DCP Shivansh Rathod (Manoj Bajpayee) is called back from his vacations owing to a case where an anonymous killer has murdered and burnt two police officers in Mumbai. Upon keen observation, he deduces that the killer is targeting corrupt police officers only. That’s when he receives a call from the killer who challenges him that more such police officers will be knocked down right under his nose. Rathod accepts his challenge and vows to put him down before he can succeed.
Who is the killer? What’s his real motive? How will Rathod nab him?
Positive Points: –
- Manoj Bajpayee’s performance. He is the only person in the whole film who can make you go through all its nonsenses for 141 tedious minutes.
- Though I’m critical of the overall screenplay, I gotta admit that the movie had some terrific dialogues, a lot of them being powerful and thought-provoking in nature.
Negative Points: –
- The concept, as well as the execution-style of Satyameva Jayate, dates back to the 80s Bollywood. We have definitely come a long long way from that to witness a film like this in 2018.
- Milap Milan Zaveri’s direction and screenplay (minus the dialogues).
- The mass movie kind of action sequences.
- The basic crux of the movie, ie vigilantism, is questionable especially the way it has been shown. It’s time that we start finding more comprehensive solutions to the problems within the system (including corruption) instead of glorifying such over-the-top and improbable concepts.
Direction, Screenplay & Other Technicalities: –
I won’t be wrong if I state that Satyameva Jayate has too many similarities with the masala/mass flicks of the Southern film industries of India. In terms of story, direction, technical execution as well as the basic social message, this film seems like a rip-off or even a pastiche to the latter, and that’s not a good thing at all. Indian cinema has come a long way from what the mass flicks show and to be exact, the 80s saw a lot of such similar vigilante flicks which soon died out with time and for the good. Having said that, it’s difficult to understand as to why director Milap Milan Zaveri even thought of making this film and why did actors like Manoj Bajpayee and John Abraham even agree to work in it!
Zaveri’s screenplay is old and obsolete and adds nothing new to the genre. His direction is not bad but outright pathetic. His lack of insight as a director is exposed evocatively with the film. Some sequences are so ridiculous that you’d be forced to question the sanity of the filmmakers for putting them there in the first place. Flaws and loopholes are too large to be discussed here. Although I appreciate the usage of blood and gore in the right amounts, I feel it was wasted here. The abrupt edits and southern cinematographic style of Maahir Zaveri and Nigan Bomzan (respectively) make the experience even more tepid. The only thing good was probably the recreation of the song Dilbar. I admit that I have been a voracious critic of remixing old songs in Bollywood but this time it was different and all credits for the same go to Tanisk Bagchi’s music and the renditions of Neha Kakkar, Dhvani Bhanushali and Ikka.
Manoj Bajpayee is the lifeline of the movie. He is fiery and delivers a soul-saving performance as he carries the film throughout its runtime. However, it’s important to note that he has been typecasted here for he has performed similar roles in movies such as Special 26, Aiyaari, to name a few.
John Abraham stays stoic for the most part, bare a few emotional scenes where he does excel. Nonetheless, his contribution to the feature is far less than Vajpayee albeit it should have been more.
Aisha Sharma has a blink and a miss kind of presence here. She did pretty well in her first scene but had rarely anything to do thereafter, being reduced merely to an eye candy just like her sister has been throughout her career. If Sharma is any serious for a career in acting, then she should go for better roles where her character has a significant amount of contribution to the story instead of going easy with these commercial flicks.
Amruta Khanvilkar has a lukewarm cameo and given her capabilities as an actor (see her web-series Damaged to witness her talent), I guess she should take up meatier roles in future.
Final Verdict: –
I just wonder how bad Satyameva Jayate would have been if Bajpayee hadn’t played the character of the DCP! The film is trite in almost every aspect of filmmaking and its existence in the present cinemascape, where Indian movies are breaking norms and getting acclaim overseas, is no less than an insult! However, you may like it if you enjoy watching mass Southern films with similar storylines. The only thing one can learn from Satyameva Jayate is that alcohols are inflammable which, I guess, is known to all!