Salman Khan's Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is a hot mess

Salman Khan's Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is a hot mess

If it's 'inspired' by Korean movie The Outlaws as they say, the Indian producers should pay back three times over for defamation.
26 May, 2021

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai — we’ll just call it Radhe — starts off with a confession: on-screen text tells us the film is inspired by the South Korean film The Outlaws (2017).

“Inspired” may the last word in one’s mind when they see Radhe. In fact, if this is an official remake of The Outlaws (I don’t know what “inspired” really means), then the Indian producers ought to pay back three times over for defamation.

Radhe, probably a continuation of Salman Khan’s hit Wanted (2009), is mostly a bargain-basement hack-job of The Outlaws. A gang of three dangerous ruffians — one of them the usually dependable Randeep Hooda, playing a long-haired, ex-mob enforcer named Rana — ride into Mumbai to smash the hand off a runaway debtor.

The three men see Mumbai through the eyes of any other small-town hopeful: for them it’s a land of growth and opportunity. Since being evil is their natural calling, they promptly take over two rival gangs who were just scared into peaceful terms by the newly re-appointed power-cop Radhe (Khan) — a man so blindingly fast that his entry in the film is a literal blur.

Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is a hot mess

In his big entry, Radhe spurts past a ruffian standing in a 20th-floor room of building by smashing through the glass, grabbing a shard in his mouth, spitting it in the direction of the oblivious chump, and slightly slitting a part of his cheek.

The ruffian only realises the cut once a drop of blood falls on his phone. Radhe, meanwhile, has taken care of the rest of the gang members by bashing them in a would-be cool, improbable action sequence (forget the laws of physics and common sense, how can a man do long fisticuffs with people scattered all over the room at the same time — he ain’t no Flash).

Radhe, however, never exhibits this speed and agility again. His (and Salman’s) main weapons are the scowls and the growls that keep people in check. With his eyes in perpetual slits, he could be a stand-in for Eastwood…only, he’s not… by a long shot.

Radhe’s newly assigned boss (Jackie Shroff) is a buffoon and, as if by luck — and cliched screenwriting — the hero falls for the boss’s little sister, Diya (the scantily-clad Disha Patani), who is mostly a poster-girl for songs, and a few dumb but laughable jokes.

“If I had a sister, I would name her Na-Diya,” Radhe quips after seeing her for the first time — and he has good reason for it. The girl just can’t stand the heat; her attire is mostly short shorts and flimsy tops with drooping necklines, and she has a few, probably, hastily written, daft lines of dialogues (Patani can’t act, so I guess that’s for the better).

While Radhe wastes his screen time, Rana takes over the turf with his two men. The two gangs, mostly loveable criminals, are no match. As Rana pushes drugs into school districts, he faces Radhe and the police a number of times, but flees easily when things get too hot.

Hot might be the right word too, because Radhe is a hot mess.

Badly cinematographed, colour-graded with eye-stabbing contrast levels, and choppy, at times amateurish, edits, the film sets the quality control bar so low that bad Pakistani filmmakers might just say: hey, maybe we can do this! To them, I say: Sir, don’t you dare.

Despite a few comedic jabs here and there, Radhe is not a film one should look up to.

Khan, Shroff and Patani need to go back to film school, or at the least get acting coaches. They’re simultaneously relaxed and unmotivated when acting in either serious or comedic scenes (well, at least they’re consistent in what they’re doing). Prabhu Deva, the returning director from Wanted and Dabangg 3, is just as sloppy. Even his choreography is stilted.

In comparison, The Outlaws feels like a fresh, kinetic, tonally-adjusted film with the right balance of emotions. When Ma Dong-seok (Train to Busan) — the character Radhe stands-in for — barters a deal between gangs, or stops petty criminals in Seoul’s Chinatown, you immediately feel that he has a connection with the people, and even the streets. The actor, brilliant in his deliberately constricted performance (because that’s who the character is), doesn’t need to spell things out. The scenes, and how they’re handled, do that for us.

The outlaws (Yoon Kye-sang, whose screen-variation Hooda plays), are desperate and dangerous, because that’s what criminals are. Also, no one needs wire-works for action sequences in the South Korean film… or badly composited helicopters (Red Chilies VFX, what are you doing?!).

Technically, they’re the same film, often beat by beat. The Indian one is a slipshod, bungled discredit to a far better original. Not only does Radhe sully The Outlaws’ name, it also nearly kills one’s love for Wanted.

Released on Zee5, Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai is rated U/A — audiences cautioned. Salman Khan is as bad as the film.

Originally published in Dawn, ICON, May 23rd, 2021


Aamir May 26, 2021 11:10am
Cent percent in agreement. Literally, had to take Tylenol after the movie.
Kris May 26, 2021 11:40am
That was a brutal review! All these 55+ erstwhile heroes should exit the industry forthwith, or adapt to new roles like Amitabh Bachan did.
Fastrack May 26, 2021 01:00pm
Le E-mad: Bollywood is way ahead of Hollywood.
Changez Khan May 26, 2021 01:38pm
Salman should retire from the film industry, he is wasting time and money of the audiences. This film will be another bust.
M Syed May 26, 2021 01:48pm
Good article on Radhe movie
Rebirth May 26, 2021 02:17pm
I wonder if they would've hated the movie just as much, had the lead actors been Sunny Deol and Honey Singh, instead of Khan and Shroff? They wouldn't dare to call Leone "scantily clad", either. Has anyone ever mocked Sunny Deol for making such over-the-top movies? Ironically, when they need to engage in bigamy, they find no other umbrella than ours. Yet, they don't hate anyone but us. Imagine if Kashmiris hoisted the flag of their nation-state on Republic Day. Fortunately, the vast majority of the Muslim Punjabis knew that had they stuck with the unionist narrative, they wouldn't have been 2nd class citizens, they would've been third class citizens. Things for India's minority today, have deteriorated to such a degree that unlike the days of the Sacchar Committee report, they aren't even considered citizens anymore. There's still time for Sallu, like Alyy Khan, to make the move. Bring the Saleem-Javed tribe with him. They're probably not in India anyway because of the pandemic.
Sam May 26, 2021 03:36pm
HAHHAHAH 100% agreed
Hddhj May 26, 2021 04:20pm
@Rebirth That means Muslim minority Salman Khans movie is a dudd. Waooow what a great thinking
Chrís Dăn May 26, 2021 08:09pm
I have never missed any movie or show of Salman Khan. An impressive hero indeed.
Misbah May 27, 2021 03:09am
Muslim Salman Khan couldnt so better in this movie. If it was Akshay it would have been far better
Kiwi May 27, 2021 06:30pm
One bad film and w have critics
Memon Abdul May 28, 2021 01:34pm's sometimes a money laundering project...and I have nothing against that... remember Dilwale?