Amitabh Bachchan, Yami Gautam, Jackie Shroff, Amit Sadh, Manoj Bajpayee, Ronit Roy
Ram Gopal Varma
Anand Pandit, Krishnan Choudhary, Rahul Mitra, Gopal Dalvi
Amitabh Bachchan has never given up on Ram Gopal Varma, but will his faith in the director standing the test of time, especially after their latest?
The easiest way for an acclaimed director to amend his dwindling revenue is to work on a franchise he has mastered. That’s exactly what Ram Gopal Varma seems to have done when he declared he is making SARKAR 3. Do you remember the frenzy Amitabh Bachchan created with the first of the trilogy? ‘Govinda Govinda Govinda…’ and the rudraksh adorning his hands, ufff… he didn’t have to be a reigning don for people to have hailed his magnificent presence. But was that the glorious Amitabh Bachchan’s ingrained persona we were cheering or RGV’s vision for him, we weren’t sure. With SARKAR RAAJ, we were almost certain it is the Bachchan factor (tripled with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan joining the Nagre family) that is making the franchise popular. We have finally seemed to have had our answer with SARKAR 3, leaving us with a whole new question, why is it that Bachchan is showing such unfailing faith in a director whose good work is already said to be behind him?
Forget all about the story so far, you can see SARKAR 3 even without any knowledge about the first two parts, because quite frankly, RGV seems to have forgotten them too! To give you a gist about latest offering from the franchise, Subhash Nagre (Amitabh Bachchan) is back at the helm guiding his followers like he has always, but little Cheeku (his grandson) has now all grown up and decides he could do with a little share in all the action around grandpa. Nagre Sr.’s right hand, Gokul (Ronit Roy) starts fearing that eventually blood is thicker than loyalists. He starts holding a grudge against Cheeku aka Shivaji Nagre - an angle so done to death that we wondered about his motives even before his eyes said it.
That’s not the end of it, Shivaji is in a little more soup because his girlfriend, Annu (Yami Gautam) too has a secret agenda. Annu holds Nagre Sr. responsible for the death of her father. Ugly right? But for a nation that is eagerly awaiting GAME OF THE THRONE’s next offering, we are used to much worse than a meager 'unethical' attempt at vendetta! Also, doesn't Shivaji himself have a secret? Which brings us to the unfortunate fact, everything that Ram Gopal Varma seems to have incorporated in Sarkar 3 has been done before, a hundred times over! The only fireworks that set the screen ablaze was when Govind Deshpande (Manoj Bajpayee) enters the picture, the way he stands up to Sarkar is believable and thunderous but looks like RGV didn’t want the focus to shift from Mr. Bachchan, because Govind dies rather too quick. A story that promised to show us the ugly side of local politics, doesn’t shock, at all. There is also Jackie Shroff, playing Michael Vallya, whose presence in the film only jeers the nerves. Dialogue writer Ramkumar Singh’s one-liners for Shroff can make people suicidal.
For a director who has given us films like RANGEELA, COMPANY, SATYA... films that it inspired young men to take to direction, SARKAR 3 is a very half-baked venture. It does seem like Varma stopped working on the script after he had Bachchan sign on the dotted line, knowing well that Bachchan alone will manage to pull the people into the theatres. Of course, Bachchan has been ably supported by the likes of Manoj Bajpayee, Amit Sadh, Ronit Roy and in parts, Yami Gautam was good too but what will a bunch of actors do with a weak script and blaring background score.
I remember feeling my blood ringing in my ears when I had first heard ‘govinda…govinda’ - a chant that promised might, strength, shelter and also doom, depending on which side of the fence you are sitting. In his third offering Varma seems to have leaned too heavily against the menacing effect of the score and subsequently ruined it. Moving away from the overwhelming, anticipation the score heralded, it only leaves you with a headache! Also Kaam Dam Dand Bhed stays!
Here’s hoping instead of reinstating the background score, Varma would have concentrated on reinstating his screenplay writers instead.