I went into Sarkar Raj hoping it to be the redemption film for Ram Gopal Varma since he has not been in his elements with his past few offerings at the box office with Sarkar being his last bonafide hit in 2005 and he does exactly that and its heartening since he is one of the few genuine talented and innovation oriented filmmakers of the country.
So here s how the story unfolds..
Hotshot CEO of a London based energy firm Anita Rajan (Rai) has an ambitious plan of setting upon a power plant in Thakurwadi in hinterland Maharashtra, which Subhash Nagre is opposed to initially but Shankar Nagre foresees its benefits and convinces him and embarks upon to get the support of the locals. What follows is a labyrinthine political tale of deceit and power.
The good thing about Ramu is that he doesnâ€™t waste time establishing the various characters ,they do so as the film moves on with their deeds and thatâ€™s why he can pack in so many of them in a two hour narrative. Also no one treats silence on celluloid as he does which is evident with the one minute on each side of the interval, ample proof that silence speaks louder than words. I also liked the vantage as well as ankle height camera shots. The conversations are exchange of one liners punctuated with silences pregnant with searing drama.
Unlike the last film, the once impregnable fortress like bungalow is suddenly susceptible to bombs and his intelligence network not as sharp to which one of the family members falls victim and another in the second and the scriptwriter should be given credit for imagining the intricate plots.
But the film is not without negatives either as almost throughout the screen is blacked out or dimly lit which is overdone but which has nonetheless become a style of the franchise which in all evidence pointing would be back for a third installment. Thereâ€™s an overdose of emphasis that the project is so good for Maharashtra and its people, which sounds like Mr.Bachchan making a political point in real life. A little more dash of Marathi in the narrative would have emphasized the point much better.
Performance wise Aishwarya is sufficiently adequate, Junior B brooding and moving in Italian suits is good, the guy playing an animated version of Raj Thackeray is impressive in a short role, Govind Namdev is fantastically menacing with his sayings without meanings .Sarkar (the character) looks a pale shadow of his own self until the last reels, when even though he plans and executes half a dozen killings, you empathize with him and hereâ€™s where Big b truly stamps his authority as an actor. But as he saysâ€ murder is not right but murder at the right time is politicsâ€
Being a factory product, better editing was expected in both the halfs.The film is a must watch, for you wonâ€™t be able to predict who is the culprit and be particularly be prepared for the shock turn mid way through the second half. I will give it a three star rating, but finally Mr. Varma, whenever you are short of a hit, revert to making Sarkar III.