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Tejas Review: Kangana Ranaut Carries Entire Movie on Her Able Shoulders With Ease

Last Updated: October 27, 2023, 11:38 IST

Tejas Movie Review: For decades, Hindi war films used to be unbearably drawn out. But Kanagna Ranaut’s Tejas helmed by debutante director Sarvesh Mewara is a welcome change as the film lasts slightly less than two hours. Although nice, the briskness simply comes at the cost of the film. The movie goes back and forth in time on multiple occasions and that too so quickly that there isn’t much opportunity to get to know the protagonist well. The end product looks like a half-baked film that reduces a life to a list of facts.

Everything in the film is related to the title of the film. Our lead protagonist played by Ranaut is called Tejas Gill. Her father who works in Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is on the team which is working on the development of the single-engine multi-role combat aircraft Tejas. The aircraft that Ranaut flies to rescue an Indian spy from Islamist terrorists is Tejas. Even the operation that she leads into enemy territory is titled “Mission Tejas.”

The film begins with wing commander Tejas and her piloting partner Afia (Anshul Chauhan) rescuing a kidnapped civil servant from an aboriginal island. Tejas doesn’t follow orders and likes to make her own rules. For the next two hours, the director establishes the story of our protagonist whose family has been a victim of terror attacks and her whole idea is to wipe off terrorism. Apart from being an ace pilot, Tejas also has the skills of a spy as she can detect clues given by an Indian spy on a video sent out by the terrorists.

In addition to terrorists, Pakistani officials who consistently lack efficiency and permit their military airports to be inadequately guarded are also considered villains. Similar to the IAF, Tejas’ assistance is desperately needed in the Indian security establishment, as seen by the planned attack on the recently constructed Ram temple in Ayodhya. The director throughout the film also subtly tries to hint at the gender divide frontline practically all the way through. There is a dialogue in the film where Tejas tells Afia, “Agar hum iss mission mein successful hue toh agli baar koi yeh nahi kahega ki lakdon ko bhejna chaiye tha.” Yet, nothing truly clicks.

Disjointed for the most part and rushing from one scene to the next, the 118-minute movie appears to have been assembled out of an unruly hunk of footage. Writer-director Mewara throws everything they have at the screen – battles in the skies and on the ground, patriotic speeches thankfully they aren’t chest thumping and a bit of Pakistan bashing. The film surely picks up pace in the second half as the action moves to the battlefield. The scenes involving aerial attack in the climax have been shot well. It’s commendable that the tone remains steady and never loud and jingoistic.

Kangana Ranaut gives her all to the character and it pays very well. Not at all an easy role to play but this powerhouse of talent makes sure to carry the entire movie on her able shoulders with ease. She’s magnanimous in action sequences, and there’s not a single flaw about her when it comes to showing her rage or even being vulnerable. Tejas is more than being just another feather to the memorable hat of the actor.

A word for Anshul Chauhan who is a perfect casting choice as Afia, Tejas’ co-pilot, and delivers a commendable performance. Despite Ranaut’s presence in all the scenes, Chauhan makes her presence felt, and how.

Despite the performances, the silver lining is too thin to ignore the dark clouds that loom over Tejas which doesn’t allow the film to soar high.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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