Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Amit Sadh, Ronit Roy, Jackie Shroff, Yami Gautam, Manoj Bajpayee
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
‘Sarkar 3’ is big on style but not half as compelling as the first film of the series. Ram Gopal Varma still gets the technique right but the script has a repetitive feel to it.
This socio-political drama follows the same plot trajectory of its prequels. A charismatic leader at the helm of affairs, now hardened by the death of his close ones is undeterred by threats and expects betrayal at every turn.
Subhash Nagre aka Sarkar, played by Amitabh Bachchan, an almost invincible man was deceived by his own son. Should he then trust his grandson, Shivaji Nagre? Does Shivaji want to avenge his father’s death? Or is the allegiance that he has pledged to his grandfather true? For a man who has weathered the death of two sons, it is a crucial but imperative call to make.
Can he trust his own blood or is there a need to be weary of the only person he can call family? These questions form the crux of this political thriller.
Ram Gopal Varma’s storytelling devices might be variations of what we have already seen before, yet, they make for engaging cinema. RGV’s low-angle shots, the extreme close-ups, the play with light and shade make for compelling visuals. In fact, some scenes like the ones from Ganpati visarjan make for captivating frames. The sequence has been shot so well that the imminent danger in that scene is almost palpable.
Yet, we overdo the technique – verbose dialogues replace the intense silences, the background score is often overpowering and there is scant attention to the narrative.
It is a pity that an enviable ensemble cast with the likes of Manoj Bajpayee, Ronit Roy and Jackie Shroff fail to rise above a middling script. Jackie in particular is saddled with the most cringe-worthy lines. Ronit Roy gets the body language spot on but is again letdown by weak characterization.
There was much hype about how Yami Gautam had been cast in a role that is a complete antithesis of what she has played before but truth be told she spends much time staring menacingly with her kohl-lined eyes and doing zilch.
Amit Sadh as Shivaji Nagre, the impetuous young grandson holds his own in a film with so many seasoned actors. I wish he would get more roles that explore his full potential as an actor.
‘Sarkar 3’ is only watchable because Amitabh Bachchan still has the commanding presence to keep an audience enraptured. He is at times unrelenting, at others, vulnerable but at all times awe-inspiring.
Watch it only and only if you are the kind of Bachchan fan who never misses his films.