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Sarkar Raj : Movie Review

Date: 06/05/2008

Sarkar RajBanner: K Sera Sera, Adlabs Films Ltd
Producer: Ram Gopal Varma, Praveen Nischol
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Star Cast :Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan ,Aishwarya Rai, Govind Namdeo , Tanisha Mukherjee, Victor Banerjee, Supriya Pathak, Sayaji Shinde ,Dilip Prabhawalkar
Cinematography: Amit Roy
Action: Allan Amin
Art: Sunil Nigvekar
Sound: Debasish Mishra

Sarkar Raj is an intense political drama and is essentially a study of power; it explores the politics of development, and takes a fresh look at the tradition versus modernity debate.

When Anita Rajan, CEO of an international firm, brings a power plant proposal to set up in rural Maharashtra, before the Nagres, the insightful Shankar is quick to realize its benefits. After convincing Sarkar, Shankar along with Anita goes to the villages to mobilize support of the masses. However, things are not what they seem to be. From shady fixers with an eye on multi-million kick-backs to wannnabes who are ready to incite millions of people against the highly controversial project, Shankar’s dream project gradually becomes a political minefield. Evil forces gang up to bring down the regime of Sarkar and obliterate Shankar’s name from the political horizon.

Anther political character Sanjay Somji who matches real life Raj Thackeray (…in looks) is expert at provoking villagers against the project and one day the political rivalry leads to explosion in Shankar’s car. Series of incidents lead Sarkar to hospital after he suffers a heart attack where Sarkar has meeting with the press. In another sequence Anita falls in love with already married Shankar and she later faces Shankar’s wife over the accusation of her alleged relation with Shankar.

The background score by Debashish Mishra is commendable. Even when there are no dialogues being spoken, Mishra creates the mood, which speaks a thousand words with his music, as the cameraman, Amit Roy, takes astute angles. The sepia tone throughout the film maintains the mood of this exciting fare. To my mind, there is no standout performance.

Ramu’s storytelling pattern is such that he initially builds up the drama and subsequently breaks down the politics behind the play. He effectively employs all the original techniques from the predecessor by making use of the same theme for the background score (Amar Mohile), caustic editing pattern (Amit Parmar, Nipun Gupta), sepia tone effect and erratic camera angles (Amit Roy). 

Abhishek delivers his best after Yuva and Guru and is very good at suggesting the furies and passions that lie just beneath his character’s controlled exterior. Aishwarya Rai does come in handy and even though she hasn’t been used to the extent what RGV should’ve, she delivers each scene with panache, like her scene with Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek in the hospital. Tanisha as Shankar’s wife fills in the blanks while the other character actors like Chander, Kanga, Vora, Somji, Rao saab and Qazi are used very effectively giving each one of them an equal oppurtunity to showcase their individual talent.

Overall, Sarkar Raj is a great movie for the weekend. A worthy sequel to the brilliant Sarkar of 2005.  The combination of Ram Gopal Varma and the almighty Bachchan clan makes for an intense cinematic experience.


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