Sarkar Raj Review
Ramu holds the directorial reins firmly and even experiments big time, in Sarkar Raj. Overall, the movie confirms the fact that sequels are difficult to better (except for a stray Lage Raho Munnabhai). But still, it’s a perfect cinematic outing..
FIRST THINGS first, the film has got nothing to do with Raj Thackeray. I guess, now Thackeray can relax and watch the movie, if he intends doing so.
Sarkar Raj starts off with the new political fold upset with Sarkar. Ranga (Sayaji Shinde) the deputy CM and his friend, Hasan Qazi (Govind Namdeo) fixer try to finish off Shankar (Abhishek Bachchan), but the henchman is apprehended and the film opens with his brutal murder.
Ranga and Qazi then decide on a bigger game-plan that involves a power-project ’Shepherd’ (shades of Enron, over here). The CEO (or was it COO) is Anita (Aishwarya Rai) whose beliefs of conducting business are radically different from Mike’s (Victor Banerjee), her father.
On Qazis insistence, Anita comes to India to present the business plan to Sarkar (Amitabh Bachchan). Initially, Sarkar is opposed to the idea; but on Shankars insistence, he agrees if his ideological guru Rao Saheb (Dilip Prabhalvarkar) agrees.
However, Rao Sahebs nephew, Somji, has other plans.
How Sarkar and Shankar overcome all odds forms the narrative of the film.
Frankly speaking, Sarkar was more gripping, but Sarkar Raj has more meat; its only that it hasnt been written quite convincingly. However, the brilliant direction and superb performances by everybody keeps the viewers engrossed till the very end.
The pace slackens a bit towards the second half, but once towards the climax Sarkar comes in focus due to a grave mis-happening, film gathers momentum as the real plot unravels.
After Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, Ramu is in full form. He has used his (by now) trademark camera-angles (introducing a few new ones) to heighten the drama. The actors have brilliantly added to the films narrative.
Amitabh Bachchan here is relegated to play a second fiddle to son Abhishek, but once he takes charge, he is indefatigable. Just watch him break when his daughter-in-law Avantika (Tanisha) dies. Amazing! Or when he gets to know about the identity of the real killers or the cold-blood with which he orders the execution of Kantilal Vora (Upendra Limaye) or the scene where Avantika tells him that panditji told her would-be child (if a boy) should be named Vishnu or the scenes where he confronts his son, Shankar. Another unparalleled performance!
Abhishek Bachchan fits into the role of Shankar hand-in-glove. He reminds you of a young Amitabh in his angst-ridden scenes. He is particularly brilliant in the bomb-blast scene where he is just supposed to react. Even the scene, where Aishwarya and he come close needs a very seasoned actor for though the scene is simple, the emotions involved are very complex.
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, cast as a young businesswoman, is good and towards the climax comes on her own; with she taking the mettle of Sarkar (a la Abhishek in Sarkar).
Apart from these three principal characters, almost the entire set of actors, have given worthy performances.
Ramu holds the directorial reins firmly and even experiments big time, by not showing the face of the assassin (done practice in Hindi films), who shapes the entire climax. If he is let down, it is the writing by Prashant Pandey. There are very many questions that need justification; unlike Sarkar. In fact, writing seems to be rushed up, particularly the second half, before the film gathers itself together towards the climax.
Background music by Amar Mohile and the cinematography deserve a mention. Overall, Sarkar Raj confirms the fact that sequels are difficult to better (except for a stray Lage Raho Munnabhai). But still, its a perfect cinematic outing.