Satyamev Jayate review: Too much masala spoils the broth

A killer goes about cremating corrupt cops — pouring ghee, reciting mantras and lighting their pyres while they are still alive and kicking. Why is he doing it? The most incorruptible officer DCP Shivansh Rathod (Manoj Bajpayee) is quickly pressed into action and given charge of the mission to nab the “good” goon. But it takes more than two hours of film time to manage that. The murderer goes about his task blithely while the cops remain as inefficient as they have always been in Hindi cinema, even when it comes to protecting their own tribe.

There is plenty of gratuitous violence, twists and turns and a big reveal right at the interval that would have worked terrifically in an Abbas Mustan thriller. Here it only confounds the confusion. There is lots of talk of tiranga and desh and soldiers and citizens, “56 inch ka jigra” and an odd jibe at demonetisation. And dialogue like “Kachre ko insaaf nahin milta, kachra sirf saaf hota hai” (Garbage doesn’t get justice, it only gets mopped clean), “Biryani mein kankad nahin, kankad mein biryani hai” (now please don’t ask me to translate this gem). Lots of human bodies get doused in kerosene and lit with matchsticks, bullets fly. In between all this there is a frenzied, bloody and gory Muharram sequence, token Muslim acknowledgment and a lascivious gaze is cast at Nora Fatehi in an item number as she dances to ‘Dilbar dilbar’ remix. There is no room left for logic and emotion, sense and sensibility. All you can do is laugh at the unintentional hilarity that is the film.

John Abraham shows off his muscles, flares his nostrils, rips open a tyre quite like Sunny Deol had uprooted the handpump in Gadar. All the while, remaining steadfastly poker-faced when it comes to sporting an expression. Bajpayee looks lost in the film, rather the film is lost on him. Director Milap Zaveri dishes out the same old vigilante justice cinema that we grew up watching in the 80s with a special doff of the hat to the classic Deewar (1975). But his added tadkas can’t hide the essential staleness of the concoction. Satyameva Jayate is death by over pungent masalas.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2021 5:19:41 PM |

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