Film: 'Radio'; Cast: Himesh Reshammiya, Shenaz Treasuryvala, Sonal Sehgal; Director: Ishaan Trivedi; Rating: **
'Radio' starts off in a way similar to 'Love Aaj Kal', just like the Saif Ali Khan-Deepika Padukone film began with a break up, 'Radio' has a divorce starting the proceedings. To the credit of director Ishaan Trivedi, Himesh Reshammiya and a couple of well integrated songs as part of the background score, 'Radio' manages to impress in the first 30 minutes.
The way scenes unfold is indeed different. The unique narrative keeps one reasonably engrossed in the proceedings. But once the conflict in RJ Himesh's personal life is established with two women (ex-wife Sonal Sehgal and co-RJ Shenaz Treasuryvala) adding to the confusion, the movie starts meandering.
The writer's intent about showing past love coming back in the protagonist's life is understandable but somehow the final outcome isn't engrossing enough.
Yes, the songs are soothing but they are so many and come in quick succession that they tend to become distracting after a while. Moreover, the proceedings cease to be gripping enough with the drama fast losing its sheen.
The silver lining here are the performances. Himesh shows improvement over his 'Aap Kaa Surroor' and 'Karzzzz' days and comes up with a natural act for most part of the film. Enacting emotional scenes is his forte, as evidenced in his countless music videos, and this is on full display in 'Radio' as well. Watch out for the sensitive moments that he shares with both the women.
Shenaz as well as Sonal fit into their parts quite well. In fact they not just look good but also stay within their characters to come up with an act that is definitely better than expected from people who have just started off. Yes, they do become part of a couple of inexplicable and embarrassing scenes like the one where they start breaking the plates in a restaurant. Or the one where Shenaz dresses up as a clown. But leaving such aberrations aside, they do show sparks.
One can't fathom though the need to have Paresh Rawal in the narrative. He is completely isolated from the storyline and fails to give a final punch in the finale. Paresh Rawal's role seems to be a case of a last moment addition in the script. As a prank caller hired by the radio station, his jokes fall flat. And he doesn't share a frame with any other actor even once.
The second half of the film doesn't quite stand strong on it's feet. A scene or two do bring in an emotional touch to the story but beyond that 'Radio' doesn't quite get the right tuning on. In the end, what remains with audiences is a good soundtrack and performances.
One can clearly sense that Himesh has made a sincere effort to stand tall as a leading man in a non-masala film like 'Radio'. He cannot be written off yet and has it in him to do more movies provided he gets a better platform.