March 11th, 2022
After a gap of 2.5 years and multiple delays, Prabhas' much awaited period love story extravaganza Radhe Shyam is finally hitting the screens today. Starring Pooja Hegde as the female lead Prerna, it's directed by Jil movie fame Radha Krishna Kumar. Jointly produced by UV Creations and T-Series, the film has songs by Justin Prabhakaran and BGM by Thaman, Cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa, Production Design to recreate 1970's Italy by Raveendar, and Editing by the legendary Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao. Can Radhe Shyam give Prabhas the much needed hit post Baahubali? Let's find out in today's review.
Called "The Einstein of Palmistry", Vikramaditya(Prabhas) doesn't believe in love. Eventually he falls in love with Prerna (Pooja Hegde) but fate and science have a different plan for them. Will Vikramaditya be able to predict and save his lady love or will they succumb to the disastrous fate the universe has written for them? Watch the film to find out.
After a screen absence of 2.5 years and a 12 year absence from the pure love story genre in Darling, Prabhas returns in Radhe Shyam and his screen presence keeps you engaged but on the performance front there's nothing to take home here. It's more the charm and charisma that really works similar to his other Lover Boy roles in Darling and Mr. Perfect. It's a well known fact that his looks have taken a huge hit and in Radhe Shyam, it's bearable in some scenes and unbearable in others. All in all, it's a mixed bag for the superstar but if you were gonna see the movie, it's because of him.
Pooja Hegde as Prerna is excellent and delivers her career best performance. She's able to effectively capture and act out the various emotions Prerana experiences to perfection. Her role is also well written. As usual, her incredible screen presence makes the gorgeous frames shine even brighter and her chemistry with Prabhas is superb. Their playful romantic track keeps you entertained despite the sluggish pace and writing.
There are many actors in the movie and only Sachin Khedekar makes somewhat of an impact but his performance is hammed by the characterization or writing. Even the most crucial sequences end up laughable in the end.
One wonders why Bhagyashree, Kunal Roy Kapur, Jagapathi Babu, Sathyan, Murali Sharma, Riddhi Kumar, Jayaram, and everybody else in the cast signed the movie because they deliver probably the worst peformances of their career. They're all so forgettable.
Lastly Sathyaraj, not Krishnam Raju it seems unless they sent two different copies to India and the US is fine as Paramahamsa.
Direction by Radha Krishna Kumar is substandard. The director has waited almost 20 years to make Radhe Shyam and got the biggest opportunity of his life when Prabhas gave him a chance to direct him in a film. And so called Radha "Cameron" has disappointed a lot. The film's writing on paper might sound interesting but the execution is horrendous. The lead characters are written decently to an extent and it helps that both Prabhas and Pooja Hegde have incredible screen presence to bring them to life. But other than them, nobody in the entire film makes an impact. The twists written into the story are good and come at the right intervals but by the end the film becomes convoluted and outrightly silly. The core point of destiny vs fate and the opportunity to maybe change that is interesting , but the film completely loses the point and just becomes a survival tale by the end. The crucial action sequences in the film are comical and defy all logic. There are also so many illogical sequences incorporated throughout and the writing for the hospital scenes especially the comedy was unbearable and troll worthy stuff. He gets the chemistry between the leads right and has good grip on the technical aspects of the film but from a writing and direction standpoint, it's an utter failure and huge disappointment. The screenplay is also insipid and the film has a lot of boring moments and pointless scenes. Even at 138 minutes, Radhe Shyam moves at an extremely sluggish pace and the ridiculous sequences throughout do it no favors.
Songs by Justin Prabhakaran are good but the onscreen picturization is terrible.
Background Score by Thaman S is OUTSTANDING. The star composer who seems to be the go to man these days single handedly elevates so many moments and the score provides unlimited goosebumps at times.
Cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa is WORLD CLASS. The star cinematographer dips this movie in so many gorgeous colors and frames and the grandeur can be felt in each and every frame. Radhe Shyam can be added to the list of most visually stunning movies in film history without a doubt. Just an incredible job from him and he left his mark throughout the film. His work is one of the lifelines of the movie.
Production Design by Raveendar is WORLD CLASS. Raveendar has always been known for his extravagant and incredible sets whether it be the Bharaiva Kona set in Magadheera, Maryada Ramanna house set, Bhagamathie house set, village set in Chatrapathi and many more such films. The work done to recreate 1970's Italy is incredibly done and just absolutely stunning and MASTERFUL to say the least. You won't know what's a set and what's real to be honest. It's that good.
Editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao is awful. As mentioned before, even at 138 minutes Radhe Shyam feels like an eternity. So many scenes cut could have been cut and suffers due to the poor screenplay.
Costume Design is EXCELLENT. Prabhas and Pooja Hegde's costumes are a delight to see.
Action Sequences by Nick Powell are ridiculous. Not a single action block is worthy of even mentioning.
Visual Effects by RC Kamalakannan is a mixed bag. Some sequences it's very good and in others it looks very cheap.
Dialogues by Radha Krishna Kumar and Jay Krishna are subpar. Some dialogues about fate and science are well written but the rest are just awkward with forced English thrown in.
Lyrics by Krishna Kanth are FANTASTIC. Sound Design by Resul Pookutty and Amrit Pritam Dutta is AMAZING. Radhe Shyam technicality wise is outstanding as all the technicians have done their job with the utmost sincertity and professionalism.
Production Values by UV Creations and T Series are STUNNING. Radhe Shyam is one of the most visually stunning movies ever made in Indian Cinema.
+ Pooja Hegde
+ Production Values
+ Thaman's BGM
- Illogical Sequences Aplenty
- Hospital Comedy
Radhe Shyam was initially conceived by the underrated and unique Chandrashekar Yeleti whom director Radhakrishna Kumar joined as an assistant director for back in 2003. Obssesed with films, the director moved to Hyderabad after his college graduation and joined Yeleti. Taking the point, Kumar decided to develop the line into a full fledged script with the core point of fate vs destiny and astrology vs science. This story manifested into Radhe Shyam.
After Jil, the director was given another chance by UV Creations and as fate would have it (non pun intended), the stars aligned and he narrated the story to Prabhas before Baahubali and the star accepted the unique love story.
After 4 years of hard work, struggle, delays, and uncertainty, Radhe Shyam has finally seen the light of day and much like Prabhas's last outing Saaho, it turns out to be a huge disappointment.
The film starts off with an interesting sequence in a temple claiming astrology and science trumps all other predictions in the world. The first half keeps you engaged with its breezy romantic track benefitting immensely from the chemistry of Prabhas and Pooja Hegde. The interval throws a nice twist and sets up the 2nd half nicely.
There's a huge twist that leaves you more confused than wowed in the 2nd half and all of the problems unravel one by one. The shallow writing, poor direction, sluggish pace and overall bad direction are clearly evident and up in your face more than they were in the 1st half. The film is full of illogical sequences such as Prabhas being hit by a bus and casually walking back to a hospital, the hospital comedy scenes, the train disaster aversion attempt, and the climax which defies all logic. Prabhas must be Poseidon reincarnated to have survived that blow.
The chemistry between the leads is well done and offers most of the film's magical moments. Radhe Shyam had all the makings of a classic love story that would be remembered for a long time but it ends up as another disappointing selection for Pan India Superstar Prabhas. It's high time the star introspects and really thinks about the directors he's choosing and working with as they're consistently letting him down every time.
Despite amazing cinematography and production design along with a thumping musical score by Thaman, Radhe Shyam fails to engage.
Overall, Radhe Shyam is a wholly disapponting love saga. Prabhas and Pooja Hegde's best efforts are let down by the illogical writing, boring screenplay, and atrocious direction.
Think of a beautiful painting with no value. It's gorgeous to look at but when deeply analyzed, it's hollow in reality. That aptly sums up the experience of watching Radhe Shyam.