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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Movie Review : Sarkar Raj

Sarkar Raj (drama)
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai
Direction: Ram Gopal Varma

THIS film carries the sequel forward without losing out on the gritty feel and retains the charisma of the central characters, mafioso leader Subhash Nagre (Amitabh Bachchan) and his son, Shankar Nagre (Abhishek Bachchan).

The Nagre duo that first emerged as the indigenous Corleone family on the Indian screen in Sarkar is still living with social sanction and unprecedented popular support despite being on the wrong side of the law.

The father has taken a back seat and left the business of governance to his son, who seems to have become more ruthless after killing his own brother (Kay Kay Menon) in Sarkar . But like his father, he has the welfare of Maharashtra at his heart and is hell bent on giving his state the multi-national power project which the NRI business executive (Aishwarya Bachchan) would like to set up in India. The power project turns out to be just a ruse for a change in governance and unleashes a whole nexus of wheelers and dealers who are determined to cut short the power reign of the Nagres. Time for the aging tiger to roar again and let loose his vengeance on those who dared to harm his family, his people....

Ram Gopal Varma gets back into the saddle after a spate of flops which affected his brand equity. He falls back on the subject -- gang warfare -- and the style of cinema he knows best. His camera follows the angles it excels in, plastering the screen with extreme close-ups of his protagonists. Of course, it does help when the faces in full view are extremely emotive and reflect the myriad emotions of anger, pain, passion and revenge with a mere muscle flick. The Bachchan trio -- Amitabh, Abhishek, Aishwarya -- emerge as consummate actors, imbuing their characters with nuances and shades not easily seen in mainstream cinema. But eventually, it is the structure of the film that succeeds above all else.

Ramu's characteristic dark brooding palette of shadow and light and his forte at laying bare the undercurrents of violence in urban society take you on a reassuring trip through familiar terrain.

Nothing experimental, nothing new; just a return to the tried and tested form which first raised its head in films like Shiva , Satya , Company , Sarkar ....Yes, you may have your quarrels with the ideology of the film and the validity it seeks to give to outlaws like Subhash and Shankar Nagre, but you will applaud the style and the performances.

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