From the makers of the much-lauded war film Uri comes this patriotic potboiler, and I do mean potboiler in a positive way.
For two braveheart female airforce pilots to plunder their way into enemy territory to rescue an Indian hostage, is a wonderful and welcome whoosh of wishful thinking, and I can’t help being impressed by writer-director’s Sarvesh Mevara’s impunity at doing a Top Gun with Kangana.
Ranaut has a whole harvest of heroic moments to herself. She is an ideal soldier and a wonderful daughter. There is a flashback where she brings her boyfriend (Varun Mitra who always looks like he forgot to check the gas in the kitchen before leaving home) to meet her parents.
Tejas’ father sings a beautiful Punjabi love song (although ironically is his future son-in-law who is a singer). So much better than frowning and smirking at the daughter’s boyfriend.
Not that Tejas has too many surprises in store. As a rescue thriller, it works fine as long as it stays focused on the job on-hand. Luckily, the storytelling is not as ambitious as its protagonist. While Tejas wants to do impossible, the film never crosses the line of daring, unless staging the anti-terrorist climax at the Ram Mandir can be considered a feat of derring do.
Also daring in its own right is the casting of wimpy Caucasians as soldiers and politicians. The Indian ambassador to Norway looks so diminished he could be a trapeze artist in a circus that has gone bankrupt.
On the plus side there is a touching sequence featuring Kangana and veteran actress Neena Kulkarni, the latter as the mother of the man taken hostage. There is also spirited Aafia (Anshul Chauhan) who accompanies Tejas on all her dangerous trips and is fairly unlucky when it comes to her love life. When we first meet Afia she has just broken up with her boyfriend for two-timing: she was caught two-timing, that is.
Somehow Kangana Ranaut’s laughter in the above sequence never reaches beyond her throat. Tejas is about her, and she never lets us forget it.