Everything about Radhe Shyam is such a boring waste of time that you can't decide whether to doze off or scratch your head and hope to make some sense of what the film is trying to tell you, sighs Divya Nair.
Radhe Shyam is intended to be a period romantic drama set in the 1970s and 1980s.
The film's Hindi version opens to a grand narration by Amitabh Bachchan about how this is going to a war between love and destiny.
Satya Raj is introduced as Paramahansa, a visually impaired guru who is well versed with palmistry. A bunch of scientists visit him to enquire about his protégé Vikramaditya (Prabhas), who we are told is the 'Einstein of Palmistry' and the 'Nostradamus of India'.
They engage in small talk over science and astrology, eventually emphasising the notion that palmistry aka destiny is greater than science.
Meanwhile, after a meeting with India's lady prime minister where Vikramaditya predicts the possibility of an Emergency (which obviously turns true), he escapes the country to avoid fame and attention.
Each time he travels to a different country, he ends up romancing (sorry, enters into a 'flirtationship' with) a new lady, because we are told he has 'no love line.' He spends five years in exile trying to conceal his identity from the world, but his fame precedes him.
In Rome, Vikramaditya bumps into Dr Prerana (a glamorous Pooja Hegde) and woos her with no intention to marry or settle down. A couple of song and dance sequences later, while they are travelling together, Prerana discovers that Vikramaditya is a renowned palmist and requests him to spell out her future.
When Vikramaditya confidently tells her that she will live a long life and fulfil her dreams, Prerana and her family question his credibility and test his skills.
Once he proves his detractors wrong, Vikramaditya invites Prerana to his home for dinner during which she accidentally pockets his personal diary.
Around the same time, guru Paramahansa also learns of Vikramaditya's destiny which the latter says he had accepted long ago. But his guru insists that no science is 100% perfect and that 1% people in the universe fight all odds to write their own future.
For some strange reason, both lovers play the ultimate game of death in an attempt to cheat their destinies.
Everything about Radhe Shyam is such a boring waste of time that you can't decide whether to doze off or scratch your head and hope to make some sense of what this film is trying to tell you.
Is it about palmistry? No.
Is it about love? I wish it was!
Is this inspired from true events? We can't say for sure.
Then what is it about? I hope the director knew what he wanted and focussed on just that. But instead he takes us on a joyride with two actors who have absolutely zero chemistry and puts in some zabardasti action sequences so our hero can save the world, save himself and his damsel in distress.
Why did Prabhas agree to this debacle?
I don't know if it's just me, but whoever dubbed for Prabhas in Hindi was clearly woken up from his sleep or maybe delivered his dialogues from bed. Zero passion, Nil emotion.
Except for the action sequences which Prabhas masters, the star looks disinterested and unappealing in the romantic scenes.
Pooja Hegde looks fantastic in every frame and delivers even the silliest of scenes with grace.
Radhe Shyam is visually stunning. The song sequences are shot beautifully, but that's about it. There is nothing about this film or the characters that I'd remember.