Satyameva Jayate Movie Review: John Abraham’s Patriotic Sage Hammers In Its Anti-Corruption Message

Satyameva Jayate Movie Review: John Abraham’s Patriotic Sage Hammers In Its Anti-Corruption Message

Satyamev Jayate Movie Review: John Abraham and Manoj Bajpayee play off each other nicely in this violent drama
Satyameva Jayate Movie Review: John Abraham’s Patriotic Sage Hammers In Its Anti-Corruption Message
Still from, “Satyamev Jayate.”
Movie NameSatyameva Jayate
DirectorMilap Milan Jhaveri
ActorJohn Abraham, Manoj Bajpai, Manish Choudhary and Aisha Sharma

It is easy enough to ridicule Satyameva Jayate. God knows, it renders itself vulnerable to severe slamming. It wears  its jingoistic patriotism on the sleeve and every  other visible part  of  its canvas,growing more and more shrill with every frame  and dialogue.

Yup, these kinds of  tactless films  get easily trolled,   or stoned as we  earlier used to  refer to the savage  lynching of  crude cinema.

But hang on. Satyameva Jayate(SJ) is  not designed for those who  dug their  grey cells into Newton and came out feeling like  alumni  on a space  odyssey. This is  a  film for  the masses,  the commoners who  everyday have to face discrimination and  corruption   on the streets where  a lot of people don’t  just work but also live sleep and defecate.

Road rage for them  is not about a dent in their  gleaming cars.  It’s about survival.

For  all its  sins of loutish  characterization and aural  extravagance  SJ  throws a  very opportune question at us:  why do we tolerate  corruption in our system on such a hideously  aggravated scale? Is corruption part  of our DNA? The corruption  in  the police force, which this  film, takes on headlong, is specially worrisome  . If a society doesn’t have law enforcers who  do their jobs honestly,  the law-breaks are bound to be on a rampage.

Early on in this lengthy anti-corruption   diatribe swathed  in a  flag-fluttering  fury, a street hawker’s wife comes under a rich man’s wheel. He moans, wails and pleads  for justice while the cop on duty cackles and taunts, “You are trash and trash needs to be treated like this.”

Too crass for your tastes? Well, let me tell you I’ve seen  a cop react exactly this way to  a destitute man’s  lamentation on  the street. Truth  can often be much cruder than  fiction. SJ takes that path without apology, as a  disgruntled raging vigilante Veer(John Abraham, clenched and  implosive) takes on himself  the  responsibility of eliminating all corrupt cops from the Maharashtra police.

I am not sure if Bihar,  UP and other states are on  Veer’s mopping map in planned sequels. But for now  he goes about the business of  finishing off decadent  cops with the zeal and guile  of  a clumsy  assassin who  has taken a crash-course in mass killing.

The ritualistic slayings are gruesome and  in many ways,  apt. That’s  the  disturbing  part of  a film whose steep volume  of  violence ought  to offend. But doesn’t. The killings  pile on and so does the  outrageous level of grisly  blood-flow.  But you  really can’t blame the film for its excessive  brutality when it  is all around us.But yes, the bad acting by many of the actors, some reputed names,  could  have been avoided.

My favourite high-drama moment in the film is when a young Muslim boy is  being tortured  by a sadistic cop  to confess to a crime he hasn’t committed. The  sequence is designed  as a  pseudo-religious  symphony rendered shrill with  religious zeal. Later there  is a sequence in  a Moharrum procession where John, fashionably bloodied,  finishes off  a lecherous cop.

The  sequences of  cop-killing are designed in bright  voluptuous crimson colours. You can’t miss the  film’s zeal or the  persuasive powers  of the two principal performances. John Abraham  and Manoj Bajpai as  the two adversaries  play off against each other effectively. They know this is  the time to drop all subtleties and they get to that task with full-on enthusiasm.