Take 100 grams of Arnold Schwarzenegger and mix it with 75 grams of Sylvester Stallone. Sprinkle Salman Khan as per your taste and you'll find yourself staring at Ghanshyam aka Pintu (Arjun Kapoor). This is what the protagonist of Tevar thinks of himself.
Director Amit Sharma takes his cue from the Hindu mythology and names his heroine Radhika (Sonakshi Sinha), who is an accomplished dancer. She unknowingly catches the attention of a local don Gajender Singh (Manoj Bajpayee), and thereafter finds herself entangled in a never ending cat-and-mouse game.
The drama is set in Agra and Mathura, historically known for the love story of Radha-Krishna. It's a backdrop which mainstream Bollywood thinks as the perfect canvas for bloodbath and notorious events. So, here is a guy who is good at kabaddi and also respects women. One day this Agra chap bumps into Gajander, the terror of Mathura. Now, it's a love triangle where everybody is ready to put everything at stake except the leading lady as she keeps maintaining the damsel in distress composure till the end credits.
It would be better not to discuss the script of a film which treats people as props. There is at least one living being, preferably a human, in every frame which means you'll find one person crossing the camera axis in each shot, day or night. Last time, it happened so promptly in RGV's Nishabd where the servant kept crossing the camera in every serious scene.
You see, this is one of those moments which can give you complex about your knowledge of cinema. Is the director trying to pull off a fly on the wall kind of thing or it's just another shot taken without much thinking? Though you'll give up very soon as the logic part of the story becomes untraceable and the drama moves into the rave zone were people take pride in looking rugged and mouthing mean things, also slurring.
This all begins when Radhika enters the scenario, she is the one to blame for every agonising second faced by Gajender, and the audience. So, the song goes like, 'Music bajega loud toh Radha naachegi,' and her work finishes till the next song, only to leave the two guys fight on crowded roads.
Talking of logic, what really bewilders is the lethargy shown by the UP Police. Here is a person who is on the run, with a mobile, and the police do everything other than putting his or her phone on surveillance. Anyway, that would be asking for too much.
A big shot journalist, who is brave enough to threaten a local goonda of the dire consequences of a sting operation, doesn't do anything to keep his life despite being pressurised. A police officer's helplessness is understandable, but he is the Superintendent of Police of an entire district. Let's leave this, it appears like nitpicking. Focus on bigger things. What do you think of this dialogue, "Log ladki ke milne ke baad pant utaarte hain, ye pant pehanega." You got the point! The damage is much bigger than we usually think.
The characters are created in a way which suggests that the only way to survive in this part of the world is being ruthless and as much reactionary as possible.
But, there is one thing which kind of says that we are overdoing it. Tevar is no different than what it promised in the trailers. May be more illogical than that, but nobody breaks into a love song while being chased by blood thirsty assassins. Or, may be the mute spectators are a metaphor for the audience. Give them anything and they'll consume. I know it's our fault. Why should we expect anything from producers who are still stuck in the '80s! Come on, we deserve better than this.
As far as the performances are concerned Arjun Kapoor does a bit more than diffusing people's balls and breaking their pistons (no intended meanings). He dances, delivers dialogues with twisted lips and runs like a champion, pretty much what the director expected him to do. He is likely to be seen in many more such films. Sonakshi does a Sonakshi.
Manoj Bajpayee has an amazing screen presence. He is a good actor and knows the nitty-gritties of screen acting, but he also gets carried away in some scenes. For example, he keeps screaming for a good 30 seconds before the interval. It not only dilutes the aura of his character, but also makes viewers uneasy for a break. However, he is the saving grace of the film and if Tevar becomes a commercially successful venture, he is the man to congratulate.
Tevar is another run of the mill story which has nothing new to offer. It very proudly carries forward the flag hoisted by Dabanggs and Singhams, only with less fanfare. Manoj Bajpayee may give you some solace.
Just before I finish the review, I give you one glimpse of a scene and your reaction towards it will decide the film's fate.
Gajender to Radhika (Pointing to his heart): Yahan sirf peetal ka godown nahi hai, rose ka garden bhi hai. Aapko toh pata hi hoga, aaj kal aap yahin toh rehti hain.