Monday, 6 June 2011

Bol Radha Bol

Directed by: David Dhawan
Starring: Rishi Kapoor, Juhi Chawla, Kader Khan, Shakti Kapoor, Alo Nath, Mohnish Behl
Released: 1992
Verdict: destroy every copy – horrible – bad – whatever – flawed but enjoyable - good – great – amazing

The Kapoor Khazana month is on the track and it gives me a perfect excuse to put up several reviews I have been too lazy to write so far. Let this be the first one then!

I would like to make it clear that I do not hate Rishi Kapoor. I really don´t, even though you can (and will) see me making fun of him most of the time. I find him hilarious to watch and there is something about him that I just cannot take seriously, even if he´s playing emotional scenes and serious roles. Sorry, Rishi-ji. But in this you opted for a role of a romantic lover AND a rocking super-talented musician.
Juhi. Something easy on the eyes first.
Rishi, hidden in the film under the name of Kishen Malhotra, is a grown-up man with the mind of a teenager (why Rishi, why?). All he does all day long is fantasizing about his Radha, aka some girl who´ll return his love. There seem to be no special requirements for the girl, as he throws himself on every single one. And if none is in sight, he recites his pick up lines to his dog. After making an enemy in one of his collegues (the dog discovered he steals from Kishen´s company.) he sets up happily to open a factory in the country, that has been closed down for years, an obviously all the workers had to wait till he comes and tell them to repair everything (sometimes the villagers are so dumb, nah?). Not surprisingly Rishi finds his Radha among them – the beautiful Juhi Chawla, who obviously thinks his wardrobe full of those famous knitted sweaters is cute. Some singing and several English lessons bear their fruit and we have a romance blooming. But as soon as the factory is set up and Radha agrees to marry Kishen, he has to return home to inform his mother about everything. He only arrives there to find out his mother died. And not only that. He finds out somebody else is pretending to be him!
There are TWO of them? Somebody save me...
How is it possible? The impostor looks exactly the same! Kishen is thus thrown out of the house, only to be left wondering, who is the other one and what in the world is happening! While trying to figure that out, Radha is dying of longing for her lover, and in the end she decides to travel to the city herself. After coming to Kishen´s house, she finds his double drinking and being merry with girls. Thankfully a bit later she bumps into the real Kishen. Together they are searching for the truth, find out the real identity of the impostor. And then they work out the plan of how to outsmart him.

Bol Radha Bol is a decent flick, during which I had several really good laughs, some of them definitely not for the right reasons. As you might have already noticed, I found Rishi being ridiculous in his role (yet again). There is no doubt he is a very good actor with a likeable factor, but well, his looks and choice of roles betrayed him. He was in the „cursed“ state for an actor during this time – too old to be romancing young girls and too young to play their father. His pairing with Juhi hence doesn´t look convincing, though they do not look as bad together as Rishi/Madhuri or the example worst of them all Rishi/Divya Bharti. Rishi doesn´t look good neither as an immature good guy Kishen, nor as a drunken imposter playing saxophone. He does master the double role brilliantly for sure, but did not make me believe him a single word.
"Oh no! When I think that impostor is wearing my coolest sweaters right now!"
Juhi on the other hand was as perfect as one could wish. As a simple village belle with feisty nature she was just lovely to look at, and even after getting a sexy make-over in the second part there was still beautiful innocence to her. Her comic timing was spot on as always. Her real partner in terms of comedy was none other then Shakti Kapoor in one of his completely insane over-the-top roles, doing things, faces and sounds nobody else could ever pull off, unless making everyone think he has just escaped the mental asylum. Another one given supposedly comic scenes was Kader Khan, sadly he fails to impress and his part in the film doesn´t make sense at all. I have to note that this is possibly the first film that has ever presented me with evil Alokh Nath!
As perverse as it may sound, these two are the best thing about the film.
One scene which I found nearly unwatchable was when Rishi´s real dog (cause even it has a double!) finally finds its Master and Rishi beats it up, thinking the dog betrayed him earlier. After realizing his mistake, Rishi encourages the dog to fight its double. Seeing the two dogs biting each other did not give me any pleasure or satisfaction, and Juhi cheering during all that made it even more wrong (remind me of Darr, when she was screaming „Kill him, kill him“ from the top of her lungs, while Sunny Deol beated the heck out of Shahrukh Khan. That too was wrong, even if for another reason :) ).

Music doesn´t make the film stand out either, in fact the song in the club, after Rishi discovers his double´s identity, is pretty much awful – which covers everything from melody, lyrics, costumes and choreography. The title song is lovely, giving us a pleasant glimpse of lovely Juhi in traditional Indian attire, but is not ground-breaking either.

In the end I know there are other films out there, which do make Juhi even lovelier and funnier, which make Alokh Nath a good human being, which make club scenes rocking, which make Rishi Kapoor less ridiculous. 
"What does RIDICULOUS mean?"


  1. All I remember about this film is the song which went like "Bol Radha Bol Radha Bol!" I was never keen on Rishi Kapoor as a lead - his ugly sweaters and big hair put me off. Plus he is too chubby to convince the audience he is a dashing hero who could save the girl (on a Hero Honda of course).

    Nice review - I must get round to reviewing a golden oldie sometime soon!

    Gaja, what do you think of my Teesra Tagline feature -

    I posted it some time back but I don't think anyone read it, and I'm not sure whether to spend time creating another one.

  2. Funny review, and this is one of the films I'll stay far away from... I don't like Rishi Kapoor since that Koffee-with-Karan-issue. He's okay as an actor, but there are better ones.
    Juhi is always fun, though.

  3. funny review indded, i like the tu tu tu tu tarah song, its such an earworm

  4. "Oh no! When I think that impostor is wearing my coolest sweaters right now!"


    (And I say that as someone who loves both Rishi AND his sweaters...)

  5. Awwww. I am Rishi Kapoor fangirl number 1, but I do understand how watching his 90s films can really turn one off - you're exactly right, he was too old to be a romantic hero and too young to be a dad (which is kind of where guys like Anil Kapoor and Sanjay Dutt are now -- and I know the fan brigade will kill me for this, but all the Khans are quickly getting there!). You might change your mind about Rishi if you see his films from the late 70s and early 80s - he was adorable, bright, fresh, energetic and simply charming.

    And UGH that Tu Tu Tu Tara song KILLS me because it's a copy of a FABULOUS Tamil song by composer Ilaiyaraja for the Rajnikanth/Mani Ratnam film Thalapathi 'Rakamma Kai Thattu' ... the original is a Tamil CLASSIC and they totally bastardized it. But BollywoodDeewana is totally right, it's a damn earworm.

    I will give Rishi this though - he went pretty seamlessly from hero to Dad roles didn't he? I mean, it doesn't seem like there was much of a break? I think he started dad roles around 2000 and he played a hero (though with waning success) until '97 or '98 I think.

    And I definitely recommend his recent film Do Dooni Char - he's acted brilliantly in it!

  6. Juhi is such a cute in this film! I feel the same about Rishi most of the time, I don't hate him I just don't particularly want him all over my TV screen :P

  7. Thank you all for lovely words!

    Amaluu - I have seen Rishi in Karz, where he was quite young, but even back then I thought his chubbiness and dance moves made him utterly hilarious. In fact I LOVE him in father roles, he was great in Fanaa and Patiala House.