RK (Rajat Kapoor), a filmmaker who’s not quite hit the bigtime.
But he does have Goel (Manurishi Chadha) ready to produce his next, a love story.
Anybody who’s had a glimpse of how the film industry functions will be amused with the splendidly performed opening scenes of audition shots followed by heroine Neha (Mallika Sherawat) and her orgasmic, “Oh, I love love stories,” before she gives her nod to the script. Producer Goel going into a side huddle with her manager to sort out the financials and Neha, the tantrum throwing old world heroine, are vintage Hindi cinema.
So is the producer who’d like a more commercially viable end than the hero dying and perhaps, less Urdu please. For the common man, he adds.
But RK is stubborn. The retro love story of Gulabo (Mallika Sherawat) and Mahboob (Rajat Kapoor) with KN Singh (Ranvir Shorey) as the gun-toting villain are his creation.
The shoot’s over, it’s a wrap.
Only it isn’t.
The wacky happens. In the editing room, all the footage of Mahboob has vanished. Mahboob has walked out of the film.
A missing person’s report at the police station. Try explaining to the cops that the hero has gone missing. Missing from the negative of the film.
Try explaining it not once but twice over when Ranvir also steps out of the film.
It’s so zany a premise that only if you can go with it can you stay in your seat and humour yourself.
The creator (as in RK who has written the film and its characters) meets his creation (as in Mahboob, the hero of his film).
Mahboob makes himself comfortable in RK’s house. He’s a wiz in the kitchen. Even starts taking orders for his cooking.
The outlandish continues.
Mahboob is RK’s doppelganger, only he has a moustache. RK wears specs, Mahboob doesn’t.
A party with Mahboob and RK and the women excited that there’s a “real fictional character” who makes the most divine biryani.
Mahboob can’t understand why RK says he isn’t real. “You mean I don’t exist?” he asks.
Mahboob can’t understand why his Gulabo is on RK’s computer.
RK wants Mahboob to go back to Gulabo.
Goel wants his film to be released.
Mahboob wants the ending to be changed. “I’m not ready to die.”
Seema to RK: “Why don’t you just change the ending?” RK spouts “artistic integrity”, Seema wonders, “what about fluidity?”
The creator and his creation. Confusion. Chaos. The lines blurring. The wife drawn more to Mahboob than to RK. Even the kids like him.
More blurring as RK steps into the screen to be with Gulabo.
Who’s on screen? Who’s at home?
You can keep guessing and keep asking questions. Like what is Rajat Kapoor’s film about? An alter ego? That there’s a creator above with everybody performing as per His script?
You can look for as much depth as you wish.
Or just watch it for Mallika Sherawat and Ranvir Shorey who have fun hamming it up as they’re expected to. Or for Manurishi whose producer Goel is so last millennium believable. Or for the hat tip to yesteryear villain, KN Singh.
But one thought lingers. Why did Rajat Kapoor wait to give RK/RKAY a theatrical release? Such an offbeat celluloid comment seems better tailored for streaming on an OTT platform.
Watch RK/RKAY Trailer: