In 2005 when Ram Gopal Verma’s Sarkar hit the screens the novelty of the script managed to impress both the public and the critics so much that it went on to become a blockbuster-hit. This prompted the director to make a sequel Sarkar Raj in 2008 and this gripping thriller also went on to become a big box-office success. The story of a Don running a parallel government was hailed as the ‘Indianised’ version of The Godfather. The character of the protagonist Subhash Nagre (played by Amitabh Bachchan) borrowed heavily from the late Shiv Sena leader Balasaheb Thackery’s life caught the fancy of the audience in a big way.
The films were also appreciated for the superb performances from the entire cast especially Amitabh Bachchan, Kay Kay Menon, Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. While Kay Kay Menon played Amitabh’s elder son Vishnu, Abhishek Bachchan played Shankar, Amitabh’s younger son. The relationship between the father and the sons formed an important crux as well as the highlight of this crime drama.
In Sarkar, Kay Kay Menon is killed and in Sarkar Raj, Abhishek Bachchan is killed. And now Sarkar 3 introduces Kay Kay’s son Amit Sadh.
First of all, only a person who has watched the earlier two movies of the Sarkar saga is bound to have a better understanding of Sarkar 3 as against the person seeing it in isolation. As the movie starts directly with Subhash Nagre aka Sarkar’s grandson’s entry into the scheme of things it would have been better had the director taken the trouble to give a short background into the story and the characters for any first time viewer. And even for those who have seen the earlier films, the gap is too long as it is 12 years since Sarkar came and 9 years since Sarkar Raj hit the screens.
Having said that, Amitabh Bachchan who remains the lifeline of the crime saga needs to be lauded for yet another brilliant performance and it is his enigmatic presence which holds the film from the first scene to last scene.
THE PLOT OUTLINE:
Having lost both his sons, Subhash Nagre is shown to be older and quieter and even though he is a broken man emotionally his spirit to fight for his people and his will to provide them justice has not waned at all. His razor sharp brain is still able to assess the situations, see through the facades of the people surrounding him and he is astute enough to plan and plot the killings of his enemies and traitors.
It is at this juncture that his grandson Shivaji (played by the youngster Amit Sadh) makes an entry into Subhash Nagre’s life. Though Shivaji supports his grandfather’s ideologies like his Shankar ‘chacha’, he possesses a volatile personality like his father Vishnu thereby making way for clashes and confrontations between grandfather and grandson.
The story follows the usual path where people come to ask his help or support. There are wily, power-hungry groups constantly fighting to finish Sarkar and there are people switching sides at the drop of a hat. As with the earlier films, there is a traitor leaking important information and the director manages to keep the identity of the traitor a suspense till the end…
While the story does sound good on paper, the director loses his grip during execution. There are no exciting moments in the first one hour of the film and it is only after the Ganesh aarti song that things pick up a little bit. Dull lighting and weird close-up shots lead to lacklustre camerawork which also cause damage to the narrative.
Though Amit Sadh is very good in his role of the grandson he cannot make up for the charming presence of Abhishek Bachchan who is sorely missed. After all, there is always a special ‘x’ factor whenever Amitabh and Abhishek share screen-space.
There is no villain of the stature of Pran, Amrish Puri or Prem Chopra left in the industry today to match Amitabh Bachchan’s towering screen presence and personality and give him a ‘takkar’ (competition). Jackie Shroff as the evil mastermind is such a spectacular misfit that he single-handedly kills the very essence of the film with his average acting and dull dialogue delivery. He and the weird lady who plays his moll make the Dubai scenes look cheap and crassy.
Most importantly, while the first two movies stood out for the racy narrative and brilliant twists, Sarkar 3 is marred by its extremely slow pace especially in the first half. Though things do pick up post-interval ending in an intriguing climax the final product sadly falls short of being the dark thriller it was touted to be!
Amitabh Bachchan is in top form as usual. Amit Sadh’s work is also commendable. For a youngster, he shows tremendous confidence in standing next to a colossus like Amitabh and leave his mark. Manoj Bajpai in his short role is his natural self. Ronit Roy as Amitabh’s right hand man is superb though he could have been given a bigger role. Supriya Pathak is quite irritating. Yami Gautam has nothing much to do in the film.
About the actors playing the villains, the less said the better. None is able to leave a stamp as none have the cold-blooded evil look so necessary for films like these.
There is a spectacular Ganesh Chaturthi visarjan scene with an outstanding ‘aarti’ song sung by Amitabh Bachchan himself. Really Amitabh at this age never ceases to amaze! His resonating voice singing the song is absolutely spellbinding and this is easily the highlight of the film. Here is a video clip of the song and though it is not the full version as seen in the film, it is enough to give an idea…
TO WATCH OR NOT TO WATCH ?
It is a different kind of film and may not cater to popular taste and the slow pace may also prove to be off-putting. But Amitabh Bachchan fans should definitely watch the film for his performance and fans of the Sarkar saga may also end up watching it.
Coming in the wake of the Baahubali tsunami, the film will have tough competition to attract audience. Come to think of it, Baahubali has changed the cinema viewing experience so dramatically that it is going to be very difficult for any of the upcoming films to generate that kind of interest and excitement…