Sarkar has Ram Gopal Varma play an innings that remind you of Virender Sehwag.
This recklessly compiled quick-fire century has him despatching the ball beyond the boundary at least a dozen times. But, Sarkar also has an equal number of loose shots and in some places, it does not even connect!
You would have seen Sehwag play such an innings with brilliance and carelessness both written all over it.
There are easily about a dozen scenes in ‘Sarkar’ that stay with you long after the movie is over. I saw it yesterday first day first show. And I still remember some of the lines and scenes. There are moments that totally ROCK!!
The first 20 minutes explode on to the screen with raw power as Varma shows us his desi Don Corleone, a Safed Baal wala Thackeray, as Subhash Nagre, the man much respected by the people.
The first Act of the film is probably it’s best.
Varma gives us the beautiful details — what his characters are, what is their world like, what do they all stand for and what could be the possible conflict. Bachchan Sr. is first rate with a controlled performance that banks on Varma’s choice of close-ups and assorted shots that bring out his body language and non-verbal communication. Jr. has nothing much to do here.
The guy who steals the scene from right below the Bachchan’s nose is the other son sitting at the table. K K who plays Vishnu (Sonny Corleone) lights up the frames with his electric presence, menacing energy and intensity that could only be matched by Bachchan Sr. in his younger days. The verbal exchange at the dinner table and the tension it packs is a high point! That’s a six!
Next over, the baddies surface. And lazy ass screenwriter Manish Gupta begins to show his weakness. The villains are probably the weakest link in the film. There’s Rashid, a Dubai-based smuggler who’s idea of acting is to stare through his glasses. There’s a a golt-villain talking horrible Tamil and there are the usual bad ass politicians. Almost run-out. Of ideas, of course.
Like my friend said after the movie: “It looked like a scene out of one of those MGR movies. All the bad guys get together and do the evil laugh after they plan. For a minute I thought I was watching M.N.Nambiar there.”
Yes, he did have a point. The villains are weak indeed. And screenwriting just makes them look like clowns in a comic book! This is where the middle Act suffers. The conflict in the film is very weak and second rate. Pitting son against father had so much more potential… Malik and Chandu were pitted against each other in Company with greater finesse, so much that your heart went out to them when they split. It made the proceedings in the second half absolutely riveting.
Here, Varma is let down by his scriptwriter Manish Gupta. If the script is weak, no amount of direction and style can elevate it. If the lines are bad, no amount of non-verbal cues can compensate. Not that all lines are bad. Some of the punch lines work! And HOW!! But in most parts of the film, the lines are pretty average, the sub-plots are very under-developed and the secondary characters of the film poorly etched. Luca Brasi and the Consigliori in The Godfather were wonderfully described characters. Here, they are reduced to stereotypes. Caught and dropped.
Also, here there’s absolutely no graphic violence! Godfather was like the baap of violent movies. Here, it’s very subdued. Not too much imagery as such, just a hint of rawness with use of dumb-bells and sledgehammer to break the monotonous nature of gun-shot violence. Clever shots.
Though it is his homage to The Godfather, it is not really an remake. It is only half-adapted from the movie and half inspired by certain incidents from the Shiv Sena leaders life, but the director smartly steers clear of politics and abstains from giving his don any religious colour.
It is in the second act that the movie goes a little downhill as the Varma executes some corny run-of-the-mill scenes that lack plausibility. The sequences of Shankar’s (Abhishek Bachchan’s) escape and his attempt to save his Dad have the film at its lowest and weakest. Varma at his sketchy worst! The mistimed hook, the off-balanced pull and dropped at slip. Embarassing.
The background score, though overdone, heightens the tension and is perfect for the mood of the film. It totally works for me. Another six.
As a result of a messed up middle, the final act, when Shankar takes over, starts on a weak footing. But a couple of good scenes and the finale salvage the film to a level of respectability. The last few scenes when Shankar hunts down the enemies of Sarkar have the stamp of the master blaster of Bollywood. And Varma reaches his century with a six!
The filmmaker mixes fact and fiction, Corleone and Bal Thackeray, slick style and half-baked substance with equal doses of recklessness and brilliance. Certainly not his best, but definitely watchable! Go for it.
I am supposed to review this movie for my paper. So I’ll watch it again. And you guys watch out for the Updated review.
good one sudhish. i was in 2 minds , to see or not to see. decided now. u dint say anything bout the other KK. ( i suppose she is the ‘heeroyini’). not worth mentioning?
it’s pretty high on my “bunk class and watch this movie” list. paarkanam..
btw, mafia seems to be the theme for the weekend.. I’ve written abt it too 🙂
Thanks sudish that motivates me to go for the movie-but based on your review I literally draged my brother to watch Bunty aur bubbly but both of us didnot enjoy.Tastes differ-yes.
Katrina Kaif looks good and all but not much of a role anyway!
none of the women have much of a role in this male dominated movie!
dai, have u seen thirupaachi??? 🙂
Well, most people by now know that
I LIKE movies, I am not too much of a critic, more of a movie lover. The critic in me comes out only when I see absolute murder of script, characters and director’s narrative as such… like Anniyan!
So if i like a movie, best to understand that i appreciate more than what the common man would.
And if i trash a movie, its probably cuz it is cuz my resistance towards bull shit is lesser than the common mans!
In my BnB review, I wrote that the movie isnt smart but works purely on charm of the main actors!
And charm is of course subjective! but i stand by my review… 🙂
Sud…dude.. im doin super here in manorama school in kerala..we were all asked to write a report on an event…the prof here(KTO, who once trained most of ur colleagues from acj) said everyone’s lead was “a bunch of nonsense” and said mine was “interesting”.. Coming from sum1 who is SO popular in journo circles, I felt really happy. Srinivas.PS-Miss ur page 2 hindu stories here…
hey there! not sure you rememeber me but what the hell! just read yr blogs. especially the one with the story about di and all! brought back lots of old memeories. as for this blog…will definitely see the movie. nice to see yr still as insane as ever.
A friend of mine gave me the link to Vinod’s blog, cuz he found some of the content very amusing. I was delighted to find your blog!!!!!!! My name is Hamsini Ravi, ( http://www.livejournal.com/users/hamdamn) and I’am probably your biggest fan!!!!! I especially love the articles you and Shonali Muthalay write together!!!!! I’am a wannabe journalist and have got two of my articles published in the Young World. One four years back and one last week-so here am thinking that there is probably some karma and I’ll be fortunate enough to work in Metro plus-my absolute favourite suplement!!!!!!!!!!!! I’d be delighted if you could drop me an email giving me some advice. I’am currently going my first year, B.A sociology, in stella.I wanna pursue print journalism as a masters degree either in the UK or in the US. I’d be even more delighted if you could look through some of the stuff I’ve written. * bounces* See you!!!!!!!!!
yeah, u soon gonna be superman!
u can start underwear shopping right away… choose some funky ones man, you gotta wear them over ur suit remember!
Keep the good thing going… 🙂
adi paavi… I remember u… u ruined my life after all!! di was all set to go out with me for the first time in 3 or 4 years and u told her something that changed her mind… how can i forget u…
how u been?
So good to see u here!
wat u upto? still in kerala?
how ur hubby doing?
But im sorry, position of greatest fan already taken… Sandhya Ramachandran… he he!
Sorry, I owe it to her. She wrote me the sweetest letter ever… I even blogged about it…
But i can always do with a friend!
yes u can send me ur stuff and i can tell u what I think. mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All the best and catch up soon!
I saw it again tonite!!
I liked it better the second time cuz i already knew what was bad about it…
i love the movie! despite its flaws. despite its wasted potential.
will update review on Friday for the paper and post it then. Do come back then.
nice review. i think by the end of the movie, the score was a about 350. agree anyone?
Nice comparison though some deliveries were missed by your highlights package. Especially AB’s acting and the ChandraSwami character scheming “Us Soch ko Marna hai”… it kind of goes well with a lot of political/public leaders who go unchallenged.
I felt the lack of graphic violence was good. Verma has shown his penchant for it in his other movies…. but he chose to focus more on THE AB’s face and its graphic emotions.. than the actual blood and gore.