If only gorgeous, picture postcard locations could make a blockbuster, the Rs 300-plus crore lavished on trips to Italy and Georgia would’ve made Prabhas into a national hero.
After the tepid response to Saaho, Prabhas is in danger of remaining a one-film wonder.
Writer-director Radha Krishna Kumar banks solely on fabulously beautiful locales in Europe and on the imaginary nationwide appeal of Prabhas to spin a romance that’s as cold as a European winter.
Radhe Shyam endorses the fact that Prabhas didn’t power Baahubali, Baahubali powered Prabhas’ career, catapulting him into a mega-star bracket. But before pouring a dizzy ton of rupees into his ventures, filmmakers need to invest in a credible and watchable script. Because Prabhas doesn’t have the star muscle to bring in a nationwide audience.
There’s a lovely buildup of jyotish vigyan (the science of astrology) with Vikramaditya (Prabhas) as the Einstein who never errs in his reading of the future. He’s the man who’d predicted that Indira Gandhi would declare an Emergency (for which he had to banish himself to a luxury mansion in Europe) and had accurately told an aspiring politician that the future foretold not a career in politics but a career in business, as heir of his father’s empire.
So confident is he of his science that he argues with his own master who lands up in Europe only for two scenes. The guru wisely believes that astrology can only be 99 per cent accurate while Aditya adamantly gives a 100 per cent rating to his astrological predictions. Reading his own future (which is kept like some mystery in a diary he writes), Aditya sprinkles “I have no love line” all over the place and so, womanises, sorry, flirts without strings attached. Because he’s a hero, Radha Krishna Kumar coins the word “flirtationship” for relationships without an emotional anchor.
After all that build-up about astrology as a science, Radha Kumar goes on to smash his own ground with two messages: ‘Love conquers all (even astrology)’ and ‘You write your own destiny (never mind what the lines on the palm say)’.
Demolishing a belief in astrology is not the problem. It’s how elaborately and uninterestingly Radha Kumar does it. Which is a pity because the premise held promise and some of the early moments were beautiful. Like Dr Prerna (Pooja Hegde) asking, “Sambhal paoge?” the first time she meets Aditya before leaning out of a train (with a picturesque backdrop, of course) and sparks fly between them. The exchange between them with messages written on vapourised window glass may not be pathbreakingly new but were romantically sweet.
It’s the filmmaker’s attempt at building intrigue before unravelling the reasons behind Prerna’s recklessness and Aditya’s insistence on only “flirtationship” or his daily “death practice” that’s weakly written and executed. With little intrigue value, negligible emotional investment and childish comedy in a hospital, there isn’t any thrilling action either.
Dr Chachu (Sachin Khedekar) makes a small contribution to the medical science versus astrology debate. But please don’t ask what Bhagyashree (as Aditya’s mother) or Kunal Roy Kapur (as the sniffer who can tell exactly what’s lacking in a dish on the table) were doing in the film.
Prabhas should forgo his insistence on speaking his own lines in Hindi and should forget mega budgets. Every mega-budget doesn’t translate into a Baahubali. What he truly needs is an astrologer who’ll pick the right scripts for him.
Also Read: The Kashmir Files Movie Review
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