Sarkar Raj - Review

Friday, June 20, 2008

Sarkar Raj was an eagerly awaited film. It was deemed to be Ramu’s comeback, rather fightback, film. There were rumors abound about the film being a platform for the Bachchans to show their Maharashtra love. The film scores on both these counts. Ramu is in form or should I say in his comfort zone in the film and he delivers. The Bachchans use the 70MM canvas to seek a place in the hearts of the Marathis who are supposed to hate them following the political outbursts against the first family of Indian Filmdom.


Sarkar Raj takes off from where Sarkar had left. The slickness is maintained and the pace at which the story moves grips you from the very outset. A foreign power company headed by Anita (Aishwarya) wants to set up a power plant in Maharashtra and for that it seeks Sarkar’s help. Shankar (Abhishek) believes in the project and despite the initial hiccups is able to convince people to welcome the power plant project. In the process he makes a few enemies as well who decide to play games with him.

The build up to the intermission is quite good and the interval point reminds you again of Godfather. Just as Michael Corleone’s wife was blown up in Godfather, here, Tanisha is blown up. Post interval it’s revenge time for the Nagres as Shankar goes for the kill to avenge his wife’s death. Tensions build up and a contract killer is hired to eliminate Shankar. Shankar meanwhile is oblivious to the lurking danger as he is not able to gauge the larger conspiracy at hand. The result – he is shot dead!

The semi-retired Sarkar comes back to the helm to find the people behind the killing and has them killed. He figures out that a political game was being played by his own mentor to get the reins of power back in his hands. Sarkar foils his bid and shows who the real boss is.

The climax is open ended to allow Ramu enough room to cook up another story to complete the Sarkar trilogy in future.

Now coming to the details or as I say, the dissection:

Acting: Amitabh Bachchan is awesome! Only he could have been Sarkar and he plays the character with supreme finesse. Junior B too got into the skin of the character just as well as he did the last time around. His death scene immortalizes his character. Thankfully there is not much drama and that makes it look more real. Aishwarya Rai gets to play a strong girl but not that strong a character. Yes, the climax does augur well for her character in the third part, if it is made. Rest of the cast is ok. The touch that the actor playing an industrialist, Kantilal Vora, brings to his character looks obsolete and very filmy.

Direction: Ramu is a master of underworld films. He delivers this time and that must have been a relief for him. He has his own trademark way of introducing characters and showing a vulture flying over the sky to denote the ‘lull before the storm’. The good thing about Ramu is his technical deftness, the bad thing – his repetitiveness!

Music: Amar Mohile is a veteran and has done a good work with the background score. The haunting tunes come back to you and the chants of ‘Govinda, Govinda!’ bring back the same aura that Sarkar-I had brought. Thumbs up for the score. The other songs are not good. They didn’t have to be, this film did not need any song. Ramu has intelligently played them in the background to break the monotony at times.

Dialogues: Intelligent but a bit too taxing at times. There were a few really good scenes with quality dialogues but at times they went overboard and gave the impression of being forced to give an overdose of intellect in the film.

As for the packaging, publicity and box office fate, they seem have been taken care of quite well. The film will be profitable and will go some way in resurrecting the declining power that Ramu once wielded through his ‘Factory’ that I have heard has shut down now. I hope better sense prevails on Ramu and he gives up his dream to rehash Sholay a second time.

Sarkar Raj is not an entertainer. You would appreciate it but not love it.


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