Star Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Anshul Chauhan, Varun Mitra, Rohed Khan, Ashish Vidyarthi, and ensemble.
Director: Sarvesh Mewara
What’s Good: The Sam Bahadur teaser that plays before the movie. And that the movie doesn’t even try to go deeper into controversial things. We know where it would lead to.
What’s Bad: The script has literally came out of a loyal Kangana fan who has been following her since 2020 and knows everything she stands by. But they only know things, not their relevance or details.
Loo Break: You might need some when the movie attempts to go meta in a few scenes.
Watch or Not?: Chandramukhi 2 released on OTT in less than a month.
Available On: In Theatres Near Year.
Runtime: 118 Minutes
Tejas, who was present at the naming ceremony of fighter jet Tejas grows up to become an air force pilot. She takes up the mission of eradicating a terrorist group because she has a personal vendetta against them. Soon she takes off on the mission, and no points guessing, succeeds.
Tejas Movie Review: Script Analysis
Kangana Ranaut at this point needs to understand it is not about the quantity of movies she delivers but the quality that they come with. For an actor with multiple National Awards and a Padma Shree to her credit, her choice of roles post-COVID has been about proving a point. To whom? No one knows. With Tejas, she writes a fictional tale set in a timeline and includes tragedies that are part real and part fiction. But does it manage to balance the canvas it attempts to hold? Mainly, not.
Written by the debutant director Sarvesh Mewara, Tejas introduces its leading lady and the titular character as the hero. The saviour without whom the entire country wouldn’t know how to function. She can fly fighter jets, punch Eve teasers at a concert, and is an ideal ‘sharmili’ beti, a girlfriend who flirts, meaning a template heroine who can do everything the script demands and only needs people around her to service her and not do anything beyond. This is a Kangana worship session that for two hours focuses on how brave she is. But with convenience written all over it.
Tejas walks the convenient path like it was never meant to be complex. Only if army operations were this simple and quickly approved, we would have had a stronger nation. Tejas is so hell-bent on reaching the point where it finally gets to worship the namesake character that it forgets to be in sync with logic. In a meeting including the defence heads of India, Tejas proposes that we should go to Pakistan and rescue a hostage. No one even objects like it’s a daily routine to go to the specific neighbouring country and that they are about to welcome them with garlands. Meanwhile, Pakistan has taken hostage a random spy and is demanding a free Kashmir. Are the motives and reactions being read clearly on the script level?
For the most part of it Tejas feels like Kangana Ranaut’s Instagram stories compiled into a reel but with a horizontal screen ratio. She suddenly lost her parents to the 26/11 attack, she is one of the best pilots, and she also stopped an attack happening on Ram Mandir on its opening day. Said to be in the present day, Tejas is set in future. Because Ram Mandir is mid-way construction as we speak. The dialogues are dramatic with no room for subtlety.
Tejas Movie Review: Star Performance
The Kangana Ranaut we are witnessing right now is the 10th iteration of the prolific actor we witnessed ruling our screens a few years ago. She is proving a point more than performing and one can see Ranaut and not Tejas Gill saying those lines too easily. Her acting as a defence student is so childlike. In an attempt to bring out curiosity, she presents something that looks uncomfortable. Not just us, even Kangana deserves better at this point. There are indeed some moments where the actor in her does peep out and those feel like little rewards.
Anshul Chauhan serves as both, a comic relief and a sidekick who has been waiting all her life to be motivated by Kangana with a speech. She has got the chops to hold the scene but not the script to do it well. Rest everyone exists so they can serve Tejas Gill and have no role to play beyond that. Even the head of a secret mission is disinterested in giving Tejas of going on ground zero, but in the very next moment not only makes her the leader of the strike team but even names the mission after her!
Tejas Movie Review: Direction, Music
Tejas doesn’t even attempt to be different from what we have seen in the same genre up until now. It sticks to the basic and even ditches that formula with its constant jump in timelines and abrupt cuts. Sarvesh Mewara’s vision is like a fan for Kangana and one can see the way he only puts her in frames that have 20 other people involved. The VFX of Tejas is not even average because it is nowhere even close to real. It is just a first-year student trying his hand at a professional app.
The music is good but then so unnecessary for a movie like this. One song pops every five minutes in the first half and you are confused whether you signed up for a Ranaut movie or Sooraj Barjatya is ghost-directing it.
Tejas Movie Review: The Last Word
I wish it was this easy to take terrorists down and make this world a better place. Even Mohan Agashe couldn’t get a name even when he plays the Prime Minister and highly resembles someone we know. If this level of conviction is enough for you, I cannot stop you.
Tejas releases on October 27, 2023.
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For more recommendations, read our Khufiya Movie Review here.