Warning: This post is pure prejudice against what could be a perfectly fine movie that I haven't seen, nor intend to.
I can't put my finger on why Yash Raj Films' animation venture Roadside Romeo feels so wrong, misguided and unthrilling. Perhaps rather than one thing, it's a combination of several small things. Let me try to break it down.
1) The title. I know Hindi films and Tamil films have a tendency to romanticize sexual harrassment of females and I admit I've had a number of uncomfortable moments watching a film where the hero pesters the heroine and I'm just sitting there thinking "Dude, give up, she's not into you!". Roadside romeos are, as I understand it, those guys who lounge about and whistle at and follow pretty girls. The Tamil movie Boys I almost turned off because the boys in it engaged so heavily in this kind of behavior. Basically, the title brings to mind an euphenism for "total creep". Not the best first impression, you know?
2) It's a Bollywood movie ..with dogs! And animated! Because seriously, the promos make it seem like just that. Which would be fine but ..why? The thing about animation is you can do anything, so why stick to Hindi film conventions? And will kids - assumably the target audience - get into this at all, or will it be more something that the parents enjoy? And if only the parents enjoy it, there's no reason to make an animated movie, other than for the sake of having made an animated feature, and that's just lame. Unless you absolutely must make a Bollywood movies starring dogs as it is a life-long dream, which would be ..a little weird to say the least.
3) Laila. If you don't know, this is Kareena's character, the heroine of the film. And yes, a dog. A dog whose floppy ears are made to look like hair. Again, not understanding the need to make a film about dogs but make them extremely human-like in all aspects. Reminds me too much of furryism to be completely innocent, if you know what I mean. The first promo of Laila had her flirting with the director and him getting so excited the lens got fogged up. Um. It's a dog. It's a very female-looking dog, but it's still a dog and getting all hot over a dog is kind of ..I better not say. Laila's second promo had her performing some sort of an item number-esque song in what appeared to be animated Dhoom 2 sets. I know it's probably easier to make an animated dog dance than it is to teach Kareena Kapoor (Laila's voice actress) complicated dance steps but again, I really fail to see the point.
4) What I guess it all boils down .. the concept. The film seems like a Bollywood-reference packed romantic comedy. Animated films don't have to be something only kids enjoy but when the film is about dogs and the style of the animation is very conventional, you'd expect they'd at least make sure kids can understand it and enjoy it next to adults. If you're going to make a film mainly adults enjoy, why go through the trouble of animation? And why make them friggin' dogs if you're going to go out of your way to make them as human as possible?
I'm sure you could see this see as some sort of magnificent breaking ground in Hindi cinema, but I couldn't care less. There's always room for new films that acknowledge and parody the past great Hindi films, but this? A little too weird for me, I think.