Republic Movie Review: An angry film that fails to pack a punch

Updated on Oct 01, 2021 10:44 PM IST  |  84.6K
   
Republic Movie Review
Republic Movie Review: An angry film that fails to pack a punch
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Title: Republic

Cast: Sai Dharam Tej, Ramya Krishna and others

Director: Deva Katta

Rating: 2/5

In 'Republic', there is no difference between Panja Abhiram arguing with his father and Panja Abhiram haranguing UPSC panel members itching to confer All India Rank No. 1 on him. Such are IAS officer Abhiram's super powers that he stirs up everyone from illiterate villagers to distinguished jurists with equal ease. He just has to throw around words like 'system' in supposedly angry scenes. When he has to challenge the most powerful woman in the State in the court in connection with a lake contamination case, all that he does is deploy a rhetorical monologue stuffed with done-to-death themes. The judge is thoroughly moved, so much so, you start wondering if he is going to ban fisheries altogether. 

Abhiram (Sai Dharam Tej) is brilliant and what makes him a cut above the rest of brilliant guys in the country is that he is also super-angry. When his vote is cast by someone else, he demands the disqualification of the whole booth, if not the dissolution of the Election Commission itself. His father Dasaradh (Jagapathi Babu), a Group I officer, has given up on him because he is the Rajasekhar of the 1990s and Jana Sena Party supremo rolled into one. Visakha Vani (Ramya Krishna) sees a meteoric rise in politics and when Abhiram becomes a District Collector, he confronts her on the issue of a contaminated lake. 

Writer-director Deva Katta, who comes with a breakout film like 'Prasthanam' (2010) in his filmography, is equipped with an interesting storyline. As a story, though, 'Republic' doesn't rise above its stock characters and lifeless situations. People who were corrupt or callous two minutes ago are egged on by Abhiram's monologues to think and act like the recipients of the Best Civil Servant of India award in a snap. 

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The screenplay presents old-fashioned characters, while the lines woven around them sound bombastic. Guna (Sai Dheena) is a bland villain who is a stand-in for Visakha Vani's dictatorial prowess. Fine. But we find it underwhelming when an assault on his fiefdom by Abhiram is described as a war for the Indian Republic. 

A fatal flaw is that Ramya Krishna's characterization is unimaginative. She barely has any scenes in the first half. And when she starts opening her mouth, we see her behaving like those 'Dude, this system is like this only' villains from routine movies. You surely expect an explosive villain from the maker of 'Prasthanam'? She even oversees a massacre in person, as if her henchmen would have failed to execute it to her satisfaction otherwise. 

The arc involving the male lead and his father would have worked better had there been a fleshed-out scene or two between the duo. The climax is bold, but it doesn't quite hit you in the gut because of the awful drama that litters the second half. 

Sai Dharam Tej's earnest performance is the film's only plus point. Even Mani Sharma's BGM is insipid, while the song that plays out during the opening credits is enjoyable. Aishwarya Rajesh's Myra, who is an NRI, is reduced to a prop after a point. 

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