Republic (2021) Review: Sai Dharam Tej Leads This Compelling Political Drama

Republic is a drama film directed by Deva Katta and stars Sai Dharam Tej, Ramya Krishnan, Aishwarya Rajesh, and Jagapathi Babu, alongside other cast members. The movie is 152 minutes long.

Zee5 describes the movie as:

After Abhiram realises the hardships faced by the farmers of his hometown owing to the town’s corrupt politicians, he decides to cleanse the system by making a career in civil services and fighting for his people.

– Republic review does not contain spoilers –

Republic is a relevant film. It talks about democracy and corruption and stars some big names. So, this should’ve been a thrilling movie from start to finish, right? Well…

The movie, in spite of having a hard-hitting premise, plays on all the usual tropes of social commentary movies. There’s a good guy in a sea of bad people who is up against the world to see justice being served. And while that sounds like vigilante justice in a sense, Republic, thank god, does not go that route. Abhiram’s journey from talking about justice to doing something about it is commendable and inspiring.

However, as a movie, Republic movie is repetitive and a bit boring, especially the extensive first half. Repetitive because the idea of democracy is talked about non-stop and Abhiram hammers his stance home, so much so that it becomes annoying to watch him harp on and on about the same thing. I get it, people should be good. But they’re not, so do something about it!

He does do something about it, but the entire first half is of him nagging and complaining about the system and the corruption. Meanwhile, Republic’s bad guys don’t seem to be real people (or maybe they are and I am just a slight optimist). Vishakavani, played by Ramya Krishnan, feels like a bad guy straight from hell. The way she presents herself and talks about common people is straight out of the cartoon villain handbook.

Moreover, people just threaten others out in the open and very loudly. In this age of social media, realistically, the bad guys try to do the bad things a bit covertly. You never know what starts trending on Twitter. I mean, I don’t have much faith in the media either but social media is a thing and if you, as a government employee, take the side of the bad guy during an election, be rest assured that your ass is going to be handed to you.

Also, the tone of the movie just shifts from extremely serious to a dance number within a matter of minutes. The whiplash of going from feeling angry to romantic can be a bit much sometimes. Republic 2021, however, is a compelling watch. As the movie nears the second half, it picks up pace consistently and becomes a treat to watch. There are some superhero moments that are totally unbelievable, but well, I guess that’s the least that we can expect at this point.

Also Read: SonyLIV’s Sivaranjaniyum Innum Sila Pengalum Review: Breaking Free

Sai Dharam Tej, in spite of being a justice-seeking man, is shockingly reserved in his portrayal of Abhiram. You’d expect him to be all up in arms within 5 minutes of the runtime, but Abhiram goes through the correct routes to see a change in society. That’s a fresh take in cinema where, usually, taking your shirt off and screaming is the choice of the hour.

Ramya Krishnan is the perfect opposition to Tej’s Abhiram. She’s chilling and takes care of her character flawlessly. The only downside is Aishwarya Rajesh’s character which does not do justice to an amazing artist like her.

Summing up: Republic

Republic is a fine watch that gets a lot right. The songs are cringe but all in all, it’s interesting to watch a compelling political movie. Some parts will drag extensively, but there’s not a lot of looking back after the first half.

Republic is streaming on Zee5.

Also Read: Hiccups and Hookups (2021) Review: A Few Moments

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Overall

SUMMARY

Sai Dharam Tej and Ramya Krishnan's Republic is compelling and hard-hitting with a few doozy bits.

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