Sharwanand's stardom appears to be dictating his flimsy choices.

Radha Review Same old formula with little to recommendScreenshot/ Youtube
Flix Tollywood Friday, May 12, 2017 - 18:24

Sharwanand rose to fame by picking roles that were neglected by stars. Now, his stardom has probably started dictating his moves. His early eclectic choices were knockouts. His recent films, however, have been flimsy.

The man who confidently wore a Gamyam and a Prasthanam on his shoulders has moved on to wearing Express Raja and Radha.

Chandra Mohan's Radha, in what seems to be a star-vehicle for Sharwanand to out-muscle his contemporaries, seldom works. Had Ram Pothineni starred in this movie, the output would have still remained the same. That’s perhaps the biggest failure of Radha. If a film doesn’t allow its actors to swim to the end of the shore, and if it merely allows them to float along, it doesn’t belong in the Hall of Fame, does it?

In the movie, Sharwanand is named Radha Krishna. And the girl he falls in love with, Lavanya Tripathi, is named Radha. Wait! Wait! There are more names and allegories extracted from the mythological Krishna’s life. Radha Krishna’s sister is Subhadra. Aksha Pardasany’s character, which has been presented as the ‘other’ girl, appears in a song with her nemesis, Radha. Her presence in the film isn’t justified at all. Ah, she’s there because she’s the Rukmini. Her relationship with Radha Krishna is left unexplained. The stabs of jealousy Radha feels due to Rukmini’s closeness with her beloved rounds up Radha Krishna’s personal life (his home, so to speak).

Radha Krishna’s professional life equally gives him room to spout thoughts from the Bhagavad Gita. The numerous references to mythology, even if over-the-top, are indeed hilarious.

Sub-Inspector Radha Krishna is a man who doesn’t let criminals go without making them repent for their mistakes. An honest man is given a bad guy to fight against in a masala film. Will Radha be an exception? Nope. Here, too, there’s a villain who needs to be eliminated. But roping in Ravi Kishan to step into the shoes of an outwardly gentle person who is really a scheming politician is a wasted effort. The audience isn’t ready to buy him as a man with a heart in the first place. A different actor, whose motives wouldn't be guessed so easily by viewers, should have played the antagonist rightfully.

That’s not the only big reveal. The "twists" pop up every now and then, especially in the second hour. However, there’s nothing out of the ordinary. Everybody can smell the red herring from a distance.

The foot-tapping number Choopultho carries lyrics that somewhat convey that Radha is sending mixed signals to Radha Krishna. However, a slip of the tongue by Radha makes it clear that she likes the shlokam-loving police officer. Why then does the song, which comes right after this important scene, have misleading lyrics? Either the placement of the song should have been altered, or a fresh set of lyrics should have been penned.

The film walks unevenly through its run time. It depends too much on humour, romance, and songs for a story which has its mind elsewhere.  

And, somebody please tell Ravi Kishan to learn his lines (for a Telugu film) before he stands in front of the camera. It’s annoying to watch his mouth go in different directions. In no way does it look like he’s saying the real words. It’s like watching a dubbed movie.

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