CAST: Kangana Ranaut, Anshul Chauhan and Veenah Naair

DIRECTOR: Sarvesh Mewara

Tejas is undoubtedly unwavering in being nationalistic. It perpetually dwells in uncertainty, never allowing the nation to fade from its thoughts.

However, no matter how earnest its efforts, Tejas falls flat on its face. It arrives as a cinematic endeavor that does a disservice to the nation, the Air Force, and the art of filmmaking itself. Tejas is an excruciatingly bland thriller that seems to think that selling patriotism can camouflage its glaring flaws.

Headlined by Kangana Ranaut, who appears to be out of her depth, in the role of an Indian Air Force pilot thriving on perilous missions and hollow slogans, Tejas is a low-flying vehicle that never gains momentum. It stumbles from one crash landing to another.

It must have been quite a task for the creators to transform an aviation action film into such a wooden and uninspiring production. The painfully empty writing, with characters uttering lines that sound like they are straight from a ‘how-not-to-speak-like-real-people’ manual, is further exacerbated by the abysmal acting all around.

Ranaut’s character, bearing the film’s title, assumes the role of a ‘rockstar’ fighter pilot flying a single-engine light combat aircraft, ironically sharing her name. Tejas piloting a Tejas on a mission called Tejas in a movie titled Tejas – designed to be Top Gun

Tejas Movie Review: Someone Compiled Kangana Ranaut's Instagram Stories &  Called It A Film

In one scene of the film, the charm of a popstar, Varun Mitra, who briefly appears as the romantic interest of the heroine and then fades into obscurity because the lady he’s trying to impress has more pressing matters on her mind, is overshadowed by the magnetic presence of Wing Commander Tejas Gill, portrayed by Kangana Ranaut. She is surrounded by eager girls seeking autographs, completely disregarding the preening singer.

In a metafictional sense, this encapsulates the essence of the film ‘Tejas.’ No one is allowed to steal the spotlight from the heroine. The film is a Kangana Ranaut showcase from start to finish, and this proves to be its biggest downfall. Throughout ‘Tejas,’ there isn’t a single moment, let alone an entire sequence, where the lead performer truly convinces.

Tejas Film Review: The 'Tej' Is Not Bright Enough

Ranaut’s portrayal as Rani Lakshmibai in ‘Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi’ far surpasses her performance as a fearless Air Force pilot. This is a significant statement in itself. The character she embodies in ‘Tejas,’ full of attitude but lacking depth, remains one-dimensional, devoid of any uncertainty.

From her days at the Air Force academy to the perilous mission she embarks upon to rescue an Indian spy in Mir Ali town, located in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Tejas Gill exudes exceptional intelligence and unwavering confidence. Consequently, her character lacks any substantial character development; she starts and ends in the same place.

Tejas movie review: A bumpy ride through skies and geopolitics | Bollywood  - Hindustan Times

Tejas Gill’s supportive parents make brief appearances, but the two-hour film leaves no room to delve into the protagonist’s formative years. Unlike ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl,’ ‘Tejas’ only hints that the protagonist decided to become a fighter pilot when Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee named India’s fighter aircraft “Tejas.”

While the film briefly touches upon gender-related themes, it fails to explore them in depth. The male characters take a backseat as two women lead the charge in the climactic scenes. This appears to be the film’s intended message, but it stumbles in conveying it effectively.

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