Free Press Journal

Movie Review – Tevar: Same old Romeo & Juliet retread


Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha,

Director: Amit Ravindranath Sharma

Fanning the flames of creative mediocrity, ‘Tevar’ dons the mantle of one-man army (a.k.a. Rambo, Terminator) with a self-aggrandized Salman Khan flourish. So you can well imagine what that kind of a ‘mixed’ hybrid can do to your senses.

Well, for the Hindi cinema viewing audience that might suffice as an explanation but seeing this is a remake of a south-side production- Mahesh Babu’s Telugu super-hit ‘Okkadu,’ you understand that even the so called Salman Khan flourish is much of an artificially branded one created from a recent spate of south-side hit remakes top-lining the Khan bhai.

‘Tevar’ though is pretty much specific about the Bhai’s traits. It wears that Salman Khan attitude on its sleeve and ‘brand-ishes’ it with super nonchalance from time to time. And who better than Arjun Kapoor to don the mantle of the superhero Bhai. Never mind that his moniker is the innocuous sounding Pintoo which supposedly hides an even more preposterous sounding official one.

From the opening sequence, it’s quite clear that Pintoo thinks of himself as a Rambo, Terminator and Salman rolled in one. His long suffering cop father Shukla (Raj Babbar) tries hard to meld his fatherly anxiety to a son-love by offering mild reprimands and frequent bouquets of concern while the doting mother (Deepti Naval) does the dotty trick, overindulging and unseeing of his errant ways. The sister (the most interesting and exuberant character of the lot) is the only one who sees him as he is yet is mercurial enough to love him and get him to do her bidding.

As traditional stereotypes go, the son is scared shit of his father and knows he can run rings around his mom. Yet he doesn’t hesitate to get into minor and major scuffles all in the name of being righteous. One such scuffle, just before half-time leads him to a damsel, danseuse Radhika (a de-glamed Sonakshi) who has had the misfortune of having caught the fancy of the local politician goon Bahubali Gajendra Singh Sharma (Manoj Bajpayee) and exhorts his brother, the reigning Home Minister of the state, UP, to do the needful in ensuring their alliance.

Enroute to that goal, her TV news reporter brother is murdered in broad daylight and Radhika, perennially pursued by Gajendra and his henchmen finds her savior in an unwitting Pintoo. There’s nowhere else to go but a suitable climax designed to showcase the triumph of the righteous against the lawless. It’s all achingly familiar Romeo & Juliet territory covered in a desi masalafied daredevilry with the regular song and dance numbers spliced-in with Machiavellian panache.

The story, screenplay and dialogues credited to Director Amit Sharma, Shantanu Shrivastav and the original’s Gunashekar have some interesting lively moments with bursts of rambunctious energy coming through intermittently thanks to Arjun Kapoor’s burly screen presence. Debut director Amit Sharma at least gets it right there. That the ensuing threadbare plotting has nothing new to showcase, is neither here nor there. Star homage and obvious brand placements are an integral part of the parcel.

Sajid-Wajid’s music, much like the film, is a little confused – stuck as it is between being wannabe and measuring up to ‘hit’ expectations. The cinematography by Laxman Utekar is by far the most pleasurable aspect of the movie. His camera works up far more enchantment in the visuals than befits the enterprise.

Manoj Bajpayee and Raj Babbar provide striking moments of heft with their masterly performances while Rajesh Sharma, Deepti Naval and the actress who plays the sister pitch in with brief overlays of sublimity. Sonakshi and Arjun are basically retreading the roles they have been enacting ever since they entered the industry- and it’s become quite boring. This ‘Tevar’ might wear the right attitude but the content and intent are both suspects!