We are into the 2nd week of 2015 & the first "so called" major release has hit the screens in the form of "Tevar". From the trailer itself, it was kinda evident that it belonged to the category of "South Indian remakes" that Bollywood seemed to have got addicted to. Since I was in a mood to check out something, I decided to give it a try; fully aware as to what I was getting into. So can Arjun Kapoor pull off this machismo act???
Pintu (Arjun Kapoor) belonged to the land of the Taj & was the star of their kabaddi team. Things takes a turn in his life, when he locks horns unknowingly with Gajendra Singh (Manoj Bajpayee), a known gangster in Mathura & brother of the Home Minister. Pintu gets into this mess as he tries to save Radhika (Sonakshi Sinha) who was being hassled by Gajendra over his marriage proposal. What subsequently happens as you would have rightly guessed is how Pintu & Radhika tries to escape from the clutches of Gajendra for good.
The moment I saw Boney Kapoor's production house being mentioned in the trailer, I was pretty much sure that it would be the remake of some Telugu or Tamil movie. As expected, this turned out to be the remake of Mahesh Babu's blockbuster "Okkadu" which had released a decade back. The major flaw for Bollywood remakes is that they just try to copy it frame to frame, without even bothering to tweak it atleast a little bit. It's pretty much the case here as well as it's as predictable as you can expect (even if you haven't seen the original). I just wish Amit Ravindernath would have been much more sensible about his directorial debut. None of the technical aspects deserves a mention as it's the usual run of the mill...nothing much different from what we have seen from other remakes.
Arjun Kapoor definitely fitted the bill of the character as the unruly, no holds barred attitude...but doesn't bring anything special to the table. Sonakshi Sinha repeats her oft seen act of playing the damsel in distress & I think she can be given a Masters in it as she sleep walks through it. If at all there was someone who caught my eye, it was the talented Manoj Bajpayee who keeps you hooked with his mannerisms though it got stale after a couple of sequences. As for the rest of the cast, none of them deserves a mention except that both Deepthi Naval & Rajesh Sharma got wasted in inconsequential roles.
Verdict: With a running time of more than 2.5 hours, it does test your patience after a point of time. Since most of us would have either watched "Okkadu" or "Gilli", I dont think there is any reason why you should check this out. In short, dont bother!!!
In Mathura, a politician's corrupt brother Gajender Singh(Manoj Bajpai) is infatuated with a college-going Radhika(Sonakshi Sinha). She seeks refuge with a'dabangg' Agra boy Pintu Shukla(Arjun Kapoor), who knows to give and give(not money, silly, but laat, ghoonse, etc etc). And he has plenty to dole out. Salman Khan is present in his absence.(Consider Superman song and Arjun's oft-repeated one-liner).
Salman is actually the invisible hero in the movie. And the movie turns out to be a Kabaddi match between Mathura and Agra. This south-remake has plenty of already-seen action. If you are in mood for a repeat's repeat, go ahead. Watch the movie for Arjun, Manoj and Raj Babbar(SP Shukla). Sona should take a long break. I've her coming out of my ears, etc etc. Over-exposed. Watch out for Subrat Dutta(Kakdi).
Tevar is the fourth official remake of original Okkadu(2003, Telugu), after Ghilli(2004, Tamil), Ajay(206, Kannada), and Jor(2008, Bengali). Shruti Hassan not only sings but does and item number too. But the songs have turned out so-so. After Superman song, I was actually expecting a song like, "Devar ke Tevar, Bhabhi ke Zevar". It'd've been a chartbuster. But producers didn't ask me about it. Never mind.
Arjun has miles to go before he can think of himself as an actor. A readymade halwa provided by his dad boney Kapoor doesn't do much. And banking on Salman(Boney has got the green signal for "No Entry Mein Entry") is for laughs. Salman's fans want to see only Salman. Why'd they want to waste money on references in another movie. Look at what happened to ex Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa, for whom Salman campaigned actively December-end 2014. In the elections conducted on January 8 2015, Rajapaksa became an ex on January 9. Now he has an axe to grind with Salman. In this light, what can happen to Arjun on January 9 when the movie released? It has opened to lukewarm response.
Sonakshi cannot act for her father's sake. 100% standard expressions. Both father-daughter travel in the same boat of non-actors. Her talent doesn't matches her weight. Anyways, with literally a movie of her's releasing each month, she'll soon be "in sight but out of mind". One can thank God for small mercies. She is also carrying on Salman's bandwagon.
Raj Babbar is still doing a great job. His sorrow like Amitabh Bachchan is his kids, who(Arya and Juhi) have still to deliver a movie(forget a hit). Sometimes, fahters remain the crowning glory. Raj can take solace in that.
Boney Kapoor will always bank on someone or the other. Earlier, it was brother Anil. Then the hundi became wifey Sridevi. Now, Salman till the time Arjun can come into his own. When will Boney be on his own? Good question.
Finally, a Kabaddi match between Mathura and Agra leads to match-making between the obvious couple. Why no one thought of this unique idea before. Sports flowering into relationship. This is a match made without fixing. Wow. The couple is on the run. And the audience too mercifully runs away without becoming the baraati. Kabaddi, kabaddi, kabaddi, kabab mein haddi.
Fifteen years into the millennium, Bollywood still hasn't learned to clip off bad elements from a film. It continues to sample tried and tested components so as to rake in the moolah, without caring a tick for "cinema as an art." Since the start of this decade, we have been served with loads of remakes and sequels, and Tevar is nothing different. Only, it regards its audience as rocks.
Tevar tells a story (for the what time now? After Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Bengali, fifth?) about a real-life superman (Arjun Kapoor) who doesn't bear any superpowers yet makes his life-purpose to help a damsel (actually a derogatory word for Miss Sonakshi) in distress out of the clutches of a ruffian (Manoj Bajpayee) by making her stay in his own house without the knowledge of his family members including his father who is a cop. As stupid as the story sounds, one will jump out of the hall in exasperation. Unfortunately, there is no improvement in the story, the narration, the screenplay, the action, or at least the humor by the time it reaches its climax. Then the climax happens and I almost smothered myself to death with the corn buds in the basket that didn't actually pop.
The makers have welcomed new year with a bombastic escapade of amateur characters that look strange even in its fictional milieu. While one gets excited with Arjun Kapoor's hot bod and stylistic stunts, the dialogs come and wreak havoc with the whole play. They are both obscene and substandard to even relish. Manoj Bajpayee is good enough as the villain, but a film about heroism will definitely take the plunge if its villain is smarter than the hero. Just what happens with the 150 minute long drama that shows no hint of stopping.
Five songs fit through the drama is like adding chili flakes in a chocolate ice-cream. Most of the story unfolds or folds in these songs which help in the combined torture.
It is true when people say that the first major Bollywood release of any year is part of a jinx and will bomb at the box office. Arjun Kapoor's opening film of the year, thus qualifies, and once again confirms that the jinx is, after all, for real.
BOTTOM LINE: If you can handle tedious stories that are more dramatic and foolish than our own year-long Television soaps, Tevar is definitely made for you.