"Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai", the title of Salman Khan's latest film that premiered on the digital platforms, Zee5 and Zeeplex, on the occasions of Eid on May 13, catches one's fancy. It certainly helps the film generate curiosity as well as positive vibes, a factor that helps a film get an opening response.
Actually, "Radhe" was Salman's screen name in his earlier hit "Tere Naam", and later used in his comeback film "Wanted" (2009), which was a remake of the Telugu film "Pokiri", directed by Puri Jagannadh. The Hindi remake was directed by Prabhu Deva.
Salman Khan has been a versatile actor who established himself with his very second film, "Maine Pyar Kiya", a traditional love story, and he has reigned in comic roles in films from "Andaz Apna Apna" and "Judwa" to "Ready". He has also played a second fiddle to Jackie Shroff in "Bandhan".
Just when Salman's career seemed to be on the crossroads, came "Wanted", which, though an action film, was fun to watch. The film also brought Salman back into reckoning. With the films that followed -- the "Dabangg" series, "Kick", "Ek Tha Tiger" and "Tiger Zinda Hai" etc -- he established himself as the action hero like none other. He kept his career balanced doing films like "Jai Ho" and "Bajrangi Bhaijaan".
Salman Khan and the Eid release slot have gone together. The people and his fans expect a special Salman treat every Eid. Sadly, his recent Eid releases have been disappointing his fans. Films like "Tubelight" (sold for high price, Salman's production house had to compensate the film's distributors for the heavy losses incurred), "Bharat" and "Race 3" did not go well with the audience. There were no films releasing in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown (though "Radhe" was slated for release on Eid 2020). The year 2021 would have been the same, as cinema halls have been closed again due to the ongoing lockdown.
With lockdown showing no signs of coming to an end any time soon, and Salman Khan Productions being ready with a new film, "Radhe", the only alternative was the digital media. Quite a few major star-cast, big budget films have been awaiting release, holding back for the cinema halls to reopen. After all, films costing two to three-crore to make were so far not expected to recover costs nor cover the vast audience base without cinema release.
As for the digital media and the OTT streaming platforms, some were buying films that were lying ready, though none so far boasted of face value, let alone merit to grow gradually. They were the kind of films that would find it tough to get play time in cinemas and, even if they did, would not last a day.