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Republic Review: Docu-Drama Narrative

Republic Review: Docu-Drama Narrative

Movie: Republic
Rating: 2/5
JB Entertainments
Cast: Sai Dharam Tej, Aishwarya Rajesh, Ramya Krishna, Jagapathi Babu, Srikanth Aiyyanger, JP, and others
Cinematography: M Sukumar
Music: Mani Sharm
Editor: KL Prawin
Producers: J Bhagawan, J Pullarao
Written and direction: Dev Katta
Release Date: Oct 1, 2021

Sai Dharam Tej who met with a road accident has still not been discharged from the hospital. The young actor’s wish is to see his latest film, Republic, to get released without any hurdles. Thus the film hit the theaters today.

Let’s find out its merits and demerits.

Abhiram (Sai Tej) is a bright student. He gets an appointment as a District Magistrate in his own district. 

He likes Myra (Aishwarya Rajesh), who has just returned from the USA in search of her missing brother, a doctor. 

As Abhiram takes the charge as a collector, Myra gets raped by the same gang that killed her brother. Besides saving the lake of Telleru (Name changed for Kolleru lake), which was polluted due to the fisheries industry owned by politician Vishaka Vani (Ramya Krishna), he also needs to fight for Myra.

Can a collector bring real change in the system that has been corrupted beyond repair? 

Artistes’ Performances:
Sai Dharam Tej has delivered a subdued performance in his career for the first time. As an upright civil services officer, he is suited to the role. He does justice.

Ramya Krishna has a limited presence in the film, but she leaves her mark with her screen presence.

Jagapathi Babu appears as Sai Tej’s father, and his work in the latter half of the film is impactful.

Aishwarya Rajesh once again gets a minor character.

Technical Excellence:
Mani Sharma’s songs are passable. The background score is ok. M Sukumar’s cinematography is excellent. Dialogues are thought-provoking but heavy.

Sai Tej

Docu-drama /slow-paced narration
Limited appeal
Too many cinematic liberties
Climax portion

Director Dev Katta has made many films, but the hard-hitting “Prasthanam” is the only film that is still talked about by film lovers.

To make a strong comeback, he has chosen the genre of socio-political thriller for his latest outing “Republic”, but screenplay writing lacks the spark he had shown earlier. The story that he wanted to tell has relevance, but the narrative is the problem.  

Right from the beginning, the film runs dully, with a serious tone. Nowhere in the film do we find gripping narration. The episode of Sai Tej trying to become an IAS officer drags on.

In the second half, the fight between the politician and the collector is too superficial. The ‘philosophical’ banter between Sai Dharam Tej and Ramya Krishna doesn’t involve us. 

Plus, there is no strong villain. Even Ramya Krishna’s character is not shown as an outright villain. She is also a victim of society. She became such a corrupt politician after seeing the fate of her idealistic father.

Even the people who wanted change also get corrupted after a point of time. Hero’s father is one such. So, all seemingly negative characters have a ‘reason’ and backstory for becoming as such.

When the hero also fails in fighting the system, the audience doesn't get connected with his journey. In "Republic", the hero talks so much philosophy (which a few can understand) and takes a vow to bring change in the system. What we get to see in the end is a huge disappointment.

The system itself is the problem and this is what the director has tried to convey, but the bleak ending doesn’t go well with the majority of the audience. It undermined the heroic value. 

There are many backstories – Rahul Ramakrishna’s, Jagapathi Babu’s, Ramya Krishna’s, etc, which have lengthened the film. The dialogue writer in Deva Katta dominates throughout the film but the clarity of thought is missing.

The final courtroom sequence is unrealistic. The main judge of the three-bench delivering the judgment on the spot after hearing the hero’s speech has too much cinematic liberty.  

Plus, the director openly lashes out at the Shiv Sena party for coming to the power on the plan of ‘anti-South Indian’.

But when it comes to talking about the ‘caste’ system and other issues in Telugu states, he uses ‘euphemisms’.

Heroine’s brother being half-Indian and half-American, and the episode hardly serves the purpose of the main story. Her character must have been included to show the stark difference between the systems in India and the US (which is believed to have a strong system), but her thread linking to the hero’s main problem lacks engagement.

Overall, the intention of “Republic” is appreciable, and the topic is meaningful, but the narrative is dull and gives a documentary feel. Though Sai Dharam Tej’s performance and dialogues are positive aspects, the film makes a dull watch and is far away from the taste of regular cine goer.

Bottom-line: No Punch


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