Call it old fashioned, regressive or escapist but the fact remains that R... Rajkumar is not really a gandi baat but instead an entertaining affair that has quite a few episodes that remain etched in your memory long after the film is through.
'Episodes', because (and this may sound like stretching the tale too far) just like Manmohan Desai brand of madness in movies, even R... Rajkumar is a film that is made entirely of episodes that last for 8-10 minutes each and make sure that there is some or the other 'item' in the offering. So what one gets to see is an 'item action', 'item comedy', 'item song', 'item dialogue-baazi' and 'item everything', hence resulting in a full-on-pace affair that is made of 12-13 key sequences that fill in this two hour long affair.
There is a stream of story too that makes sure that all the fillers eventually fit in well together. So Shahid Kapoor works for Sonu Sood, fights it out with his arch rival Aashish Vidyarthi, falls in love with his niece, takes panga with his boss and eventually emerges victorious. Simple as it may sound, the fact remains that the craft lies in ensuring good entertainment quotient even in his thin stream and in that perspective, Prabhudheva gets it right once again.
So right from Shahid's entry into the scene with a fight sequence to 'getting into the good books of Sonu' act to the song 'Gandi Baat' to the constant wooing (stalking?) of Sonakshi Sinha to a couple of fight sequences that follow to a international drug mafia angle (Srihari) to the twist in the tale leading to a volatile interval point, everything keeps the pace of R... Rajkumar so high that you don't get a moment to look elsewhere. In fact the film starts with a bang and except for a few minutes in the interim period where the stalking gets a little too discomforting, you step into the second half with good hopes.
Thankfully, R... Rajkumar doesn't suffer from the loose second half syndrome and maintains a pace right through the hour that follows. Oh yes, you do miss a chartbuster song like Saree Ke Fall Sa or Gandi Baat but then the background score based on these songs as well as the sound of Pyaar Pyaar Pyaar...Maar Maar Maar (courtesy Sandeep Chowta) that plays in the background keeps the energy going. Unfortunately Dhokha Dhadi comes as an interruption while Kaddu Katega is a poor cousin of Aa Re Pritam Pyaar [Rowdy Rathore] but then you are still willing to ignore that due to drama, action and comedy.
(Spoilers ahead) So what one gets to see are some funny sequences involving Aashish Vidyarthi getting all beaten up to Sonu being taken for a ride at a saree store to him learning English to the temple sequence to a couple of rounds of challenge-throwing between the protagonist and antagonist. Moreover, there is some drama in store too with Sonakshi offering herself to Sonu provided he proves his mettle.
However the best is reserved for the climax where Shahid rises like a phoenix after being beaten to the pulp. Though Aamir Khan had played this part to perfection in Vikram Bhatt's Ghulam a decade and a half ago, many films in the past have tried to recreate the sequence. From then till now, it is only R... Rajkumar that actually manages to bring on similar euphoria as the extended climax has many clap trap moments that should keep the target audience occupied. Shahid rises, falls, rises, falls and then rises again to come up with a fight of a lifetime that brings R... Rajkumar to a 'paisa vasool' end.
As had been the case with Manmohan Desai films, the most rudimentary factor for any actor is to allow a director to call the shots in entirety and go by his vision. This is what works perfectly well in R... Rajkumar as Shahid goes by the flow and comes up with one of his best acts in a really long time. Keeping his chocolate boy image aside, he comes with his lazy dialogue delivery and casual persona that goes with the character. In fact never once is his shortcoming from physique perspective is hidden and it is utterly convincing to see him still fight it out with the bad guys, given the core requirement of a Hindi film hero.
Sonu gets yet another meaty role in his career and given the superb form he is in for last few years, he enjoys a part which is more or less parallel to that of Shahid. With ample screen time to his credit, Sonu alternates between playing a tough, nice and funny guy, hence showcasing once again that he has it in him to survive in the industry despite for long. As for Sonakshi, she has limited part to begin with but brings in some good momentum in the second half, courtesy a much lengthier screen part. Mukul Dev as Shahid's friend has limited screen time while (Late) Srihari doesn't impress. Asrani does well.
Prabhudheva definitely knows his job well. After kick-starting the trend of 'masala' movies with Wanted, he is at it again with R... Rajkumar. He ends up presenting a dish that is spicy as well as satiating in good measures, hence proving once again that when it comes to enticing the masses, he has it in him to get it right each time around.