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Movie Review: Radio (Hindi) 96

“What did you think you were doing?”, “Are you crazy”, etc. were some of the reactions when I said that I saw Himesh Reshammiya’s ‘Radio’ on the big screen this weekend. While buying the tickets, even the box office staffer said “Go for Paa instead, it’s a good movie”. But, my curiosity to see this composer turned singer turned actor’s indomitable spirit to fight the odds and his detractors led me to sit through this apology of a movie.

Vivaan Shah (Himesh) is a popular RJ on Radio Mirchi who solves romantic tangles and of his callers; but his own life is in a mess following a divorce from Puja (Sonal Sehgal). However, neither accepts it well and harbor feelings for each other. Meanwhile, he runs into a free spirited Shenaya (Shenaaz Treasurywala) which develops into a meaningful bond. Both the women love him, as Vivaan refuses to acknowledge it or believe in love.

It’s well known that Himesh can’t act! Furthermore, he has dumped his hinterland audience to tap urban youth with references to Facebook, coffee conversations and RJ talk. Its tag line “It’s complicated” seems inspired from the relationship choices on Facebook. I could never imagine anybody turning this playful phrase into a whole two hour movie! But, none of the youth stuff is capitalized and bears no effect on the story.

‘Radio’ comes to you in chapters, about 18 of them. While most are poorly scripted, some come with bits of intelligent dialogue sprinkled in between. Old time VJ Shenaaz who’s started to look old now makes a decent effort to be sweet and adorable and is the better one amongst the three leads. Sonal Sehgal’s effort is bearable. However, given Himesh’s constipated expression throughout, there was nothing to save the movie.

The masala in the story includes a weirdly comical Punjabi and Parsi family of Shenaya whose family can never get their dish antenna fixed despite the Punjabi father being a senior cop. Probably Himesh didn’t want his characters to buy dish antennas sold by his mentor Salman’s competitors Shahrukh or Aamir. Paresh Rawal in his cameo as the forever-in-doubt ‘Jhandu Lal Tyagi’ makes a feeble attempt to tickle your funny bone.

To its credit, you don’t feel cheated when you watch ‘Radio’. That’s because you watch it with expectations which are around zero or probably in the negative territory. In the end, you may come back humming a few of its songs ‘Teri Meri Dosti Ka Aasmaan’ or ‘Rafa Dafa’. ‘Mann Ka Radio’ or rather ‘Gham ka Radio’ played repeatedly in the first few minutes makes it feel like a nail being drilled into a head and ‘Damaadji’ is horrendous.

With just 19 people strong audience, that too on the opening weekend speaks for itself. Some of us in there took pleasure in mocking at Himesh in every other scene. So, you know what to expect! Wait, before you think you can write off his filmi career, our Nasal star is all set to strike back again with ‘Kajraare’ later this month, ‘Ishq Unplugged’ in post production for 2010 followed by ‘Mudh Mudh Ke Na Dekkh Mudh Mudh Ke’!

Rating 2/10: Himesh, for God’s sake, stop acting and stick to composing!
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