in the movie. While the radio station and RJ angles got more footage, Poojaâs profession looked unconvincing. She didnât really prove herself to be a choreographer (where is the dance?), and except for some twirls, her profession didnât get much scope. There should also have been more of Jhandu Lal Tyagi. And Paresh Rawal should have looked more comfortable with his role â or probably he should have been given more time to improvise.
Furthermore, the heavily promoted âMann Ka Radioâ didnât get much scope as a video, though itâs samples were overused to the point of becoming really annoying. Case in point â when the equipment of the radio station is shot right at the start of the movie, then all you hear in the background score is the repetition of the three words âMann Ka Radioâ along with some cosmic sound around four times, and by the fourth time, it gets frustrating to the point where the person shouts, âBajne De Zaraa? What the hell?ââŠAnd finally Zakir Hussain. Nothing about him worked, though at times he was able to bring a smile or two at times.
Well thatâs my review. I guess many people will pass off my honest opinion of the movie as just âanother fan reviewâ, but guess what? It might sound ridiculous to you but it's not â itâs my honest opinion of the movie! Very rarely is a movie slotted into the romance genre lesser than 2 hours, and this one is just 1 hour and 57 minutes, which makes the movie relatively fast paced. Also, the slotting of major events into chapters is a very novel concept, which might have been in the Tarantino school of filmmaking for a long time, but never got tried in Bollywood cinema until now. And for a hater of Himeshâs acting, this is the first movie in which I actually got to like his acting. It might not be the best movie in the romance genre, but it certainly slots into the category of one of the better, more underrated movies that should deserve appreciation (but donât really due to mass bias for a single person). I rest my case. You rest yours after watching the movie.