There are mixed reviews of the long-awaited film which sees ‘Baahubali’ star back on the big screen
By Mamie Colfox
IN ONE OF THE MOST eagerly anticipated releases of the year, ‘Radhe Shyam’ and its global star Prabhas seem to have divided critics and some fans – perhaps predictably so.
Released on Friday (March 11) and directed by Radha Krishna Kumar, the period drama is set in 1970s Europe, and stars ‘Baahubali’ actor Prabhas as Vikramaditya, a palm reader who falls in love with doctor Prerna (Pooja Hedge). With completely different belief systems, their love defies the odds, and the film brought in Rs 151 Crore (£15m) at the worldwide box office over the weekend.
Kumar first had the idea for the film 15 years ago, and tweeted “Thank u all for the tremendous response. We made the movie with love and your pouring your love back. It’s not the reviews it’s the result which matters.”
Production house UV Creations also tweeted: “A phenomenal response for #RadheShyam on the big screen with 151Cr gross in 3 days worldwide”.
Fans took to social media to confess their love for the film, with one fan writing a rave review: “Just finished watching #RadheShaym what a movie Kudos to dir
@director_radhaa for giving Hollywood level movie. I hope all the Indian directors will learn from this movie like how to make Hollywood range movies. Great acting by
However, not all comments were positive. Indian Express critic Shubhra Gupta certainly did not hold back in her one-star review of the film: “All this unpeeling of the unknown refuses to give us the biggest reveal. Why did Prabhas, coasting on his macho action hero image, agree to play a role in which he has to mouth such lines as, ‘I am not a relationship type, I am a flirtationship type’. Who knows? My head is buried in my palm.”
Monika Rawal Kukreja from the Hindustan Times claims it follows the romantic cliches that Indian cinema is tired of, as well as having undeveloped characters: “Prabhas and Pooja’s characters arcs needed a lot more depth and nuances. Even after 140 minutes, we know nothing about Aditya’s backstory, his rise to fame as a palmist or his family dynamics.”
Filmed in Italy and Georgia, there was general agreement on the stunning visuals and cinematography (by Manoj Paramahamsa), with one fan saying: “It’s not a movie, it’s poetry. Just fall in love with the visuals. With a stellar performance from Prabhas. @hegdepooja looked and acted perfectly! #Prabhas and Pooja pair superb”.
Prabhas has a huge fan following both inside India and outside – when he and the other stars of the film, Anushka Shetty and Rana Duggabati came to London for the live orchestral music screening of the film at the Royal Albert Hall along with writer-director SS Rajamouli and composer M Keeravaani, there were fans from Japan and parts of South East Asia who had come to see their hero.
Radhe Shyam is out in cinemas now (in the UK and elsewhere)