Banners: Eros International, Wave Cinemas Pony Chadha, Company Product, Alumbra Production
Producers: Rahul Mittra, Anand Pandit, Gopal Shivram Dalvi, Krishan Choudhary & Weone
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Manoj Bajpayee, Ronit Roy, Amit Sadh, Yami Gautam, Supriya Pathak, Rohini Hattangadi, Parag Tyagi, Bharat Dabholkar
Writers: P Jaya Kumar, Nilesh Girkar (story), Ram Kumar Singh (dialogue)
Music: Ravi Shankar
It doesn’t take much to make a successful sequel, provided you’re riding on a popular franchise. All you need to do is up your game a little and deliver something that adds value to the franchise, of course, while making sure you entertain the audience. How hard can that be, especially when earlier instalments in the franchise were a hit.
With Sarkar 3, it seems Ram Gopal Varma and his team decided to kill every possibility of taking the Sarkar franchise forward. The film is such a disaster that it could easily qualify as a case study in what not to do while making a sequel. Correction… a case study in how to make a film go horribly wrong.
Sarkar 3 is weak in every department of filmmaking, from story to screenplay to dialogue. Amitabh Bachchan, who plays the title role, is the only saving grace. The film has three writers and, still, there’s no story, no screenplay and only amateur dialogue. Totally mystifying!
The story follows Subhash Nagre, aka ‘Sarkar’ (Amitabh Bachchan), who is still ruling Maharashtra’s political scene. After losing both his sons, Shankar (Abhishek Bachchan) and Vishnu (Kay Kay Menon), he has found a trusted aide in Gokul (Ronit Roy). Sarkar continues to be loved by the masses yet misunderstood by many who assume that he fakes altruism to front his underworld activities. With his wife (Supriya Pathak) bedridden, he leans heavily on Gokul.
His grandson Shivaji, Vishnu’s son (Amit Sadh), is keen to fall in line and, despite his resentment for his uncle, Shankar who had killed his father, he comes to stay with Sarkar. Shivaji is in love with Anu Karkare (Yami Gautam). However Anu conspires to avenge the death of her father, for which she blames Sarkar. Against this dramatic backdrop infused with powerful emotions are Sarkar’s own personal battles with a volatile Shivaji.
Meanwhile, there’s a grand real estate project on the cards in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum, where 15,000 people stand to be displaced. Vallya (Jackie Shorff) sends an aide to do his dirty work. In this mix, is a violent politician, Govind Deshpande (Manoj Bajpayee), who has an agenda of his own against Sarkar. How the film unfolds further forms the crux of the story.
We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again – barring a few scenes which feature Amitabh Bachchan, the film fails to impress. Yes, Ram Gopal Varma is known for his technical brilliance and his unique shot taking, but this too begins to grate on your nerves. Playing with the camera and taking shots from just about anywhere is not called ‘direction’.
Besides, there are so many questions that are left unanswered in the movie and, in the end, you wonder why you wasted your time and money watching this film. Like the way Bajpayee’s character is introduced but the way his character graph is sketched is very disappointing. Gautam’s character, at times, acts absurd. Also, some of the characters are meaningless. And the scenes between Jackie Shroff and his girlfriend are not only weird, it is hard to comprehend what’s happening on the screen.
Directorially, Sarkar 3 is far from being Varma’s finest film. His direction does nothing to elevate the mundane screenplay. He is clearly banking on Bachchan’s image as Sarkar while not caring for detail. This only means a multitude of loopholes.
The story fails to engross from the very first frame. It doesn’t help that there are many scenes that are dragged out and stretch your patience. Cinematography by Amol Rathod is good. The sets and the locations are apt and support the narrative. Costumes are apt.
Editing by Anwar Ali is all right. With a runtime of 132 minutes, the interval is well-timed. Music and background score become jarring after a point as they are too loud.
Performance-wise, Amitabh Bachchan is undoubtedly the master of his craft. He lives and breathes his character and exudes aplomb like a true blue-blooded actor. Jackie Shroff is good. Ronit Roy is fantastic. Manoj Bajpayee plays his character with flamboyance and delivers a sharp performance. Amit Sadh is very good but why does he start acting (or copying) like Amitabh Bachchan in the second half? Yami Gautam doesn’t offer much apart from looking pretty. Supriya Pathak impresses. Rohini Hattangadi does justice to her part. Parag Tyagi is top notch. Bharat Dabholkar is good. The rest of the cast fits the bill perfectly.