How's my Luck now?

Reflections, views and descriptions during my stay at IIM Lucknow from July 2004 to March 2006

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Location: India

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

'Sarkar'

I watched this latest Ram Gopal Varma film at the Waves multiplex with some friends the day before yesterday. I had read a review of the film on Rediff which had been pretty harsh, and had called it 'a dumbed down Godfather'. So I was not expecting much.

But I must say that the film is not all that bad, and the review overcriticized. It is quite impossible to create the aura of Marlon Brando with his method acting, even if Don Corleone is being enacted by Amitabh Bachchan, the ruthless intensity of Al Pacino (played by Abhishek Bachchan), and of course, Coppola's direction. However, if you just forget that this film is a kind of remake of 'The Godfather' and just view it as a Hindi film, it fares quite well.

Amitabh is Sarkar, or Subhash Naagare, a Marathi don in Mumbai. But unlike Don Vito, crime is not his business, it is his crusade against more vicious crime - a perpetual avenging mechanism. Thus, he does not take assignments to protect smugglers' consignments, etc. He has two sons - Vishnu (played brilliantly by Kay Kay), a rebellious and hotblooded character, and Shankar (Abhishek), a US-educated man who is quite proud of his father's work. As a certain assignment is rejected by Amitabh because it involves abetting smugglers, he falls into disfavour with the Dubai-based smuggler. Along with his henchmen, which include a Chandraswami lookalike and a Madrasi character Selvarmani (played hilariously by Kota Srinivasa Rao, a popular Telugu villain), he hatches a plan to trap Amitabh. They kill a popular politician called Khurana (Anupam Kher) who is anti-Naagare, and Amitabh is implicated. Vishnu has now moved over to the dark side, and Amitabh surrenders and is put in jail. Abhishek, having come to know that there will be an attack on Amitabh in the jail, approaches Selvarmani who turns out to have crossed over as well. So, Abhishek runs for his life from there (a sequence lacking thrill), and starts to transform into Sarkar himself. The rest of the tale is about his revenge on the smuggler and others, which includes killing his brother. The film ends with Amitabh living a retired existence and Abhishek being addressed as Sarkar.

As the Rediff review notes, the women in the film do not have roles to speak of. However, Supriya Pathak as Amitabh's wife does well. Amitabh, Abhishek and Kay Kay are all good, particularly the latter.

The main problem with the film is that it is like the curate's egg - good in parts. It does not sustain the tension generated in the scene where Abhishek comes in and tells his parents that he has killed his brother, in all scenes. The background music is mostly deafening and distracting. The theme music of 'The Godfather' is also copied and modified to make it bad :), and repeated in a few sequences. So, while not being very harsh to the movie, I would say that it could have been much better, particularly in character development and writing.

1 Comments:

Blogger Pratik said...

i saw the film finally - was searching for reviews when i found yours. infact i agree with you. rediff has overcriticized the movie. i, for one, liked the movie. the music was fine with me & the script and the tension held on for me... looked at infica.com reviews for sarkar... they too confirm the same.

2:22 PM  

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