Raja Rani Raji review: Regressive romantic comedy that is irritating to watch

Release Date: 23 Mar 2018

Cinestaan Rating

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Roushni Sarkar

The sole bright spot is provided by character actor Parthasarathi Chakraborty. His presence at least makes the film tolerable.

Films such as Raja Rani Raji owe a great deal to character artistes who are exceptionally talented but do not get roles that allow them to exhibit their prowess. In that sense, director Rajib Kumar Biswas made at least one good decision to cast Parthasarathi Chakraborty in this romantic comedy, which offers nothing beyond a clichéd storyline filled with loopholes and nonsensical dialogues and sequences.

Quite apart from its predictability, the content of the film is regressive at certain points. Raja (Bonny Sengupta) is a good-for-nothing fellow who repeatedly fails at the college examination and spends his days idling at a salon run by his friend Gobinda (Chakraborty). Throughout the film, he does not go through much change. Thankfully, he does not suddenly get transformed into a sensible being either.

On the day of his final examination, Raja suddenly comes across his classmate Isha (Rittika Sen) and almost falls in love with her at first sight. One wonders how he had managed to not see his classmate till that day, despite spending so many years at the college. It is again hard to comprehend how a student who does not have any idea of the English language and fails to understand the meaning of the word ‘pardon’ gets into college in the first place.

Raja’s attempts at wooing Isha, under Gobinda’s guidance, are not even unintentionally hilarious. They are just plain irritating. One fails to understand whether the director intentionally conceived of Raja as a dumb fellow or he just turned out that way.

In the beginning, Isha does not appear to be more than a mere prop with her meaningless dialogues. The studious Isha, who initially loathes Raja, suddenly starts finding him interesting when her elder sister gets married to Raja’s elder brother.

Surprisingly, in the entire film, there is hardly any communication between Isha and her sister. Raja goes through his first reality check when he asks for Isha’s hand in marriage from her elder sister, who is now his sister-in-law. She tells him that no one, not even Raja himself, would like to get his or her sister married to a fellow like him, who has no aspiration in life nor any source of income.

Raja still doesn’t think he needs to change. He leaves home, throwing a challenge to his family that he will prove them wrong in six months.

Throughout the film, Isha’s character seems to be quite superficial and conflicted. First she refuses to talk to Raja, though she is not an introvert, nor does she directly scorn him; then, upon receiving Raja’s proposal for marriage, she asks him to consult her father.

Despite knowing that Raja is incompetent, she asks for his forgiveness for prompting him to leave home in a fit of anger and sets out to help him by arranging a loan for some unknown purpose from the bank her father works in. Later, when she is almost convinced of Raja’s worthlessness, she suddenly asks him to marry her and promises to take over his responsibilities!

The second half of the film centres on Raja and Gobinda’s pursuit to find a reliable source of income to accumulate enough money within six months so that both Raja's and his sister’s marriage can be arranged. Gobinda’s presence is the single factor that makes this part of the film bearable, as it is replete with a series of unnecessary subplots and buffoonery that is uncalled for. Though Raja does not become a responsible fellow as the film progresses, his compassionate inclination towards a noble cause seems justified.

Parthasarathi Chakraborty steals the show entirely. His spontaneity and funny caricatures overshadow the flawed script by Abhimanyu Mukherjee. He cannot help but appear brilliant on screen.

Supriya Dutta is another actor who shines as the rather harmless villain. Bonny Sengupta somehow merges into his character with his happy-go-lucky attitude. Rittika Sen at times seems too frigid and amateur in her performance.

The guest appearance by Yash Dasgupta is again a pointless addition in the film. Perhaps the director featured him for the sake of an animated and hilarious action sequence which amounts to nothing. MD Piyasuddin’s editing is often out of context. The special effects do not add anything to the storyline either.

The elaborate and exotic song sequences seem like a waste of money. The songs 'Boroloker Biti Lo', 'Kholakhuli Bolte Gele' and 'Jodi Raji Hos', composed by Dev Sen, are average.

The progress of the film is discordant and Raja Rani Raji has the most predictable ending. However, the absence of a sentimental push or any kind of idealization helps the director to retain a certain amount of honesty throughout the otherwise trashy film.