Tejas Review: Despite Kangana Ranaut’s Passionate Performance, This Flight Nosedives

Kangana just couldn't save this mission!
Tejas Review: Despite Kangana Ranaut’s Passionate Performance, This Flight Nosedives
hauterrfly Rating: 2.5 / 5

As a true blue fauji brat, I’ve been waiting for Kangana Ranaut starrer action thriller Tejas with bated breath and it’s finally here. Written and directed by Sarvesh Mewara and produced by Ronnie Screwvala, Tejas released in theatres across India on October 27. Wondering if this patriotic movie is worth a watch? Take it from someone who grew up with patriotism in her blood, Kangana Ranaut’s performance will make you emotional and feel patriotic, but not only is this flight turbulent but it crash lands. Kangana’s Tejas accomplished her mission but this film failed its mission to impress us.

The Story Of Tejas

Tejas follows the story of an Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Tejas Gill (Kangana Ranaut) who goes on a dangerous mission to rescue an Indian citizen being held hostage by Terrorists in Pakistan. A die-hard patriot, this female pilot doesn’t just go on a mission to save her nation but also to prove her mettle as a woman in the Indian Air Force. Watch the movie to know what happens in this mission.

Performances

Kangana Ranaut as Tejas Gill: Kangana Ranaut is a seasoned actor and we’ve all seen her prove herself time and again. The actress has done it once again. From perfectly emoting Tejas’ anger to being a true patriot, the actress has mastered this role so well that no other actor could’ve done it. She eases into the character and nails the role without a spec of doubt.

Also Read: Sultan Of Delhi Review: Tahir Raj Bhasin Starrer Is A Slow But Engaging Crime Drama With Weak Female Characters!

Over the past few years, nearly all films starring Kangana Ranaut have no one but her. The actress’ characters and their stories have little space for supporting characters. Much like that, in this film too, Anshul Chauhan’s Afiya and Varun Mitra’s as Tejas’ love interest have very little to offer to uplift the film. Ashish Vidyarthi, Vishak Nair and more supporting cast did their best with whatever screen time they had in the film alongside the hero played by Kangana Ranaut but only Anushul Chauhan managed to shine next to Kangana.

Verdict: Kangana Ranaut Shines As IAF Officer Tejas Gill, But Mission Not Accomplished!

As a woman from the Indian Armed Forces background, the first half of the film took me down memory lane. It truly had me in tears to witness Kangana Ranaut’s Tejas Gill prove herself to be a genius and a skilled pilot. The story oscillates between her time in the Indian Air Force Academy and the current time. I cannot help but love how the film opens with the IAF Pilot on a SAR (search and rescue) mission to save a fellow IAF pilot and decides to go against her senior’s orders to do the right thing. Kangana truly made my heart swell with pride. It reminded me every time my soon-to-be ex-husband would wear his uniform and walk out to fly his aircraft. It took me back to the moment when I witnessed him being praised for his skills. But Kangana’s Tejas’ bravery and courage also took me back to a time when I witnessed a female Coast Guard chopper pilot fight for her life and succumb to her injuries after putting her life at risk to save the crew and public back in 2018. It’s not surprising that it brought tears to my eyes.

 

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What works for this film is the fact that Kangana Ranaut’s Tejas Gill is not a cliché IAF officer who is a tomboy but rather a poised woman who is brave and courageous and doesn’t shy away from dressing up and putting makeup on when she’s not working. Her brief romance with Varun Mitra’s character is beautiful but the chemistry is not sizzling. FYI, Kangana’s character’s name is based on the Multirole light fighter aircraft HAL Tejas which is a made-in-India aircraft.

Also Read: What To Watch This Week Of October 23 To 29: Tejas, Koffee With Karan S8, Killers Of The Flower Moon And More

But apart from being emotional, patriotic and exhilarating, this film powered by Kangana Ranaut’s performance does not have much to offer. The film is bound to make one emotional, especially if you are from a fauji background but TBH, the makers seem to have taken a tad bit too much creative liberty. I mean, the kind of indiscipline that one sees Tejas Gill display would never been acceptable in the Indian Air Force. And to add to it, she is a helicopter pilot who goes on to fly a fighter aircraft without any training. Seriously? Also, I really do want to know how Varun Mitra’s character got inside an IAF base to see the parade and then inside the hangar with so much ease despite being a civilian who doesn’t even know who Kangana’s Tejas is. Their romance sub-plot was rather half-baked.

 

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What doesn’t work for this film is the fact that despite the exhilarating aerial combat scene, this flight fails to land. We’ve seen films like Uri explore a mission in such amazing detail that makes it extremely thriller but this action thriller lacked action blended with thrill due to a lack of proper execution and in-depth script. The narrative barely scratched the surface of the mission that Tejas Gill went on and if only a little more research had gone into the script, we’d know about Ashish Vidyarthi’s character’s rank. ICYMI, Tejas Gill is a Wing Commander. The editing of the film seems very random which makes it look like a bumpy, turbulent flight. The switch between the past and present sequences were randomly stitched together and had no impact. Would it have mattered if the film wasn’t switching between past and present and had gone the cliché route of from past to present to tell Tejas’ story? Not really. I’d have rather watched her life journey as an IAF officer instead of the random scene oscillating between past and present.

There is just one scene in the film where the sexism faced by women in the workforce, especially in the Armed Forces has been talked about and NGL it’s very ornamental. It seemed forced and unnecessary. Kya zaroorat thi? Honestly, we weren’t complaining because this isn’t some IRL story but rather a fictional one. Having said that, the second mission that Tejas decided to go on was very random and again unnecessary. Plus where is the urgency and thrill that comes with being on a dangerous mission? After feeling emotional and nostalgic in the first half, I felt disconnected in the second half. And no, I wasn’t sitting on the edge of my seat to know what was going to happen next in this film like I did when I watched Ghazi. Also, what are those sequences where Kangana Ranaut is made to look more like a diva and less like a soldier? Sorry, but bro, who has the time to style their hair before going for a mission?

 

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Overall, the shallow script, weak execution and even weaker packaging made for a dull watch. Kangana Ranaut practically carried the film on her shoulder but it still didn’t accomplish the mission to impress. The only people who might be slightly impressed with be the faujis who will probably watch it only for the emotions and patriotism. To add to it, I’d categorise this film as a patriotic drama and not an action thriller.

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Janvi Manchanda

​​She uses her pen to slice through patriarchy. She could be Geet one day, Wednesday Addams next. Writing is the bane of her existence and the object of all her desires!

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