Tevar: Between rustic and rusty

A scene from "Tevar"  

He has been in the industry for a couple of years but Arjun Kapoor makes an entry into the big league this week with a masala entertainer that is trying to be rooted. As he introduces himself as “Superman, Salman ka fan”, we get to know the larger-than-life territory he is getting into. In debutant director Amit Sharma he has the helmsman who guides his explosive attitude in the right direction — what they call ‘complete package’ in commercial cinema.

An adaptation of Telugu hit Okkadu, Amit translates the earthy mood of the original in the virgin territory of Agra and Mathura, last seen with some flair in J.P. Dutta’s Yateem. With the characters wearing their caste identities on their chest, he takes away the touristy side of the Taj Mahal and Yamuna belt and presents the monuments and landmarks as part of everyday life of the region, which is colourful in more ways than one.

The hero is a kabbadi playing launda and the heroine is compared with Mathura ka peda and who but Sonakshi Sinha can live up to such an analogy. And when you are in the region of Krishna the lovers are supposed to be called Ghanshyam and Radhika. But here they elope much before their love story begins. Son of a police officer (Raj Babbar), Ghanshyam alias Pinto is a street smart boy who wants everybody to respect women. One day he unintentionally saves Radhika (Sonakshi Sinha) from an unwanted marriage with local strongman Gajendra Singh (Manoj Bajpayee). As the cat and mouse game begins, Amit gets an opportunity to explore the narrow graffiti laced bylanes of the mofussil towns with Mathura’s Holi providing the cover for climax.

Genre:Drama/ Action
Director: Amit Ravindranath Sharma
Cast:Arjun Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Manoj Bajpayee, Raj Babbar, Deepti Naval, Subroto Dutta, Rajesh Sharma
Bottomline: It is good fun on the run till it enters the last lap.

There is more. When there is murder on the street, Amit ensures that the sound of flies creates a chilling effect. The support cast blends with the region and the villain is not one note. As Gajendra Singh, when Manoj Bajpaypee says he has a rose garden beneath those chains of gold dangling round his neck; he comes across as a potent advocate of all those gun toting criminals who feel weak in the knees in front of a gorgeous girl. Manoj provides an interesting counterpoint as a brute who is genuinely in love with the girl but doesn’t know the ways to impress her. He doesn’t assault her but bulldozes the men that come in his way to reach her. And when the principal emotion of the character is frustration, Manoj is the actor to watch. Raj Babbar and Deepti Naval bring credibility to the proceedings. However, Shruti Haasan’s item number looks out of place in this rustic ambience.

Of course there are loopholes and creative licence is exploited but it is good fun on the run till it enters its final lap. After experimenting with the template, Amit suddenly runs out of ideas and decides to sum it up in conventional fashion. With Radhika increasingly getting reduced to a ball between the hero and the villain, the sensibility of the film gets clouded. After a long drawn battle when she could have easily escaped out of the country and waited for tempers to cool and love and career to blossom, she decides to flaunt the bravado of her love with a background song describing her as joganiya. It is this meek surrender that brings Tevar close to the category of misogynistic films.

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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 1:44:50 PM |

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