One of the reasons why Milap Zaveri’s Satyameva Jayate succeeded in 2018 was because the writer-director had cast two contrasting personalities, John Abraham and Manoj Bajpayee, as brothers. It provided variety. In the film, the two actors who follow different schools of acting, took individualistic brawn and brain routes to avenge the killing of their father. And clashed in their methods.
One of the many reasons why Milap Zaveri’s Satyameva Jayate 2 does not work is because the writer-director overcooks the hero and the plot. With John Abraham cast as twins, as Home Minister Satya Balram Azaad and as ACP Jay Balram Azaad, and John also playing their father Dadasaheb Azaad, there’s a triple dose of holler, roar and muscle power.
Milap the writer, also goes overboard with his please-one-please-all masala. Madrassa kids, the Koran, namaaz in public, Wahe Guru, Durga Ma, all gods and faiths are appeased.
The screenplay is overpacked with every possible wrongdoing and all hues of culprits. Oxygen scam, food scam, medical scam, pension scam, flyover scam, child begging scam, doctors, politicians, builders, cops, desi Fagin. Nothing and nobody’s left out of the vigilante’s orgy of violence.
Farmers, feminism, corruption and collusion. All Breaking News stories get their turn under the spotlight. The frequency of rapes is screamed publicly in such high decibels that it sounds more like Vir Das on steroids than like a patriot who wants to set the country right. In fact, the show of respect to women is so perfunctory that ancient thoughts like a man saying he’s not wearing choodiyaan, creep in. Bangles (read: women) is Hindi cinema’s outdated metaphor for weakness.
Which brings us to the dialogues. Without a doubt, Milap has sweated over every line he’s written, using rhyming words like ‘kabrastan-Pakistan’ and ‘kafan-dafan’. Unfortunately, here too he has overworked himself to a point where nobody speaks normally, everybody’s only delivering chest-thumping lines about truth, justice, patriotism, women power… Well, name it and you’ll find it in the pot.
Patriotism and the Indian flag too, are flogged to death with their overuse. ‘Tan Man Dhan se badhkar Jan Gan Man’ is but one example.
The over-the-top splash of emotions, like mom-in-a-coma, is so enervating that you aren’t left with enough strength to even wonder, ‘Why would a ruthless killer keep an eye witness alive for decades?’
For sure there is a refreshing moment when John says, “Public ka demand hai,” before taking off his shirt and plunging into a series of bludgeoning blood fests.
But everything’s overdone, including John’s bulging biceps, clenched fists and Superman power.
Making the experience tiresomely overlong are also calibrated songs and dances, at a wedding and on Karwa Chauth, plus an item number by Nora Fatehi that goes ‘kusu-kusu’.
‘Kusu’, by the way, is the Tamil word for breaking wind.
Watch Satyameva Jayate 2 trailer: