Directed By: Ram Gopal Varma
Produced By: Rahul Mittra, Anand Pandit, Gopal Shivram Dalvi, Krishan Choudhary, WeOne
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Yami Gautam, Amit Sadh, Manoj Bajpayee, Jackie Shroff
Duration: 2 hours 25 minutes
Bollywood Bubble Rating: 2/5
Ram Gopal Varma’s 2005 film ‘Sarkar’ introduced us to the messianic character called ‘Sarkar’. It was a plot cooked up with tinges of political conflict and turbulent relationships on the backdrop of a hubbub. This followed with ‘Sarkar 2’, a considerably identical sequel with the same tang of Sarkar’s unrivalled solemnity. And here comes ‘Sarkar 3’. No, neither Amitabh Bachchan’s magnificence nor RGV’s last-ditch attempt of making another political saga can save this film.
As we take our seats, hoping this one to be a refreshing break from what RGV has been making of late, the film begins with Bachchan aka Sarkar delivering a speech at a public stage. The people are in awe of his charisma and veracity, and he is almost impossible to be knocked down. He is also into a cold war with Govind Deshpande, a CM-aspirant. The war doesn’t remain cold though. Soon after he turns down an unethical business proposal (the first two parts told you he likes to stick to his moralities) and earns a potential enemy, enters Shivaji Nagre (Amit Sadh), his grandson from his late spoilt son Vishnu (Kay Kay Menon). From what it looks like, Shivaji has returned to attain revenge for his father’s death. But his worship-alike love for his grandfather almost surprises us. A twist? There is! Shivaji is in love with Anu (Yami Gautam), whose father was once killed by Sarkar and his gang. Anu has very cleverly befriended Shivaji with the sole aim of killing Sarkar. Rings any bell? You got it right. Baap ka bhi baap hota hai, aur villain ka bhi villain! Sarkar’s most faithful companions are Gokun (Ronit Roy) and Raman (Parag Tyagi). Whether the bug of betrayal bites them, develops rest of the story. Another hint; Jackey Shroff is a villain too!
‘Sarkar 3’ unfolds as Sarkar’s enemy-count goes up and up, with his own son-in-law becoming envious of the adulation his grandfather enjoys, and plotting his death. Add a number of deaths to this. The film turns out to be slow, scattered and repetitive.
However, the actors are unquestionably good. Amitabh Bachchan wears every colour of an old, reticent Sarkar who is torn between relationships, trying to grasp what life throws at him. Each life that departs from him, leaves him a little broken. It will not be a hyperbole to state that Bachchan’s trembling lips, flickering eyes and wrinkled hands do more talking than words ever would. Amit Sadh, as the young man with his blood boiling, is apt. So is Ronit Roy, the hushed man with prompt exertion. Yami Gautam’s character carried in it the potential to become the character we would take away from this film. Yami remains underutilised throughout. The familiar agony of a woman who seeks her father’s death’s revenge, is not to be found. The next failed character is that of Supriya Pathak, who plays Bachchan’s bedridden wife. She could have taken the emotional appeal many notches higher, but remains a worrisome wife with least emotional trauma showing up on her face. If you followed RGV’s older works, you know he can nail it with the way he sketches his characters. But why put the similar elements and exhaust us? Oh, and we never understood what Jackie Shroff was doing there. If you do, let us know. Also, his stupid girlfriend with her stupid antics was a super turn-off!
The screenplay plays the biggest spoilsport here; so much so that the protagonist’s life being at stake didn’t stop us from yawning. After interval, the pace turns out to be literally tortuous and labyrinthine. Not a single redesign in the story is surprising, which makes it all the more mundane.
Next, ‘Sarkar 3’ will be just another difficultly average film built around the crisis of an honest man who holds on to his place amid a dishonest system. We are familiar with his sufferings and this one evokes no sense of empathy anymore. In fact, even the conflicts do not shake you up. The film could easily be chopped 20-25 minutes down.
The only thing to strike you from the beginning will be the visuals. The film has been wonderfully shot, with each little detailing adding to the density. A few noticeable glitches in editing can be overlooked. I am so glad there are no songs. Ravi Shankar’s background music compensated for it.
Watch strictly at your own risk. Amitabh Bachchan is the only thing you’ll take back.