Movie Review: Satyameva Jayate

We all have seen corruption and apathy in the government and police force etc. from close quarters at some point in our lives. Most of the times, we have not protested and merely given up since the thought of taking on the system is just too much. But imagine if you could teach these corrupt officials a lesson. Milap Milan Zaveri’s SATYAMEVA JAYATE promises you to get into that space and give you a kick in seeing baddies facing a crushing defeat from an aam aadmi, as evident from the trailers. So does SATYAMEVA JAYATE turn out to be as action-packed, massy and satisfying as expected? Or does it fail? Let’s analyse.

SATYAMEVA JAYATE is the story of a vigilante on a killing spree for a personal reason. Veer (John Abraham) is an acclaimed artist who has taken up a mission to kill corrupt cops. His first target is Sadashiv Patil (Abhishek Khandekar). He sets him on fire alive and then sends his ashes to his police station in Santacruz, Mumbai. In no time, he bumps off Inspector Irrfan Qadri (Shaikh Sami Usman) from Andheri Police Station in the same manner. DCP Shivansh Rathod (Manoj Bajpayee) is given the charge of this case by the Commissioner (Manish Chaudhary). Veer meanwhile meets Shikha (Aisha Sharma) at a beach clean-up drive and both fall for each other. Meanwhile, Veer challenges Shivansh to stop him from killing his next target. Shivansh fails and Veer manages to eliminate Inspector Damle (Ganesh Yadav) of Thane Police Station. Shivansh is shaken by Veer’s audacity and his fearlessness and he goes on an overdrive in trying to know who his next target would be. Finally, Shivansh cracks the modus operandi of Veer. Shivansh realizes that Inspector Bhonsle (Rajesh Khera) from Yari Road police station is the next one in line. Shivansh lays a trap and is all set to catch Veer. What happens next forms the rest of the film.

Milap Milan Zaveri’s story is simplistic, massy and something that the masses would applaud. Milap Milan Zaveri’s screenplay is also on the same lines but it gets repetitive. There’s no novelty value left after a point with regards to the killing of the cops. Also it’s a bit flawed. For instance, Veer giving all the clues through his painting was a bit too convenient. The climax is a bit confusing especially actions of Shikha. Milap Milan Zaveri’s dialogues however are completely paisa vasool and would be greeted with seetis and taalis!

Milap Milan Zaveri’s direction reminds one of the 90s action dramas. Although it works in most parts, at some places the film begins to give a dated feel. In the second half, he could have executed the killing sequences differently as that would have enhanced interest. Moreover, the film gets a bit stretched towards the finale and perhaps, he could have avoided this aspect too.

SATYAMEVA JAYATE begins with a dhamaka and the excitement keeps going. The entry of DCP Shivansh in the narrative adds to the fun. Veer’s first ever call to Shivansh is quite a dramatic sequence. The manner in which the three cops are eliminated are also quite interesting and viewers would surely root for these sequences. But the best sequence of the first half is the ‘namaaz’ sequence. Single screen audiences would go crazy at this point. The intermission point comes as a bolt from the blue. Post-intermission, the hospital sequence stands out. But then the film drops as it becomes too overdramatic and repetitive. Even the finale would be received with mixed reactions.

John Abraham delivers a fabulous, nuanced performance. John is known for his action avatar majorly and his role in SATYAMEVA JAYATE is definitely the best as compared to other such flicks of recent times like FORCE 2, ROCKY HANDSOME and DISHOOM. Watch out for the way he dons a cunning act in the hospital sequence. Manoj Bajpayee provides able support and enhances impact in some scenes. His confrontation with Veer at various points is too good. Aisha Sharma makes a confident debut but sadly doesn’t have much to do in the film. Amruta Khanvilkar (Sarita) is completely wasted and that’s unfortunate considering that she just gave a memorable performance in RAAZI. Manish Chaudhary is fine but hams a lot in the climax. Rajesh Khera leaves the maximum impact out of the police officers. Ganesh Yadav comes next. Abhishek Khandekar, Shaikh Sami Usman and Ankur Sharma (Inspector Mohan Shrivastav) are okay. Chetan Pandit (Inspector Shiv Rathod) leaves a mark. Archita Agarwal (Muslim girl harassed by cop) has a good screen presence. Nora Fatehi looks and dances like a dream and is quite sizzling.

The songs don’t have much purpose in the film. ‘Dilbar’ is the best of the lot and this chartbuster is very well picturised. ‘Paniyon Sa’ doesn’t register an impact while ‘Tajdar-E-Haram’ is relegated to the background. Sanjoy Chowdhury’s background score is dramatic and exhilarating.

Nigam Bomzan’s cinematography is decent while Priya Suhas’ production design is a bit poor but works well for this film as it’s based in a realistic setting. Amin Khatib and Ravi Verma’s action is the highpoint of the film. It’s not too gory but at the same time feels quite raw and real. Maahir Zaveri’s editing should have been crisper.

On the whole, SATYAMEVA JAYATE is a powerful and gripping drama that leaves an impact as it resonates with the problems of the common man. It is sure to work big time in the single screens where the various scenes are bound to induce claps and whistles. This one is for the masses!

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