The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Preachy and screechy

He may feel 27 at heart, but a 50-plus Mithun Chakraborty trying to pass off as 20-something Khoka is too hard to digest.

But that’s clearly not something the star needs to worry about, as the catcalls and wolf whistles grew louder with every Mithun punch and every Mithun dialogue at the Saturday evening show of Satyameva Jayate in Bijoli cinema.

The take-off point of Satyameva Jayate is not much different from a few of Mithun’s recent films like Tiger and Minister Fatakesto. For the first one hour, Mithun is a “young” traffic constable who witnesses a murder committed by a politician’s son and — egged on by his Ramayan-reciting morally-upright father — takes it upon himself to bring the culprits to book.

But a bunch of dishonest bureaucrats and cops leave him disillusioned and Mithun turns into the long-haired, local goon Pandiya. The next two hours are more tedious as you watch Pandiya weed out the evil-doers, with the Satyameva Jayate motto in mind.

Every reel of this Milan Bhowmick-directed film is annoyingly preachy. Mithun lectures on traffic safety norms (even singing Aami traffic police), his father sermonises on honesty and integrity, while a cop stresses the need to be a good leader in today’s world, even comparing Mithun to Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji and Martin Luther King!

Having played the same role in a dozen other films, Mithun just breezes through his cop-turned-goon act in Satyameva Jayate — he is as simple as can be as a traffic constable and as menacing as possible as the goon who lifts motorbikes with one hand.

The face of evil in Satyameva Jayate is Puneet Issar, the menacing Duryodhan in Doordarshan’s Mahabharat, who does a decent job as MP Jadhav. But you really don’t know why a background voice growls “Simba!” whenever he comes on screen.

The two new girls Tania and Priyadarshini — whom Mithun had picked from the reality show Dance Bangla Dance — have nothing much to do.

Amateurishly-written dialogues (“mineral water-er moto porishkar kore kothata bolo”, for one) and half-a-dozen badly put together song-and-dance sequences add to the agony for the few in the audience who are unwilling to suspend disbelief just because it is Mithunda.

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