Every August there comes a film (or two films) that gives the audience a dosage of patriotism ahead of Independence Day; this year Satyamev Jayate does the same thing for audiences in India and since its topic of ‘corruption in the police force’ is a common factor in Pakistan, it was seen by many when it was released on our Independence Day.
However, there were a few flaws in the film that stopped it from becoming one of the better films of the year and the biggest one was the amalgamation of vigilante films produced in India. In the words of India’s most popular vigilante Shahenshah, the hero isn’t a policeman here but someone who cleanses the streets of crime in his own way.
Vir (John Abraham) is a vigilante who cremates corrupt cops who serve themselves instead of the people they are supposed to protect. By day he is an artist, but in the dark, he is the ultimate nightmare for corrupt cops. The commissioner (Manish Choudhary) assigns the case to his protégée and ‘only’ honest officer DCP Shivansh Rathod (Manoj Bajpayee) who makes it his mission to rid the city of the cop killer. Add a backstory from Ghulam (disgraced father committing suicide), a girlfriend with a family history and morale from Deewar and Shakti (honesty versus corruption), and a perfect Independence Day vehicle awaits you.
The film’s most interesting aspect is the dialogue, which may sound cliché but when delivered with power have the desired impact. Manoj Bajpayee is excellent as the honest DCP who believes he is one step ahead in this cat and mouse chase when he isn’t; Manish Choudhary as the commissioner has his moments especially as a mentor to Manoj’s character. John Abraham as the action star is good as he does the stunts himself including the one where he bursts out of a tyre using only his muscles. There isn’t much scope for other characters in this story because it revolves around good and vigilantism, with the good triumphing in the end, after a twist.
John Abraham may look good in the action scenes but he needs to work on his dialogue delivery which negates his good looks and physique. However, he isn’t the weakest link of the film as the award goes to the film’s leading lady Aisha Sharma who needs to work on her husky vocals if she wants to stay in the film business. She might look sexy but with that voice, you can’t have a long career in the entertainment industry. Using Chetan Pandit as the father who commits suicide was a bad choice and had the director Milap Milan Zaveri used someone who is more popular, it would have resonated with the audience as no one felt bad when the guy took his own life on screen. Too many similarities with films like Deewar, Shakti, Aakhri Raasta etc. was also something the writer/director could have avoided as everyone knew what will happen in the film except for the twist at the intermission. Then there was the deliberate chopping of the film at the hand of censor people in Pakistan which shows that they have shallow minds and are insecure individuals who believe in cutting the Ashura procession even if it makes the plot look silly.
The verdict 3/5
Satyamev Jayate is a classic example of how to mold old stories into a new one and get the audience pumped ahead of the Independence Day. The film’s plot is a mixture of Shahenshah, Aakhri Raasta, Deewar, Shakti and even Ghulam where a good person goes for vigilante justice just because the cops don’t do their work. You forget songs like Tajdar-e- Haram and Dilbar Dilbar once you exit the theatre proving that fresh content is what attracts the audience. You may find the film to be full of scenes that you might have seen before but with Manoj Bajpayee chasing John Abraham during the film’s entire run, you might want to give it a try, than a miss.