‘Tejas’: Aviation Drama is a Bumpy Ride

By Dhaval Roy

Story: An Indian Air Force fighter pilot is on a daring mission to rescue a hostage from terrorists. The kidnap is also related to an impending attack on India. Will the protagonist and her co-pilot save the nation?

Review: The thriller draws inspiration from the milestone decision of 2016 when the Indian Air Force welcomed women into combat positions. The movie’s protagonist, Tejas Gill (Kangana Ranaut), is one such pilot who storms the male bastion, eager to fly a fighter plane and serve the nation. Sharp and brave, she persuades her seniors to send her on a mission to rescue a hostage, along with her co-pilot Afia (Anshul Chauhan). The film is about Tejas’s derring-do, love for the country, and whether she succeeds in her effort.

Seeing two women in the thick of things instead of traditional roles is refreshing. Their brains and bravery are their weapons; seeing them in action will convince you they can pull off this feat. Writer-director Sarvesh Mewara has turned the tables as men have only supporting roles as the love interest or dudes in distress whom Tejas rescues. While a welcome change, the narrative, and Tejas’s bravura go overboard. Instances like the tug-of-war with a male pilot, bashing up a goon, and being attacked by Aboriginal tribals seem forced and excessive.

Keeping track of the timelines gets challenging as the narrative switches between the past and the present. As the story builds up, sequences seem abrupt, and one wishes for a more cohesive screenplay. That being said, things turn thrilling once the main rescue operation begins, and the movie offers some high-octane action scenes. However, a parallel track of an impending terrorist attack proves to be distracting.

Director of Photography Hari K Vedantam presents a visually appealing fare and efficiently captures the airstrikes, flights, and fight sequences in the deserts. The movie scores high in the action department, which Kangana Ranaut pulls off with elan. The actress looks every bit like a fighter pilot and performs action as effortlessly as emotional scenes. Anshul Chauhan, as her loud but supportive and loyal co-pilot, is impressive. Shashwat Sachdev’s music is a highlight, especially Jaan Da rendered by Arijit Singh, the energetic Ranjhana, and the victory anthem, Aag Udi.

Tejas may appeal to fans of patriotic movies and defense dramas. But a better story and a tighter screenplay would have made the movie more impactful. — Times of India