'Sarkar 3': Movie Review

A Potpourri of Vestiges Review

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Sarkar 3 is the much awaited sequel to the 2008 film ‘Sarkar Raj’ and the third chapter in Ram Gopal Varma’s ‘Sarkar’ film series starring Amitabh Bachchan as the Godfather-esque Subhash Nagre. Inspired by the late Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, Nagre is revered by people of the state who see him as a messiah. Although, he himself isn’t interested in politics he holds the key to the corridors of power as far as the state politics is concerned.

In Sarkar 3, Nagre faces him greatest challenge yet. Having lost both his sons, he finds himself completely cornered with the enemies closing in from all directions. How will Nagre deal with the ever mounting odds? Will he finally succumb to the odds or does the aging tiger have one more fight left in him? If you like crime thrillers then you will enjoy Sarkar 3. Here are a few more reasons that make Sarkar 3 a worthy watch!   

1. Amitabh Bachchan’s seasoned portrayal of Subhash Nagre

“It might be possible to make Godfather without Brando but not Sarkar without Bachchan,” said Ram Gopal Varma in an interview. RGV’s statement may sound a bit exaggerated to some, for anyone with even the most basic understanding of cinema history would think twice before making a comparison with Brando. But we mustn’t forget that RGV is someone who has written cinema’s history by making films like Satya, Company, and Rangeela. So he certainly is entitled to his opinion. As for Bachchan , no accolades are enough to praise him. While he may not be Brando, he is certainly a force to reckon with in the world of cinema. At 74, he exudes the kind of intensity that some for the best performers in the world can only dream of. In Sarkar 3, he delivers yet another memorable performance. And it is a kind of performance that will certainly draw his fans to the theatre.

2. Ram Gopal Varma’s imaginative direction that marks a return to form

When RGV made Sarkar, he had The Godfather as his reference. Being a sequel to a successful film, Sarkar Raj had the momentum right from the onset. But, Sarkar 3 has come at a time when RGV has been desperately struggling for form. It’s been the case for the decade or so. The press has been writing him off for years now and yet he hasn’t given up. He reminds one of some genius writer suffering from a writer’s block. With Baahubali 2 still going strong, it is difficult to guarantee box office success. But, Sarkar 3 does offer a lot of promise. At 55, RGV is still capable of writing movie history. With a little luck, RGV’s film can hit the bull’s eye. And, if that happens, it would be the revival of a great filmmaker.  

3. Manoj Bajpayee’s riveting turn of Nagre’s political adversary

Bajpayee is one actor who is capable of holding his own against someone like Bachchan. He has done it before (Aks, Satyagraha, Aarakshan) and he does it again in Sarkar 3. While this is not the kind of role that can be put up with the very best of his career (Gangs of Wasseypur, Aligarh, Aks, etc.), Bajpayee succeeds in packing a strong punch while essaying the part.

4. Yami Gautam in a never seen before avatar

Ram Gopal Varma has made careers (Urmila Matondkar) and has also destroyed them (Nisha Kothari). As a director he has been lucky for some while not so lucky for others. Yami Gautam is known for her girl-next-door, romantic characters. She is another of those Bollywood actresses whose careers have suffered because of typecasting. At the time when she needed most, RGV has come for the rescue. Sarkar 3 presents her in a never-seen-before bold avatar. To her credit, she seems to have given it everything. Now, let’s wait and watch how it affects her career!

5. Jackie Shroff menacing portrayal of Michael Vallya

Jackie Shroff plays the character of Michael Vallya (it even rhymes with Mallya) with a menacing charm. There was a time when Shroff was written off as a wooden face but all that has changed over the years. Today, he can express himself with almost an effortless ease. Perhaps, his son Tiger can learn a thing or two from Jackie’s turn in Sarkar 3.

6. An engaging screenplay with decent amount of twists and turns

RGV made some great films and it was partly possible because of his screenwriters. Anurag Kashyap’s presence was of course instrumental to the success of films like Satya and Kaun. However, in the recent times, screenwriting has been one department where he has suffered. Sarkar 3 seems to have finally got the department sorted for RGV. Let’s hope that it’s not a temporary fix.

7. A solid supporting cast led by Ronit Roy

The strong point of all of Ram Gopal Varma’s successful films has been a strong supporting cast. Sarkar 3 too has a very strong supporting cast, well led by the veteran TV actor Ronit Roy who over the years has given some memorable performances (Udaan, Ugly, etc.) for the big screen as well. The rest of the supporting cast, featuring the likes of Amit Sadh and Rohini Hattangadi, too has put up a solid show.

P.S. Sarkar 3 is a masterclass in lighting, mood, camera work and direction that every aspiring filmmaker must attend. As long as Ram Gopal Varma is making films, irrespective of their box office performance, Indian cinema would never suffer from stagnation. Innovation is the key to filmmaking and Varma is a master at it.

A version of this review was first published in Wittyfeed.

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