So after watching Tevar, which released today, I came back home and my parents asked me the movie I had gone for, and so I told them. Post my announcement, here is the conversation my parents had :
Dad : Kaun hai is picture mein?
Mom : Arjun Kapoor. Boney Kapoor ka ladka hai na.
Dad : Toh bekaar hi hogi kyu gaye dekhne fir?
Me : I watch every film.
Mom : Uski Ishaqzaade achi thi. Lekin pata hai Comedy Nights mein aaye the woh aur Sonakshi, bilkul hi mare hue. Koi Amitabh ya Shahrukh aate hai toh dekho kya maza lagate hai, yeh toh bakwaas hai.
Dad : Arre yeh Arjun Kapoor wagarah sirf 2-4 saal chalenge apne baap ke paise pe, phir koi tv show karte dikhenge.
Post that, I found myself singing a song. Not because I was avoiding their delectable conversation, but because I had already seen and heard too much Tevar for the day. And I am neither Superman, nor Salman ka fan. Fun song that, fun film? Meh.
Amit Ravindernath Sharma, first time director, is also a successful ad filmmaker. Sanjay Kapoor, first time producer, is also a failed actor. Boney Kapoor, the unlikely husband of the beautiful Sridevi, is also Arjun Kapoor’s dad, and much in love with him. Looks like Tevar was destined to happen, after all the son did not get a customary machismo fueled launch from the family. However, he has done fairly well for himself, Arjun, even after having those thunder thighs he does. Yes, go notice them. Well, I expected nothing great out of Tevar, but then there was Manoj Vajpayee, a stalwart who can add copious amounts of spice to any frame. Also, the film looked very true to its roots, that of the hinterlands of Agra and Mathura, so I could expect some crackling dialogue.
The truth is that writer-director Sharma has quite a bit of that, but the shining bits are sparse and the remaining material is laced with excruciating crap. First and foremost, Tevar is unabashedly long, at a runtime of 160 minutes with song frequency that would give a Sooraj Barjatya a run for his money. Secondly, while Sharma uses the backdrop of the setting with much vim, yet he fails to churn up one moment of surprise in the spluttering narrative. Thirdly, even formula can be done well with fleshed out fresh characters, but in Tevar everything is out of the standard stock. No doubt, Sharma has an active taste bud for showing brutality which works, as well as an assured intention to capture the right lingo and milieu. But as an unassuming audience, you do atleast expect a few things from a formula film.
1. The story should not start after 1 plodding hour into the film
2. The hero can be superman, but should carry some distinctive characteristics. Also, he does something on his own and not just reacts to situations.
3. The heroine has atleast something to do, apart from just doing the dances or getting saved. (Believe me, Sonakshi’s Radhika does not shed a drop of blood even as people around her die or get injured for her)
4. The action, comedy and romance are innovative and well-balanced.
5. The villain brings the juice to the proceedings.
Sadly, apart from No. 5, Sharma is unable to manage anything else. Whats good here is some of his one-liners, organic comedy between Pintu (Arjun) and his friends and above all, the way he has staged some scenes with a rare freshness. Such as the scene when Gajinder Singh (Manoj Vajpayee) kills a reporter, or the scene before intermission when Pintu throws Radhika off the roof or the scene when Gajinder walks into the rally. Apart from a wee bit of smartness, an appalling majority of the film is largely hokey. For a film boasting of attitude, they have misunderstood it for misplaced badassery. Technically, Tevar scuttles through most details and no departments stand out as such, save for Cinematography. Laxman Utekar’s camera does make everything look palpable, without being acerbic. Aparna Sud can take a bow for efficient Production Design as well.
Tevar rests on Arjun Kapoor’s shoulders but as expected, his shtick only comprises of limited expressions. Frankly, Pintu is an excessive stretch for him, as it is supposed to be a mix of Rambo, Terminator and Salman Khan, as claimed by the film itself. Kapoor may be twee enough for a lover boy, but not for this one so much. Sonakshi Sinha is a champion in sleepwalking through roles in films, and she does not surprise us once again. Thankfully, this one isn’t as regressive a character however it is shockingly inconsistent. Subrat Datta and Rajesh Sharma are wasted. Amongst the steadying quality decline all around, Manoj Vajpayee stands like a mammoth, delivering the wisecrack villain with a seemingly innovative spin. His Gajinder Singh is what keeps you going through most of the torture.
On the whole, Tevar is a dull disappointing fare which bathes the audience in a stinky mud of cliches. For all its worth, it offers a few inspired moments but they fail to leave a fulfilling impact. It has supposedly taken a good start at the Box Office and the makers have left no stone unturned to get the film out there. If not for anything else, it is the length of the film which will lead to ennui, and hence to bad word of mouth. Obviously, a million crazy girlfans of Arjun Kapoor will be following their orgasmic needs. But then Tevar calls for a few more serious questions. Firstly, how many times more will we see the same story in films again? Yes, I can enlist 10 films which have the same story. Secondly, what is Bollywood’s obsession with showing Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and surrounding areas as lawless massacre grounds and cradles for open crime? But more on that later. For now, you can completely miss Tevar unless you get a free ticket.
Rating – 1.5/5