Kajal Aggarwal’s Cop-Thriller Lacks Stirring Plot and a Memorable Protagonist

It seems as if the filmmakers wanted to pack the film with everything that is trending and considering ‘in’ when it comes to a cop thriller led by a female detective
read more

Cast: Kajal Aggarwal, Naveen Chandra

Director: Suman Chikkala

When I see a debut director on a poster, especially with a female lead character, I do not get excited anymore. I truly believe that the era of brilliant films from debut directors with female lead characters has come to an end. What remains now is a mess that is nothing but plot line that is full of turns and twists, which are stale. Satyabhama is one such film. A cop thriller that is not thrilling, and one that doesn’t keep you hooked. Forget keeping you hooked the story gets so convoluted at one point that there really is no saying where Satyabhama’s case will lead her next. It begins with a domestic abuse, moves onto murder, then a dash of kidnapping with a slight sprinkling of terrorism. It sounds a tad bit inconsiderate, doesn’t it?

At one point, watching Satyabhama felt inconsiderate as well. It seems as if the filmmakers wanted to pack the film with everything that is trending and considering ‘in’ when it comes to a cop thriller led by a female detective. They even added a sub-plot where Satyabhama arrives late at her own wedding to show that she is a brilliant cop. Now, let’s see how this impacts her personal life. Is the husband — played by Naveen Chandra — an understanding man? Considering that they do go through the wedding, it seems like it. However, soon enough he wants a baby. I wonder how this is a sign of a considerate partner. Yet, none of these angles that the filmmakers attempted to include in the film do any favours to it. In fact, it only hinders the film. The good cop-thriller is one that doesn’t veer away from the case. The chase is what gives the audiences the high.

Sure, this cop will have a personal life and to not explore that side of a character would make her seem incomplete. However, the skill for writing a good segue between the professional and personal is lacking here. The one good thing about the film is the lead actor Kajal Aggarwal. She has not portrayed a character such as this before, and she does do it justice within her means — including performing action scenes. That is, however, all that was noteworthy about this film.

Now, speaking of the case itself, without giving away any spoilers, what I would like to observe is that the film did not need the grand set up that comes with a case associated with terror attack. It could have been a brilliant film had it stuck to the case of domestic abuse and explored that case in all its angles. The crumbs that lead the female cop from abuse to terrorism are clearly placed there to give the audience a kick, and to add movement to the script. However, instead of unravelling in a clean manner, the entire plot comes undone and in certain scenes even looks conceited. If you think, you are in for a film such as Mardaani, then you are mistaken. However, if you are only looking to see Kajal Aggarwal in a new role as a fan, then give it a try.

Rating: 2 (out of 5 stars)

Satyabhama is playing in cinemas

Priyanka Sundar is a film journalist who covers films and series of different languages with a special focus on identity and gender politics.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *