Film Review: Tezz

Directed by: Priyadarshan

Starring: Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Sameera Reddy, Kangana Ranut, Zayed Khan, Mohanlal and Boman Irani

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Script is king. High quality content and concepts are the order of the day. These are perhaps notions that have always been obvious to audiences but Hindi cinema has been circulating the memo with a vengeance recently, with a batch of very good films that do away with the unnecessary and show courage in their convictions. Unfortunately, someone forgot to pass this memo onto Tezz, which feels like it has been in the making forever. Sadly, the delay and the problems production faced show in the final product which right from the off fails to interest the viewer.

The biggest problem is the script. Or the lack of it. With full on “inspiration” from Speed, The Taking Of Pelham 123 and the TV series 24, Tezz whips itself into such a frenzy conceptually that the viewer loses interest in the story and any sort of compassion for the characters. For instance, the main plot point of a train hurtling from London to Glasgow with a bomb on it should be a tense filled plot line and paramount on the characters and the audiences mind, yet I found at many points, I really didn’t care what happened. In addition, with cinematic liberty flogged to death (Bombay passed off as London, geographical and temporal considerations thrown out the window and the old favourite, characters speaking Hindi which non-Hindi speakers magically understand), the film is at times unintentionally funny in the worst possible way.

This is a massive shame as there are two strengths Tezz has – the first is the action. The two chase sequences pre and post intermission involving rafts, motorbikes and parkour  show exactly what the film is capable of, cranks up the tension and sets the standard that Tezz should have maintained. The second is the editing, which has made an unwatchable film watchable. What I liked was how the editing really pared the film down so that it maintains some kind of momentum and direction, which the script fails to provide this. I personally would like to have seen this film cut down to one portion of 90 minutes which would have worked far better than the two halves.

There is also an unforgivable and colossal waste of talent in Tezz – Ajay Devgn is given no choice but to phone it in; to his credit though,  Ajay is still fantastic giving the role exactly what it needs – underplaying and a  dark edge. Anil Kapoor is also given no focus and plays a role which I felt he has done numerous times before and sometimes gets quite hammy which is a shame. Kangana Ranut seems bored and no-one can blame her – her role is so sketchy it should have been listed as a guest appearance and doesn’t even scratch the surface of what she can achieve.  Surprisingly, it is Boman Irani, Sameera Reddy and Zayed Khan who are all assigned stock characters who come off best, making their characters feel real and genuinely connecting with the audience. Mohanlal is also wasted in his cameo which for me encapsulated Tezz’s dilemma – the best of resources not even utilised to half of their capacity.

Sadly, Tezz is a big mess and not even a hot one at that. The illegal immigrant back story which is tacked on as an after thought should have been the backbone of the film and would have provided the perfect contrast to the action as well making Tezz relevant and interesting. I was more disappointed than anything as Tezz reminded me of those films from the Nineties and Noughties which had so much potential but suffered because of a poor script. Not one to go out of your way to watch, Tezz really is suited to being watched on a plane or on telecast if there is nothing else on. Disappointing.


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