Director: BVS Ravi
Cast: Sai Dharam Tej, Mehreen, Prasanna
Telugu audience is always fond of films with patriotic themes. Unarguably, it is one of the most favourite genres that set off fireworks at the box office. Films like Bharateeyudu, Khadgam, Tagore and Leader are still fresh in our memories and on the heels of such inspiring stories, director BVS Ravi is back to direction with a film that is layered with patriotism, action and a dash of romance.
Two childhood friends Jai and Keshav (Sai Dharam Tej and Prasanna) take contrasting paths and divergent dreams. While the former admires Bhagat Singh and treads a righteous path with a zeal to serve the nation by pursuing a career in the Deference Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), the latter ends up as a mercenary, slides into the dark and join hands with the anti-national forces to steal a secretive mission launching system named Octopus. The rest follows an ensuing battle of wits between the friends-turned-foes.
The movie is strewn with a long-familiar yet uncomplicated plot. Director BVS Ravi’s attempts to evoke patriotism seem forced. He tried to make the most of the second hour with a precision to illogic, a cat-and-mouse chase of which the premise: to a large extent were inspired by recent outings like Dhruva and PSV Garuda Vega and the predictability as you can guess what exactly happens in the end. Apparently, it is the least you may expect in a film which marks the comeback of a director after six years. Neither it has depth in emotions nor an inspiring patriotic drama.
For instance, Jai calls on cops to rescue his family members from a bunch of goons and straight away walks into the ACP office, confesses and whacks the telephone to receive a call from an invincible antagonist. In the film, the cops were shown incompetent with their only job is to act on the whims and fancies of the protagonist. The challenges Keshav puts Jai through seem puerile lacking thrills and spills. The tepid narrative comprising poorly placed songs, surreal heist, a regressive romantic track and some characters that lack verve make things dreary.
A few twists in the tale were well-written and the film literally builds on some small things. For me, the best parts are a message disseminated through Whatsapp to find out DRDO’s mission, another where Jai exposes Keshav and his speech on failure. The film also justifies the ideology of an RSS activist, who is always willing to sacrifice his family or his deeds for the sake of his country.
If not for Sai Dharam Tej’s intense and riveting performance, there is nothing really fascinating in Jawaan. Although Prasanna started on a promising note, he looked completely disoriented in what he’s doing as the story progresses. There is nothing much to talk about Mehreen, who hardly get any screen space. Every time she shows up, a song is inevitable. Kota Srinivasa Rao makes an impact, while Subba Raju fails to make a mark in their limited screen presence. The songs and background score are disappointing and don’t comply with the scenes.With some expectations around the film, BVS Ravi would have arrived with a better screenplay. Overall, Jawaan fails to impress owing to its lacklustre narrative and predictability.