Movie Reviews

Sarkar 3 Movie Review- Watch Sarkaar 3 for the way Varma frames the familial feud in flames of fury!

Sarkar 3

Thanks To Mr Bachchan’s Rousing Performance  Ram Gopal  Varma Returns To Form

Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Amit Sadh, Manoj Bajpai, Ronit Roy,Yami Gautam

Directed by: Ram Gopal Varma

It is easy to see the third installment  of  Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkaar franchise as an unnecessary carryover of a saga that has lost its relevance and sheen.But Sarkaar 3 rises far above the wasteland of a stagnant crime-drama to  give us an  insight into a life of outlawry that is richly layered with blood and drama.

Bal Thackeray is dead. Long live Bal Thackeray. In Amitabh  Bachchan’s persona–steely, gritty, imperturbable, granite-hard and yet malleable and vulnerable–the Thackeray doppelganger is uncanny. The walk, the talk and the ability to walk that talk to places where the dialogue writer would never have imagined….Take a bow, Mr B. They don’t make ‘em like you anymore.

It takes courage to build one more plot around that formidable and imposing figure from Maharashtra’s politics who rewrote the rules of politics and who gave political arrogance a sexy edge. The last Sarkarfilm came  9 years ago. And the figure of Subhash Nagre is now threatened with obsolescence, if not complete irrelevance.

And  yet—here lies Varma’s  triumph—he manufactures a compelling if somewhat cramped and at times campy yarn of a wizened but still-spirited political outlaw who has no appetite for betrayal and disloyalty.

“In order to understand  politics  you first need to get a hang of the politics in the family.It’s called Palace politics,” says Subhash Nagre, slurping the tea  out of the plate while, please note, the grandsonShivaji(Amit Sadh in engaging form) also slurps over his cuppa.

Lineage , continuity and  perpetuity are  big in Sarkaar 3. Outsiders are seen as   traitors and marauders. In fact the film makes a pitch for nepotism  in  crime end politics arguing that absolute loyalty can only be traced in the bloodline. In blueprinting this genealogical fact of clannish life, the narrative stretches the tendons of its muscular drama into scenes that are constructed robustly and at times with enrapturing vividness.

There are some terrific shootouts in this film reminiscent  of  episodes from Ram Gopal Varma’s best gangster films in the past . Parking lots are  a favourite haunt for violence in this film. Ram Gopal Varma seems  to tell us there’s more to cars than Rohit Shetty.Indeed Sarkaar3 marks the return to form for the long-disoriented filmmaker. He cuts and  shoots the scenes in long shots and breathless pauseless frames that cover the dramatic tension without toppling over into  overstatements.

Manoj Bajpai joins the gangwar somewhere  in the preamble and opts out too soon. He has some of the best lines on the criminalization of politics. Sadly the script doesn’t listen to  Bajpai’s harangue, busy as it is hero-worshipping the outlawed aging hero. Bajpai’s one sequence with Mr Bachchan where Bajpai’s character Govind Deshpandemocks Mr Bachchan’s Nagre from  a public podium for subverting Gandhian ideals is worth its weight in gold.

Of course Varma being Varma he  does like shooting his actors from odd angles,like Yami Gautam, who has never looked more seductive, captured from inside the handle of  a teacup.Tea-hee.

The women , Gautam, Supriya Pathak and Rohini Hattangadi get little space in this predominantly masculine war of supremacy .And that one scene where Hattangadi blows a kiss at her screen son would have you whistling in excitement.

The background score didn’t have to be persuasive , though.We get the point without the over-punctuation.

Strangely  very few people get  killed in the course of the storytelling although the  body count seems a lot  higher.And when archvillainJackie Shroff,swimming and sexing in Dubai ,  dies at the end—that’s not a spoiler it’s nemesis—we feel a surge of empathy for the Nagrefamily that has lost a lot of blood , but never in vain.

Watch Sarkaar 3 for the way Varma frames the familial feud in flames of fury. The performances are largely effective specially those byRonit Roy and Amit Sadh. The latter comes into his own as Mr Bachchan’s uncontrollable grandson. But above all, this is one more triumphant  celluloid outing for Amitabh Bachchan who invests his role of the aging tiger-neta with a kind of cosmic resonance that goes way beyond that famous baritone.

Yup,they don’t make star-actors like Amitabh Bachchan any more. Ram Gopal Varma reminds us of the Bachchan charisma in  ways that are deeply nostalgic and exceedingly provocative.

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