Star cast: Emraan Hashmi, Humaima Malick, Paresh Rawal
Director: Kunal Deshmukh
What’s Good: Paresh Rawal
What’s Bad: A lazy script and Humaima Malick who overacts to the limit of irritating.
Loo break: Beyond the reach of mental maths.
Watch or Not?: Raja Natwarlal is in plain words a very boring film. I won’t sugarcoat and say it, I won’t be diplomatic but this is one of recent times’ most sleep incurring films. Films are bad or good. This one is not merely bad but exhausting to sit through. With Emraan Hashmi sleepwalking through his role and Kay Kay Menon reduced to a fool in the film. This is one of Menon’s most uninteresting character and given the midas touch of his acting, here’s one of those rare films even he couldn’t turn around. I wasn’t expecting too much but the little I was looking forward to was too much to ask for it seems.
Raja (Emraan) is a small time conman who lives to con and to splurge on Ziya (Humaima) who is the love of his life and a bar dancer. Life goes hunky dory for them until they try their hand at the long game and rob someone of 80 lac rupees. Soon after, Raja’s foster brother and partner in crime (Deepak Tijori) is killed by Vardha Yadav (Kay Kay Menon) the rightful owner of that money. He is a billionaire who doesn’t allow a single penny to go missing. To seek revenge Raja needs training and goes all the way to Dharamshala to seek out Yogi (Paresh Rawal) a conman of great repute who will teach and train Raja to become a Natwarlal.
Raja Natwarlal Review: Script Analysis
The pros of this genre is there is only room for the intelligent and the inventive. The rest might try to hard to fit in but the genre defies them. The script with the film is plagued with loopy writing. It’s an ordinary script that divulges almost nothing to the audiences. The big plan of bringing down a man worth millions is something the film at no point lays out for its audiences. It’s done to easily, too conviniently sans any freshness. It offends me how lightly the story is taken. There is no thrill, no conviction and no brilliance in the story which strives to attain even mediocrity.
The romantic track works as a distraction more than a part of the story. It seems frequently that when the plotline begins going haywire, the writers fit in a song out of blue or a needless love moment. It is too gimmicky and lame for most part. I wasn’t expecting a palpable romance or chemistry but romance works as a prop in this film. It doesn’t serve any other function besides this.
While the con process which would have made for the most delicious was tackled very amateurishly, the David versus Goliath story is a fake put up in the film. Vardha Yadav is someone who knows cricket with miraculous detailing and is an enthusiast bordering on obsession for the game, his repute doesn’t favor him enough to have him invest in a team of his own. While the character seems extremely meaty on paper, the film scrambles apart in its first hour itself. What follows is unbearable drudgery and excruciating pain of boredom and stupidity which my work mandatorily puts me through. Thank God, audiences have the choice of missing it.
Raja Natwarlal Review: Star Performances
Emraan Hashmi is a brilliant actor but he isn’t investing his best shot in this film. He seemed restrained, delivering dialogues without much zest in most part. He seemed very tutored in many scenes and the romance that is an easy job otherwise seemed efforted and underwhelming this time.
Humaima Malik was brilliant in Bol but the lady seemed still stuck in her screaming, shrieking avatar from that film. She doesn’t even near powerful, dances without enthusiasm and acts minus soul.
Paresh Rawal is probably the film’s sole saving grace. The actor is memorable till the last despite doing almost nothing throughout.
Kay Kay Menon is an actor wasted in the film. While the potential of the actor comes across only in a scene or two towards the end, for most part his nuanced acting is not appropriately used in the film.
I would also like the mention Md Zeeshan Ayub who crackled through Raanjhanaa but in this film the actor barely mutters a single dialogue. It is beyond me why he took up such a gratuitous role for himself.
Raja Natwarlal Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Kunal Deshmukh makes watchable films. He isn’t Won Kar-wei but the films he makes are both engrossing and interesting. But this isn’t any shockingly. The film is low on intelligence, has several loopholes, logic flies off the window too soon in the narrative and mostly the con thrill is absent from the film. His actors are great with memorable chemistry but the film is anything but watchable. It is a shoddily edited, disappointing work from a filmmaker who has reduced his potential to cater too much to the commercial audiences. Filmmakers don’t have the faith anymore that good content has the power to draw audiences. Bollywood trappings do not necessarily ensure a coherent tale and this is a very bad example of the same.
The film’s rhythm is very uneven. Every time the tempo rises with Paresh and Emraan plotting, KD unnecessarily cuts it with a romantic scene. Infact the romance is a misfit in this film. Not only in terms of the chemistry between Emraan and Humaima, the film tries to tick all boxes and ends up mastering none.
Raja Natwarlal Review: The Last Word
Raja Natwarlal dropped way below what was expected of it. Besides Paresh Rawal, no one even attempts to revive the failed film. In a film when Emraan’s smooches too fail to light up the screen, there isn’t much matter to draw audiences. This con show is one bore show and you wouldn’t miss much if you don’t catch this film. I am going with a 1/5. Not everything can be called cinema.
Raja Natwarlal Trailer
Raja Natwarlal releases on 29th August, 2014.
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