Movie Review: Sarkar 3
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Bajpayee, Ronit Roy, Jackie Shroff, Yami Gautam, Amit Sadh, Rohini Hattangadi and Supriya Pathak
Director: Ram Gopal Verma
Rating: 2.5 stars
It’s been more than a decade when Ram Gopal Verma established the Sarkar franchise and firmly established Subhash Nagre as a household name, beautifully marrying the tale of Shiv Sena’s late Supremo Bal Thackeray meets Godfather’s Don Corleone, set against the backdrop of nitty-gritty politics in Maharashtra.
The fun started with the signature dialogue and style, ‘Mujhe jo sahi lagta hai mein wohi karta hu…’ when Sarkar reached an iconic and cult-like status in the annals of Hindi cinema. When you established a brand over the years and you are a Ram Gopal Verma, boasting a rich repertoire of works such as Shiva, Rangeela, Kaun, Bhoot, Company, Satya and of course, Sarkar and Sarkar Raj and expressing a strong political statement on celluloid, there are bound to be expectations despite certain duds in your filmography. Sadly, RGV has again proved critics right with Sarkar 3 which is a major let down.
The director makes a pale shadow of his own self and ripping off his movies, case in point being his earlier installments, Sarkar and Sarkar Raj to cash on the brand. The content is almost zero and the film verges from gimmicks to superficiality. It’s sad that we couldn’t recognize the same filmmaker who churned out masterpieces in the not-so-distant past.
First thing first, there is no script in Sarkar. What built Sarkar into a well-established brand over the years are the memorable dialogues in the prequels that one would always remember. This is what made Subhash Nagre, his acolytes, and foes. It’s a real tragedy when you have two immensely brilliant actors such as Amitabh Bachchan and Manoj Bajpayee whose confrontational and only scene is executed in an amateurish manner. The confrontation lacks powerful dialogues. It was such a golden opportunity that RGV lost and difficult to fathom that he is the same director who wouldn’t miss anything in the past to create sparkle between two giants that would go down in history as a memorable face-off. The worse part is that the director suddenly kills the character played by Manoj which bears an uncanny resemblance to the Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal. In fact, both Bachchan and Bajpayee should have been the inner strength of Sarkar from start-to-finish coupled with breathtaking dialogues and sequences.
This third installment of Sarkar is rich in gimmicks and you mention it, you get it! First is Manoj Bajpayee as the overambitious politician, Govind Deshpande and his mother played by the supremely talented Rohini Hattangadi as Rukku Bai Devi who shares a whisky with her son who has no qualm in lighting her a cigarette. What’s up with the scene where the director shot the close-up of Rohini’s holding her index and finger together? It reminds us of the horrible close-ups of an empty cup of tea in Department. Secondly, it gets ridiculous to see Jackie Shroff (Vallya) surrounded by women clad in bikinis and prancing around a swimming pool, surrounded by pets and admiring fish in aquariums. This dialogue, Laddoo ka bada problem yeh hai ki woh bahut meetha hai’ reeks of stupidity and get as weird as it can.
The typical Maharashtrian middle-class flavor is missing, the dark and gritty premises that Sarkar represented is wiped off by superficial and expensive five-star hotel locations. In the earlier ventures, Subhash Nagre house bore a certain darkness and typical ‘Mumbai’ feeling that drew the audience in to make it relatable with the wooden stairs exhibiting a certain fear. There was a certain pathos which is sorely lacking in execution and the new Nagre is surrounded by a cornucopia of abhorred wealth. Sarkar was never about that!
Amitabh Bachchan is Subhash Nagre aka Sarkar. Can you imagine anyone better than him? He is rock solid as Sarkar in the huge baritone and imposing persona that sits like a King on the throne. Bachchan is majestic and shines through. Unfortunately, the weak script and shoddy screenplay let him down. Manoj Bajpayee holds his might as the overambitious politician and effectively emulating Arvind Kejriwal but, unfortunately, he gets lesser screen presence. RGV repeated his mistake in Sarkar Raj when he killed Abhishek Bachchan’s character, Shankar and this time, Manoj is the victim.
Unfortunately, Jackie Shroff as the villain is wasted and he is made more gimmicky than fearful. Yami Gautam as Anu Karkare has revenge all over her mind but comes out as mute and doling out eye candy expressions. When you stand opposite a giant like Bachchan, you need a powerful actor to match his histrionics. Unfortunately, Amit Sadh as Chikoo and Shivaji lacks the strength and power to face Big B. His voice modulation is weak and fails to convey the right expressions. Ronit Roy holds his own forte in the film and is super efficient.
The biggest problem with Sarkar 3 is that it lacks the down-to-earth characters and actors of caliber such as Rashid (Zakir Hussain) and Ravi Kale as Chandar who contributed for the endearing prequels. Even Abhishek Bachchan as Shankar and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Anita are sorely missing.
The only saving grace in the movie is Amitabh Bachchan who plays Sarkar like gloves in hand and the climax scene reminds us of the super successful RGV movies. It is sad to say that the once maverick film-maker Ram Gopal Varma himself knows what he did with this mess called Sarkar 3 in the name of the franchise. It lacks the soul of the earlier episodes and his camera moves jerkily at times. A major disappointment for an iconic franchise. Sarkar 3 is bizarre. Hope you are back super soon Ramu and till then, angry tweets!