‘Satyameva Jayate’ Review: John Abraham, Manoj Bajpayee are saving grace of gory thriller
Movie: Satyameva Jayate
Cast: John Abraham, Manoj Bajpayee, Aisha Sharma
Director: Milap Zaveri
Duration: 2 hours, 21 minutes
Story: Haunted by troubled memories and seeking to avenge the wrong done to his policeman-father, Veer (John) decides to take the law in his hands. He sets out on a mission to eliminate corrupt cops. After four khaki-clad cads are burnt alive, righteous police officer, DCP Shivansh Rathod (Manoj) is entrusted the responsibility of bringing the criminal to book. A cat-and-mouse game entails the two men who are on opposing sides of the law; interestingly, they’re also connected to each other in more ways than it appears…
At a time when armchair patriotism is fashionable, Satyameva Jayate is relevant. Watching Veer burn corrupt cops alive should evoke feelings of patriotism among the lynching mobs, who have made it their business to take the law into their hands. In fact, Veer may even find his own fan following.
However, serving this up as entertainment makes you squirm. There is so much violence, bloodshed and screaming, you want to close your eyes and ears throughout. If that’s how it plays out, how do you enjoy a film? However, the makers, especially director Milap Zaveri doesn’t believe in subtlety. He borrows the ’80s crude Bollywood formula and gives you crass fare without any pretence. In the name of patriotism and system-cleansing, Veer, the vigilante, heaps bodies and burns bones to ashes without batting an eyelid. If you are flinching in your seat, no ambulance is on standby. Instead, things get gorier each time. There is one murder that takes place in the midst of a Muharram procession that is so bloody, you touch your eyes to see if you are shedding tears of blood. This trauma comes to a halt when Veer comes face to face with his nemesis, Shivansh, a cop who is confident of catching even the most-intelligent criminal.
The scenes between Shivansh and Veer are interesting, but without any surprise elements because the whole plot is borrowed or pieced together from those ’80s South-Indian remakes and Hollywood films like Death Wish. If Charles Bronson, Bruce Willis, Jeetendra and Amitabh Bachchan did countless such films and actually got away with murder, Milap wonders why a redux should not be served up?
So, if you’re in the mood for some screeching, forced secularism, bloody battles and gore, go for this one. The romantic track between Aisha Sharma (who sounds and looks like Neha Dhupia) and John is predictable and passionless. The Dilbar track, for which the flavour of the season Nora Fatehi shows up, passes muster.
Frankly, the only thing that saves this film from complete drudgery is the acting. John shows restraint in most scenes and is sincere. Manoj is such a fine actor that even when he is ‘misguided’ by the likes of a Milap, he falters slightly (the scene where he screams in frustration is funny) but he doesn’t let his performance fall flat on its face.