Review: Salman Khan’s ‘Radhe’ Is Loud, Senseless & Offensive

·4-min read

When the heroine tries to speak, the hero smiles and puts a tape over her mouth. He then proceeds to peck her on her taped lips and a love song follows. Salman Khan films generally have the IQ level of an orange, but the ignominy caused by watching Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is another matter.

God knows that we all need something to distract ourselves from the pain and sadness all around. Radhe, one would have wished, would alleviate the distress but it does everything in its capacity to elevate our suffering.

Radhe is a loud, senseless and offensive film that has little regard for women, the police force and the audience‘s intelligence in general.

One does not expect much sense from a Salman film, but this kind of “nonsense" sure has its best before date and its well past it.

A Salman Khan film usually means a big screen experience, where his entry is carefully choreographed so that bhai bhakts can cheer and clap for their hero. The scenario, of course, is different this time. We must compromise and watch him in yet another larger-than-life avatar on our laptop or TV screens.

Salman Khan in <i>Radhe</i>.
Salman Khan in Radhe.

Said to be a remake of the Korean film The Outlaws, AC Mugil’s screenplay weaves a tale where every character exists to simply allow Radhe (Salman Khan) to flex his muscles and feed into his megalomania. Mumbai is a mess and the only one who can clean it is Radhe. In what appears like a “high level meeting “ with senior officials and bureaucrats, one person shouts “we need a specialist”. The saviour is one with a rather inglorious achievement to his credit - 97 encounters and 23 transfers in 10 years. “Revoke his suspension” another person screams, and we have a slo-mo walk by the man himself . Radhe either saunters with swag or crashes through windows of highrises. He truly lives in extremes.

Since Radhe stands for all things good, the “bad” comes in the form of Randeep Hooda. He plays Rana, a drug lord new to Mumbai but determined to make it big in the city. Unkempt long hair and black clothes, it’s painful to see an actor of Hooda’s caliber reduced to just another cliche. Credit goes to Prabhu Deva for making even decent actors ham their way through Radhe. For the sake of Jackie Shroff let’s pretend he was never a part of this debacle.

Salman Khan and Disha Patani in <i>Radhe</i>.
Salman Khan and Disha Patani in Radhe.

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The segue crashes are jarring and the film's messaging even more so. When asked why he shot dead so many men, Radhe replies “auratzaat ke liye (for the women)”. It's another thing that the 'protector' of aurat and their izzat thinks nothing about lying to a women he falls for in pehli nazar and goes on to manipulate her. Disha Patani as the featherhead Diya seems to be at ease though. Like many women in Salman‘s films, she has little or no agency. The songs are jarring and you would almost miss Jacqueline Fernandez gyrating suggestively in one of the dance numbers. A female police officer is shown visibly shivering when faced with criminals and needs Radhe's saviour complex to be able to breathe. The few other women are either raped or molested and are almost always crying and pleading. All this to show that had Radhe been around they would have been saved.

Salman Khan does everything - from repeating his most popular dialogue “Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di”, which clearly has lost its novelty, to going shirtless. Radhe is frustratingly tone deaf to how it promotes police brutality and the almost suffocating toxic masculinity that is sprayed on like a cheap deodorant. Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is nothing but a cringefest.

Our rating: Half a Quint out of 5!

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