Movie review: Satya 2
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
To expect Ram Gopal Varma’s “Satya 2” to be even half as good as the original is unfair, given the filmmaker’s recent work, but even Varma’s staunchest supporters would find it difficult to defend his latest atrocity of a film.
In “Satya 2”, Varma intersperses gruesome violence with titillating song sequences, ludicrous dialogue and a surreal story. He does it with the brazenness of a man who either is confident of his mastery of the craft, or one who has stopped caring about it.
Either way, the result is bad. Really bad. It might be “tops-them-all” bad.
Satya is a man with a murky past who comes to Mumbai with a plan. He wants to conquer the city, narrator Makarand Deshpande tells us. He lives in a slum with his friend, finds a job with a builder, and makes his mark when he helps the builder kill the city’s top police officer as well as the builder’s rival at the same time.
Many violent episodes later, Satya convinces some people to fund his dream project — a secret vigilante organization that would rid Mumbai of corrupt and evil people. He asks his sponsors to give him millions of dollars, no questions asked. No one, not even those who have funded it, would know the details of how it works.
Satya starts off by murdering an industrialist, a police commissioner, and a news anchor. Those who execute these killings call him directly, seemingly forgetting that there isn’t supposed to be any link between the company and the killings. The police catch Satya’s best friends and his main backer, but somehow none of these clues point these hapless morons to the mastermind.
But it isn’t the loopholes in the plot that are appalling. It is the way that Varma makes this film. His treatment is blatantly sleazy in some scenes, and openly indifferent in others. There isn’t a semblance of sense in the 157-minute film, and should you happen to watch “Satya 2”, you will find yourself either wanting to laugh out loud, or run away screaming.
And did I mention Puneet Singh Ratn? If there were an award for the worst debut of the year, he would win it. As Satya, meant to be a cold, calculating and ambitious man, Ratn is at sea. He speaks in a guttural voice, tosses his unruly mop to show us that he’s angry, and stares unblinkingly at objects and people when he is supposed to deliver emotional or romantic lines.
If I had to give Varma credit for one thing, it is for his seemingly unshakeable belief that he is telling the audience a gripping story that has the potential to grow and develop. “Satya 2” ends on the promise of a “Satya 3.” That scares me more than anything else that I saw in this film.
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