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regular-article-logo Thursday, 30 May 2024

Review of Tejas

The main essence of the film is given out in the scene where an underconfident Afiya (read weak script) is being reluctantly inducted into the team and Ashish Vidyarthi asks her (read today’s smart and cinema-savvy audience) to not talk in front of the prime minister

Farah Khatoon Published 28.10.23, 05:47 AM

The first scene of Tejas sums up the entire film. Kangana Ranaut and her junior Afiya, played by Anshul Chauhan, are sent on a rescue mission to find and bring back a senior. With impunity Kangana defies orders, lands on an untouched island prohibited for mainlanders and escapes swiftly and on time, getting slightly injured by the arrows of the aborigines. This is the abridged version of the 118-minute film directed by Sarvesh Mewara and you will see an updated version of the same sequence towards the end — bigger rescue mission, daredevil act in a foreign land, some action, some thrill and mission complete. The main essence of the film is given out in the scene where an underconfident Afiya (read the weak script) is being reluctantly inducted into the team and Ashish Vidyarthi asks her (read today’s smart and cinema-savvy audience) to not talk in front of the prime minister.

From the very first scene, the film establishes that it is focused on Kangana playing the invincible and supremely patriotic titular character of IAS officer Tejas Gill. Instead of being reprimanded or stripped of her blue uniform for not following orders in a highly organised and disciplined body like the Indian Airforce, she bags the charge to lead a difficult and life-threatening Mission Tejas that involves saving a colleague from being killed by a deadly assassin and killing the mastermind Khatooni (well, they could have chosen a different name!). Following a non-linear narrative, the script goes back and forth and brings out the backstory behind Kangana’s thundering dialogue in the film ‘Terrorism should be personal for everyone’ — her short love story with Varun Mitra and her passion for serving her country. Anshul who shares screen space with Kangana delivers her part with honesty and with her character and the camaraderie the film tries to give a subtle message about communal harmony which is in danger at the moment.

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Dedicated to the soldiers, there are a few more dialogues that stand out in the film including Kangana’s ‘Izzat mere tan mein nahi mann mein hai aur wahan se mujhe koi choo nahi sakta’ when Ashish Vidyarthi reasons with her for not sending her, a woman, to the big mission, and Anshul’s ‘Ye naya India hai yahan mission fail hone se ye nahi kehte ladkon ko bhejna tha’.

The script that lacks originality stands out for its idea of two women-led team heading for a big, impossible mission in an enemy nation like Pakistan. However, the amateur writing by Mewara fails to push the idea to make an impact on the audience who are still not ready to see and accept female actors in a superhero avatar in comparison to their male counterparts. Also, we expected some more action on the ground from the sheroes of this action thriller that was majorly missing. However, Tejas did live up to its aerial action, created without the help of any big Hollywood names and the effort needs to be lauded, though one gets to enjoy it only after the interval. Also, it is here that the cinematographers should get credit for the fighting sequences.

Shashwat Sachdev’s music also deserves mention as it remains sincere to the script and doesn’t unnecessarily occupy screen space. Whether it is Reh jao na sung by Hariharan, Jaan da by Arijit Singh and Ishq hai ranjhe da by Osho Jain, all the songs deserve a place in your playlist.

Tejas certainly makes for a watch if you are a Kangana Ranaut fan or if you like seeing Indian women in action-packed avatars on the big screen.

Did you like/not like Tejas?Tell t2@abp.in

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