It is still Wednesday and a start of the final month of the year which happens to be my birthday month too! And we have December rains in Mumbai! While the weather seemed erratic, I decided to finish one of the leftover films from last week. And I finished watching the new Telugu film Republic on Zee5. There have been quite a few political thrillers being made but somewhere the makers falter but not going all out with it. But then this film is directed by Deva Katta who is best known for Prasthanam, a director that does not shy away from expressing himself. So then does Republic deliver what it initially set out for, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Republic follows the story of an IIT gold medalist who one day clears his UPSC and becomes an IAS officer where more than one challenge awaits him. The story is a fine balance between being told from an idealist gaze to the harsh reality that maybe prevalent in the system. The screenplay just doesn’t mince words or paint a rosy picture. It starts off with an idealist complaining about the system like you and I would from the outside till he becomes a part of the system. The tone of the screenplay might feel a tad over the top especially in the first hour since this is also a commercial potboiler. But the situations that are created are quite grounded to reality. The twist at the halfway mark is a catalyst for the hard-hitting second half where things inch towards reality. The issues that are tackled are super relevant. One thing about the screenplay is that the narrative is layered and it meticulously peels off its layers one by one. This culminates into a finale that was totally unexpected and shocking. The writers do not provide any respite and this elevates the overall film by an inch. Overall, a hard-hitting screenplwy depicting the harsh reality.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are powerful and literally drill out the message down your throat. I really didn’t seem to mind that as the message was conveyed effectively at the end of the day. The music was a bit of a letdown and also it stuttered the progress of the drama. The BGM was quite good though and did its bit in heightening the drama. Director Deva Katta doesn’t mince any words or provide any respite. He goes all out and it was incredibly brave of him to end the film like he did. That definitely requires guts.
The performances are pretty good. Rahul Ramakrishna as Mani is endearing in a cameo. Subbaraju as Collector Vijay has his moments to shine. Ramya Krishnan as Minister Vani was quite good although I felt her character was a touch underwritten and could have had a better impact overall. Jagapathi Babu as Dashrath is outstanding and delivers a really heartfelt performance in a conflicted role. Aishwarya Rajesh as Myra looks very pretty and has an incredibly good screen presence. Sai Dharam Tej as Abhiram is quite brilliant and the way he carries himself is excellent to watch.
Republic is not your typical commercial entertainer, it is hard-hitting and provides little respite. Available on Zee5 and Highly Recommended.