Satyameva Jayate

wogma rating: Watch if you have nothing better to do (?)

quick review:

Heavy dialogue-heavy film. But you knew that from the trailer. Ordinary fight sequences make the film quite the regular action fare. The story isn’t as engaging as the premise might seem.

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Director: Milap Zaveri
Running time: 145 minutes
Genres: Action, Social
More Movie Info

Satyameva Jayate - Preview

I am getting tired of repeating the word repetitive and they aren’t tired of making the same kind of films? The honest cop takes over the work of an ideal system in not-so-ideal ways is John Abraham, this time. Which makes the action the focal point of the film rather than the story.

And yet, I feel like the chase between his character and the other cop, played by Manoj Bajpayee might have some juice in it – some battle of wits, hopefully. Other than that, Satyameva Jayate feels like same ol’ wine, and even the bottle doesn’t seem new.

Satyameva Jayate releases on 15 August, 2018.

Music Reviews:
Bollyspice – "1.5/5"
Bollywood Hungama – "3.5/5"

- meeta, a part of the audience

Corrupt cops are being burnt alive. A vigilante citizen has a plan. The best, honest, duty-bound cop is on the case. Despite all these dramatic pillars, the film is rather flat and ultimately generic.

His beefed up body tries to do the talking, but can do only as much as the mediocre action sequences allow it to.

Evidently, the film is relying heavily on the big reveal to shock and pique our interest by the conflict it presents. But, post-intermission the film banks on the repetition of the police officer’s oath to keep us interested. 6 times. Yep, you guessed it right, each time it is quite dramatically delivered too. You are immune to the supposed impact in the first couple of times itself, and are rolling your eyes no end by the sixth time around – a time when people are dying and you are supposed to feel bad for them.

It might feel like there is nothing else in the film, and maybe even rightly so, but there are other elements in the film that could have been interesting. The cat-and-mouse chase I had hoped for is mentioned in the film too, but isn’t really the edge-of-the-seat or mind-bending kind. It is more like a story-building game. If one character does such-and-such, the other one just ups that until they reach a pre-destined climax. It all feels too simple, too juvenile, too naive.

This includes the dialogue as well. There are films that are dialogue-heavy and there are others that have heavy dialogue. This one wants every line to be full of meat and goes out to explain every small with elaborate dialogue making it beyond laughable.

Unfortunately, it takes down some otherwise capable actors along with it. For instance, Manoj Bajpayee, of all people, comes across as over-the-top a couple of times. Then, John Abraham is even more tight-faced than usual. His beefed up body tries to do the talking, but can do only as much as the mediocre action sequences allow it to.

It is disheartening that a concept and conflict that had potential to engage the mind, if not the heart, doesn’t do so because it is silly. Else, you had Manoj Bajpayee to execute the acting and John Abraham to execute the action – it could have worked, it just could have.

- meeta, a part of the audience

External reviews for this movie are not available

Twitter reviews for this movie are not available.

2 readers - 1 yays 0 so-so 1 nays

Yay! Thumbs Up, by Bankim Chandra Pandey : In all, director Milp Milan Zaveri has given the old liquor in a new bottle

Nay! Thumbs Down, by Fan

This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: Loads and loads. People being burnt alive, a very bloody self-flogging procession, prison torture.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: A citizen vigilante is burning corrupt cops alive. A duty-bound police officer is on his case.
  • General Look and Feel: A generic action film mould

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

Lead Actors:
Character Artists:
Music Director:

Satyameva Jayate - Cast, crew, links

Supporting Cast:
Background Score:
Costume Designer:
Running time:
145 minutes

Comments (3)

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How times have changed. A film that would have been a reasonable hit in the the 1980s seems such crass in 2018.
I had watched only one trailer of Satyameva Jayate, and watched it only once. My first impressions after watching the trailer was that this is a kind of Singham treatment to the vigilante justice subject. Singham in the sense of good v/s bad, but also with adrenaline pumping verses being chanted regularly. The trailer also revealed (to anyone who has not recently landed up in Bolly land) what exactly to expect from the film, reel by reel. And myself not having landed up in Bolly land recently knew what would unfold. So the visit to the theatre was certainly knowing fully well what the story line is going to be – and the only curiosity factor was to see how the story line is executed and presented on celluloid.
Oh how I regret that my curiosity got the better of me.
This film is 35-40 years behind its times. I have my doubt if in the 1980s it would have made a bigger dent – but at least it stood a better chance then as compared to 2018. Everything about the film screams the 1980s. Everything!! Let’s start with dialogues. You have the typical Kader Khan / Prayag Raj / etc. type of dialogues heavy on words – great to utter – but really useless in 2018 scenario. There is a more than generous portion of melodrama doled out. The child artistes remind of the 1980s too with obnoxious acting skills and made to say dialogues that make the kids seems way older than their age. As with the 1980s films there is the mandatory good Muslim guy or girl, doing their duty towards the country and being loyal to good values till death. You have the Muslim holy prayer in the background at critical junctures. You also have the comic relief on the side (although much subdued in Satyameva Jayate than in the 1980s).
Already half an hour into the film my expectations were so low that I was pleasantly surprised at some minor twist presented in the story at midway point. I just did not see it coming, as I was expecting something seriously banal at that point.
With such a terrible content, then the only straw of hope that I was clinging on to was to see how the climax is presented. Do we stay loyal to the 1980s formula or do we at least move to 2018 way of film making and storytelling? I will not spoil it for anyone who still plans to watch the film – you can discover yourself how the climax is presented.

@Fan very interesting that you point out the Muslim guy or girl and not the other religion(s). Similarly, there were other prayers running in the background too. :)


@Meeta: yes, there were verses running. My statement was in regards to similarities with 1980s formulae and everything "masala" that was retained (dialogues, child artistes, loyal Muslims, ...) It was not intended in any derogatory manner - it was purely intended to bring out the similarities between 1980s formula and this film.

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