Ram Gopal Varma’s new film is hardly what we expected from the man who made the now-cult Satya and Company. Is this the end for him as a director?
We were eagerly waiting for this one, hoping that maverick director Ram Gopal Varma had regained his form at last. But we found very soon after the film started, Satya 2 is not a sequel to the successful and now epic underworld movie Satya, as RGV himself declared a few days ago. What is more disappointing is that the movie does not stand anywhere close to the classic.
The movie starts with the narration of what the underworld is and how its face has changed over the years. Taking you down Mumbai’s dirty, potholed roads, the lead actors have tried their best to look the part, but have failed. Satya (Puneet Singh Ratn) comes to Mumbai and meets his friend Nara (Mahendra Thakur) and they start discussing his long term sweetheart Chitra (Anaika Soti). Satya says that she’s doing fine but she doesn’t know that he is in Mumbai. In a completely random act he tells Nara, that Chitra has started writing kavita (for a second we thought he was talking about a child who had just discovered a hidden talent!).
Cut to a village in Chhattisgarh, where an innocent-looking gaaon ki chori is seducing Satya by dancing to her poem in a low-necked blouse and ultra low-waist half saree. And knowing RGV’s penchant, we all know where the camera’s focus is. In the middle of the very irrelevant song, a mysterious car stops right in front of Satya and someone inside says something to him. Next shot, Satya is in Mumbai! And he has come to the city with the sole intention of becoming the King of Mumbai – random, we told you!
Oh yes, here is another random fact about the movie. Nara introduces Satya to his girlfriend, Special (Aradhna Gupta) – yes, that’s her name and there’s a story behind it that she does not reveal, thankfully. Special wants to become a film star and is not shy of dancing and wandering around in a skimpy top and hot pants in front of a complete stranger (Satya). And Special finds Satya a suspicious character from the start, because he refuses to divulge his past or his surname when she asks about it. Why be so suspicious, we wonder? Satya is just a secretive person who thinks crime is legal and every criminal has a reason – or a past – that makes him do what he is doing.
In Mumbai, Satya needs to make contacts and earn a living. After all, he needs to start ‘Company’! (We will come back to this later). In a very unrealistic and again-random situation, he meets builder don Pawan Lahoti (Mahesh Thakur) and starts working with him – yes, it’s that easy. He hatches successful plots to kill some of the most influential people in the country, on the orders of Lahoti and his friends. Some of these murders are not only gruesome, but unrealistic. Once friendship is earned by death, Satya asks for money and the trust of the same people, to form his underworld company called – wait for it – Company! Company is not a business group, but ‘Company ek soch hai’; the product of Company is Darr. What was RGV thinking? Or was he not thinking? In a series of events as random as the plot itself, our hero loses his friend and wife because Special decides to chirp into the police’s ears about Satya. Now the scariest part of the movie ensues – at the end, when Satya is in jail, the narration suggests that there will be another story of what happens to him, how he bounces back, blah, blah…!
The only motivation to watch Satya 2 is its story – which is interesting in parts. Character sketches are impactful and if the actors were better, the movie would be too. There is certain freshness in the concept, but that is let down by RGV’s filming techniques – the same old ghisa-pita close-ups and extreme long-shots, rosy songs in the middle of nowhere and skin show where it’s not needed. The movie also overflows with ear-shattering gaalis, gratuitous violence and cringe-inducing moments. If only the director had stuck to the script without adding the frills, Satya 2 could have been a step down the road to the redemption of RGV.
Reviewed by Kritika Ajmani
**** Very good