STARRING: AMITABH BACCHAN, AMIT SADH, RONIT ROY, JACKIE SHROFF, YAMI GAUTAM, MANOJ BAJPAYEE
DIRECTOR: RAM GOPAL VARMA
Sarkar is one of the finest made films of Bollywood. And it is painful that the franchise of such a strong brand has been so lackluster from the first look that it can hardly create any excitement. And once you see the film you realize that the film is not all that bad but it still should not have been made as it is not even in the same pin code as the quality of a film like Sarkar.
Surprisingly, the biggest criminal in the film is its writing. There is nothing novel in the story and it hardly moves. Even when it does, it is not coherent and does not have enough to keep you interested. The aspect that was the strongest of RGV’s film is the weakest link today. And it is surprising to know that this limp screenplay is written by RGV himself. There is a limp 90’s twist which is the film’s trump card which is reminiscent of Sarkar Raj but before it everything is so uninteresting that you are exhausted to pay attention.
The reason could be that this time he does not have a fleshed out or layered story to tell but he writes scenes. Long, elaborate scenes which are equally stylishly shot but they don’t convert to a narration. Except for Subhash Nagre aka Sarkaar, the other characters are wafer thin and one dimensional. Much like his previous films, in order to give them some kind of edge, RGV keeps them silent for the most part but this silence which was used brilliantly before by Varma is now just jarring and awkward. Jackie Shroff’s character is one of the weirdest thing in the movie and his one liners are terribly unintentionally funny. Yami Gautam’s character becomes the biggest victim of Varma’s indulgence. Her motives are explained in one line and after that what is her undecipherable plan is best known to the writers.
The plot too is unclear to follow. Unlike Sarkar Raj here the agenda of the plot is completely left unexplained. There is a talk of a mill and a union leader and some project but what the characters around are doing is unexplained or really hard to follow. And this time the film only pretends to explore the nature of politics but is only a superficially done revenge thriller which is also half baked.
Unfortunately, the same goes for the direction. All the RGV strengths become mere tropes and feels silly. His staple for long drawn silences works at few points but mostly leave you wanting more. His impeccable sense of using background score also gets overboard. There is a complete attempt to ruin the iconic ‘Govinda’ score but moreover, the film does not have powerful enough content for the chilling impact to be delivered and here it is just used to bad effect most of the time. He does not have hold on the emotion of the film and it is all over the place. The slow and drawn out lengths of the scene also make the experience even more painful as the film just refuses to budge. This time RGV is too aware of his style and his indulgence is not appreciated.
The film is packed with amazing actors with incredible caliber. Every frame is filled with some great actors which is the only redeemable aspect of the film. Amitabh Bachhan is perfection as Sarkar. Although, his performances have recently started to become oft repeated and his usual style and chewing the scenery sometimes slackens the pace. Ronit Roy and Manoj Bajpai show tremendous potential to hit it off the park but suffer due to underwritten role. Amit Sadh tries hard to fit into RGV scheme of things and makes his presence felt amongst the seasoned actors. Yami Gautam and Jackie Shroff are the worst affected and just come off as awkward and unintentionally funny.
There was a time when you may love him or hate him but RGV’S film were hard to ignore. But it’s a shame now that he is in news for all the reasons but his film and an important one like this also does not even create a murmur. A colossal disappointment in every way possible.