‘Tevar’ movie review: Only attitude, no substance


Director: Amit Ravindernath Sharma
Cast: Arjun Kapoor, Sonakshi Sinha, Manoj Bajpayee, Raj Babbar, Deepti Naval, Subrat Dutta

The only element that is of some interest is the film’s rugged and real backdrop – the bylanes and mohallas of Mathura and Agra.

If only the story that unfolds in this intriguing setting had not been so overly predictable, Tevar, directed by debutant Amit Ravindernath Sharma, might have just about been passable cinematic fare.

It is the tale of two men. Both are prone to excessive violence but are as different from each other as chalk from cheese.

The hero is Agra boy Pintoo Shukla (Arjun Kapoor), tough cookie son of Superintendent of Police Satyaprakash Shukla (Raj Babbar).    He whiles away his time with his wastrel kabaddi pals when he is not using his fists of fury to save innocent local girls from unwanted male attention.

The baddie is Mathura’s Gajendra Singh (Manoj Bajpayee), brother of the state’s home minister. He is what, in local parlance, is called a bahubali (a man with muscle power).

The two men’s paths cross when Gajendra is prevented by Pintoo from abducting Radhika (Sonakshi Sinha), a college lecturer’s pretty daughter.

The Agra lad has no clue who he is taking on, but when he realizes how desperately in need of help Radhika is he buckles up for a fight to the finish.

Tevar takes inordinately long to warm up. It reaches its flashpoint just before the intermission. Just when one expects, the story to gather pace, it runs out of steam.

Tevar, a remake of Okkadu, a 2003 Telugu hit, has nothing fresh to offer. Such good-versus-evil narratives have been done to death and they smack of methods that the Mumbai industry employed back in the 1980s.

For lead actor Arjun Kapoor, Tevar is a family affair. The film is presented by his father Boney Kapoor and produced by his uncle Sanjay Kapoor. So it is essentially a vehicle designed to provide his career another push.

Unfortunately, the bid to give him the image of an invincible action hero comes unstuck because Arjun has an endearingly boyish charm that is cut out for roles that demand more brains than brawns.

When he raves and rants and jumps into violent encounters with the bad guys, the only thought that crosses the mind is that Arjun Kapoor would be much better off erring on the side of 2 States rather than of Gunday.

Sonakshi, too, is unable to break free from the image trap, playing the demure damsel in distress yet again, as a counterfoil to a streetfighter hero.

The only key actor who comes out unscathed from Tevar is Manoj Bajpayee. His modulation is so perfect that one ceases to see him as another standard Bollywood villain. Thanks to him, the character of the evil Gajendra Singh assumes tangible, believable proportions.

The film as a whole, however, falls way short of that mark. Tevar is more attitude than substance.

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