Ad film-maker Amit Sharma’s remake of Telugu film Okkadu (2003) is a formulaic masala film that ticks all the boxes: introduction song for boy, introduction song for girl, chase sequence, fight sequences, ballad, item song, comic best friends, menacing unidimensional bad guy, etc.

Arjun Kapoor is Pintu Shukla, a kabaddi-playing lad from Agra who is all about attitude and brawn. The son of an upright police officer (Raj Babbar), Pintu describes himself as a cocktail of Terminator, Rambo and Salman Khan. This seems to be all he needs to run into a conflict head-on, even if it is with a local, power-crazy politician, Gajender Singh (Manoj Bajpai), who becomes obsessed with a Mathura college girl, Radhika (Sonakshi Sinha).

Pintu rescues Radhika from Gajender’s clutches and decides to ensure that she is protected. Unable to handle the humiliation, Gajender vows to regain the girl and terminate her saviour.

Sinha has perfected the character of the helpless girl who needs a man to fight for her honour. Kapoor embraces a role designed to project him as a star and hero of the masses. Bajpai overcooks his character, and the effort to make him ominous works against him. The supporting actors add soul to a superficial story. Notable among them are an understated performance from Babbar as the proud and caring father and Subrat Dutta as Kaakdi, Gajender’s right-hand man, with his own simmering ambitions.

Cinematographer Laxman Utekar’s lens captures the Taj Mahal from its many angles and presents it as a stunning backdrop, before following the runaway couple through Uttar Pradesh to Delhi. Sharma shows confidence in the execution of some sequences, in particular the lavishly choreographed songs and fights. But he also leans on several clichés, such as a getaway and fight during Holi, a climactic altercation in the middle of a mela (fair). Fewer songs and more compact scenes might have corrected the tempo, which is testing at times. A number of tropes in this script, for instance the damsel in distress who whimpers and then falls hopelessly in love with her knight in shining armour, are, like this film, conservative and well past their sell-by date.

Tevar released in theatres on Friday.

Close