The 80s in India were famous for producing the worst commercial films but here is an exception. Not that Sippy's 'Satyamev Jayate' is a masterpiece of any sort, it's simply an entertaining and engaging crime drama about corruption, lust, betrayal, abandonment and revenge. Though the ending is predictable, the situations leading towards are engaging and we meet some interesting characters. For an 80's film, it's reasonably well shot.
The characters of the 'good' guys are well written as we see shades of gray. However, the 'bad' guys appear to be slightly one dimensional but the writer does explain reasons behind some of the character's attitude. For example, we can understand why Anupam Kher's greedy character is such a jerk to his wife.
Vinod Khanna is mostly alright as the alcoholic cop but he fails to convince in the drunken scenes. Asrani provides some comic relief. Shakti Kapoor's Bagha is menacing and Anupam Kher is OK as the jackass lawyer husband. However, in spite of being a male-dominated film, 'Satyamev Jayate' belongs to the women. Anita Raj is brilliant as Arjun's former lover Vidya while both Madhavi (as Pooja) and Meenakshi Sheshadri (as Seema) steal the show with their heartbreaking performances. Two scenes I found very disturbing were Seema's gang rape and Bagha forcing Pooja to clean the table. It is Pooja and Seema, with whom that the viewers ends up sympathizing most.
Bappi Lahiri's music is very pleasant. Only two songs are fully picturised and I like both the songs. 'Dil mein ho tum' is a very romantic song sung beautifully by Asha Bhosle and 'De Rahi Duwayen' is a sweet song about a brother and a sister.
There are a few plot holes and situations that should have been better explained. For example, what makes Bagha tap Arjun's telephone? All in all, if one is trying to dig up some good commercial Hindi film from the 80s, 'Satyamev Jayate' may be among the rare few. It's not a gem but has entertainment value.
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