Movie Review: Sonakshi Singh and Arjun Kapoor kick off 2015 with a stink bomb

The moment in Tevar when Arjun Kapoor says “Jo chane khaate hai wo badam ke paad nahi maarte,” one is sure what kind of film this is going to be.

One becomes even more assured of that conclusion, when, in another moment Manoj Bajpai’s lady love and kidnap victim, Sonakshi Sinha, runs away and Bajpai takes off his pants and proclaims, “Pant upar tab hi chadhegi jab Baby waapas mil jayegi.”

Starting off the new year with the bang of a stink bomb, Tevar offers reassurance that no matter how much budgets, technology and the human race advance in time, Bollywood will keep reverting to the ’80s.

Directed by Amit Sharma, a well respected ad filmmaker, Tevar seems like it was made by the central character from The Human Centipede. Yet again, we have a remake of an already terrible South film. Yet again, we have a heroine who is not only proud to play a mere object, but also an embarrassment to women’s empowerment in cinema. Yet again, we have a gunda mawali hero clashing with the local gunda mawali villain to whisk away the moronic woman that he even more moronically loves. Yet again, we have a barrage of eardrum-piercing, massy songs; migraine-inducing dialogue baazi; rage-rendering lapses in logic; eyeball squeezing violence and head-pummeling instances of contrived melodrama.

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Done right, all these things can be a lot of fun. If not, they induce headaches. Tevar furiously lunges towards the latter.

Arjun Kapoor made an interesting impression in his first movie, but since then, he’s played just variations of the same character in Gunday and now Tevar. He wears sidey clothes. He is a kabaddi champ. He is the quintessential roadside Romeo who also happens to save women. After being hit by bullets and knives, he first falls down to make us believe he’s dead and then, like a WWF wrestler, he screams and shouts and gives the goons a proper whopping. Clearly, he’s been cast in this movie as a vanity vehicle to create the new Salman Khan. How well do you think that idea would work?

Sonakshi Sinha, after playing a character who wants to see the hero’s nether regions for good luck in her previous movie, shockingly outdoes herself. Her character is the sister of a respected news channel head, who is off to America for post graduation studies and also a dancer; and someone who would rather hide in the house of a goon than go to the police. Who, after days of running away from a murderous and rapey rowdy, finally reaches the airport, checks in, gets her ticket to the US, and comes back out to run into the arms of another rowdy she met two days ago.

Why is the concept of love degraded to something so asinine in order to make it palatable to audiences that are presumed to be both vacuous and regressive? Why are these elements present in a film of this day and age, when Bollywood is supposed to make an impression in world cinema? Why are desi filmmakers assuming that even the lowest common denominator of audiences deserve to be subjected to tortuous stupidity? Why, even with gigantic budgets, do films like Tevar look like crap?

Even under the garb of ‘commercial masala’, the fight scenes are dull, the stunts look clumsy and the comedy is so awful that it makes you want to suddenly get off your seat, run towards the cinema screen and smash your face against it.

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