Movie Review: Sarkar Raj

Sarkar Raj was a disappointing movie for me and my friends. Perhaps this comes as a surprise to you, but this is an understatement for us.

Amitabh Bachchan posted a review on his blog (he posts negative reviews to answer back and positives with flourish) that said Sarkar Raj proves Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya are consummate actors! I pity the critic, whoever has started thinking that Aishwarya is a consummate actress should get their critique skills checked. (Note: the critic in question is TOI’s Nikhat Kazmi as per Big B’s post.)

One of my friends always said that if Aishwarya were ever given a power-packed role of a tough business woman in a movie, she would do justice. Well, Sarkar Raj has such kind of opportunity, she fails to deliver. She was the top-most disappointment of the movie as she had a fair role. Her dialogue delivery is pathetic, portraying tough business woman is not just about wearing crisp designer business suits (that contrived, deglamourized look) and speaking with harsh edge. She needs to learn more nuances.

The second disappointment is the lack of conviction in the movie’s story. Spoilers ahead.

You suddenly don’t understand how benevolent Subhash Nagre (Godfather styled aka Bal Thackeray) suddenly changes his mind about fate of 40, 000 people when his son demurs (his trust on son’s judgement bigger than hit of 40, 000 people?)…You don’t understand why Shankar Nagre is all wow for powerplant without any homework? Movie tried hard to convince that both father-duo (Thackerays) always aim for hit for Maharashta. Some of the dialogues were interesting like when villain says about Subhash Nagre was neta ke behesh mein gunda (a goon in disguise of leader). Bal Thackeray, do you concede that? You must, if you permit it. πŸ™‚

Aishwarya-Abhishek relationship in the movie is another unconvincing thing. Tanisha Chatterjee is done away with in a very-obvious death scene. (I had predicted just as scene started to my friends). Michael Corleone aka Abhishek too dies very cheaply in the movie. You can’t digest it (after he had so convincingly tracked down shooters of his own father in Sarkar). And then Subhash Nagre rises to avenge his son’s death, makes few phone calls, and busts the conspiracy around his sons death. Truth was just few phone calls away, why didn’t so consummate Maharashtra-hitashi leaders do some homework before?? Anyway, point where Amitabh Bachchan take reins in the movie is worth a watch, he gives a stellar performance. Abhishek was average as script didn’t have much for him this time.

Camera-work is crisp and focuses more on close-up, shot in dark-lit sets. A Ram Gopal Verma characteristic is to focus the camera on tension in the face, to capture the twitching of the cheeks. Aishwarya couldn’t have done this, so soon after desi Micheal Corleone dies, she has tears on her cheeks eternally. They just never stopped, it was irritating.

Also, irritating were chants on Govinda, Govinda in action scenes. I also missed Kay Kay Menon in this movie. What worked for the story was the twist it had, but it was short-lived, saved for the climax.

There were kids in our party: adults were disappointed and kids could not fathom what was happening. (Actually we had brought kids along to watch the comedy Mere Baap Pehle Aap. When we missed the show for latter, we decided to watch Sarkar Raj. ) All in all, this movie did not work for us. But I have read several rave reviews about it from every other blogger other than me, it just shows perceptions and reactions to a movie are different for each one.

My rating: 2.5/5 (mostly for Amitabh Bachchan’s performance)

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29 Responses to “Movie Review: Sarkar Raj”


  1. 1 dinsan June 19, 2008 at 11:14 am

    I think Ramu is trying to be different …and ended up with something which is not a bad movie or a good movie ..

    can’t say much until I watch the movie.. not even after that lol .. coz I don’t watch lot of movies

  2. 2 Lalit Paryani June 19, 2008 at 11:31 am

    I strongly agree with your review – couldn’t have been put in better words, especially Aishwarya’s failure at portraying a senior business executive. After watching her initial introduction, I thought she would somehow manage to pull off the roll of a businesswoman with grace… unfortunately, I was proved so very wrong. Amitabh was stellar as usual, and I thought Abhishek did a fair job too. But that’s just the acting.

    No amount of good performance can outshine the moderate script the actors has to work around. While I thought the camera-work was intriguing, I was truly annoyed with the sound-effects. They seemed a bit forced. A thundering background sound was supplied after each heavy one-liner which distracted me away from it altogether. A movie-maker should always give all the space to such “one-liners” and not overwhelm it by trying to force that onto the viewers.

    I thought the script could have been much better and in the end it was only Amitabh (and Abhishek to an extent) that pulled the weight of what could have been this year’s best.

  3. 3 Rupa Rajagopalan June 19, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    I completely agree with your review… I am surprised that the movie got a rating of 3.5….and I also heard that it is doing well at the box office. I found the following slightly wierd:

    The romantic touch given to the Abhi-Ash relationship just before Abi’s death and immediately after his wife’s death

    The fact that Abi has no emotions to show for his wife who dies.. He does stand dumb struck when the incident happens…. but gets back to normalcy at a much faster rate then expected…

    All emotions are waded off in this movie…. Abi maintains a cold face throughout….

    and of course the background score… which irriates you
    I would rate the movie the same as you did – 2.5 πŸ™‚

  4. 4 Nikhil June 19, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    2.5 seems a bit too high a rating! I absolutely hated this move! I’d give it a negative 10 rating! πŸ˜€

  5. 5 mrinkenti June 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I saw it on the first day in Hyderabad, RGV’s hometown so the film ran to housefulls all over, but opened to mixed reviews. I too was blown away by Taran Adarsh’s review, but you’ve got to take his reviews with a pinch of salt. Sarkar Raj was definitely a let down and what is testimony to that is RGV’s Blog [have you read that?]. Also, collects have fallen all over India for Sarkar Raj. The redeeming feature is since the film was not as bad as AAG, RGV is feeling relieved. RGV was desparate for a hit so he cooked up something…lets hope he wont make the next installment!

  6. 6 vimal June 19, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Its did get a mixed review. I am yet to watch it; probably this weekend.Somehow, too many bachchans are simply repelling me from the movie. As someone mentioned here about Taran Adarshs review; he also gave a superb review for OSO and Jodha Akbar. I feel his reviews are too biased and with a lot of spoilers.

    I infact watched Aamir which released on the same day and liked it. But I feel that there are a couple of scenes which made no logic at all(I dont want to give away the movie..shhhhhhh)

    Mere baap pehle aap is a faithful remake of the malayalam movie. But the very problem lies in that. Movies made in Kerala are a bit slow, I mean, thats the way the movies are appreciated. So when the “faithful remake” concept was applied, the hindi version became slow too, which generally is not accepted. Otherwise, its a new story and not one of those mindless comedies.

  7. 7 Amit June 19, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Errr….I don’t know what to say as you have already read my review. πŸ˜€
    Tell me, have you seen Sarkar?

  8. 8 vimal June 20, 2008 at 12:22 am

    btw, its tanisha “mukherjee” πŸ™‚

  9. 9 Liju Philip June 20, 2008 at 6:03 am

    If someone can kick Abhi ‘Shake’ out of the industry, i would be so glad. I hate to see that constipated face of his (which only his father believes is acting). Trust me, 5 years later you will hear the truth from RGV as to how worst an actor Abhi ‘Shake’ is. Remember, RGV’s ramblings about Aamir Khan post Rangeela?

    Aishwarya is an actress? Heck, the mallu Shakeela makes more expression during her scenes. πŸ˜€

    PS: Now, dont ask me who is Shakeela.

  10. 10 arvind June 20, 2008 at 10:38 am

    he he..
    biggest disappointment of the movie AIshwarya.. not surprising.. πŸ™‚
    i always felt she is below par the acting standards..
    as for the movie..I have made my life happier by not watching this movie, πŸ˜›

    @ liju philip
    >>> Aishwarya is an actress? Heck, the mallu Shakeela makes more expression during her scenes.
    ROFLMAO..Aishwarya would kill u if she reads this.. πŸ˜›

  11. 11 Reema June 20, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    The poor kids!! I can imagine their faces and their boredom!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  12. 12 ish June 21, 2008 at 1:40 am

    I haven’t watched the movie yet, I do have the DVD now but I seriously doubt if I should watch it because I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t like it because I don’t like dark and dingy movies. I don’t like violence. I don’t like Amitabh Bachchan. I hate Aishwarya and I don’t fancy Abhishek much either. Everyone says Aishwarya is a good actor but I’ve never been able to notice that. Her dialogue delivery, as you mentioned is bad. She managed to remind me of Hema Malini in a couple of movies. She speaks in a really annoying tone. Abhishek was good in Yuva, no doubt. I had thought he’d do well here too. If I do end up watching this movie, it’ll be because of him and extreme boredom.

    Waise, I heard Mere Baap Pehle Aap wasn’t good either. MTV waalon ne toh 1 out of 5 diya tha.

  13. 13 praneshachar June 21, 2008 at 4:48 am

    it is a very open and constructive review each character his been anlalysed based on your opinion which appears to be opinion in majority also great work and Amitab if Amitab is all time great

  14. 14 amreekandesi June 22, 2008 at 12:08 am

    you might have read rave ratings from other bloggers, but there’s at least one blogger who shares your opinion.

    This movie was very disappointing, and aishwarya rai’s character did’nt make much sense.

  15. 15 Poonam Sharma June 23, 2008 at 11:46 am

    @dinsan: You could call it a bit-less-than average movie. Ramu now needs to do more to redeem himself. πŸ™‚

    @Lalit: I didn’t htink my review would find any takers. But glad to know that some like-minded people exist. Abhishek was more let down by the script. They guy who tracked down his father’s shooters in last movie is killed so cheaply, is so unconvincing.

    @Rupa: Thanks for taking trouble to put in your feedback. I am glad to know we think alike on the subject.

    @Nikhil: You hate it so much? Though I am not surprised. πŸ™‚

    @Mrinkenti: I read your analysis, I agree with most. Is there a dedicated web site where we can check collections of a movie? It would be really useful to know.

    @Vimal: I want to watch Aamir too, but did not get opportunity. Mere Baap has got real bad reviews. So I think, I am lucky I didn’t waste precious bucks on it. πŸ™‚ yeah, you are right, she is Tanisha Mukherjee. I will correct that now. πŸ™‚

    @Amit: Yes, Amit. I have seen Sarkar and liked it. Though that one was taken heavily from Godfather. What about you?

    @Liju: I am my friends are nevertheless curious about mallu shakeela.

    @Arvind: You are right, you are better off without watching that movie. πŸ™‚ COuld you let the cat out of bag about Shakeela?

    @Reema: They are not poor kids. As they were not really interested, they were more vampish than saas-bahu vamps when it came to criticize. And I had work hard to rein them in. πŸ™‚

    @Ish: yeah, Mere Baap has unanimously got low reviews from all quarters. There i not much violence in Sarkar Raj, at least scenes are so shot that you don’t feel them much.

    What else are you watching at MTV? Did you take a peek at Splitsvilla?

    @amreekandesi: Welcome to Visceral Observations!

    Glad to know a blogger who shares the same opinion. πŸ™‚

  16. 16 arvind June 23, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    lol…well,it would be wise if liju do that honour . πŸ˜›
    as he was the one who mentioned her in this blog πŸ˜›

  17. 17 Liju Philip June 24, 2008 at 5:55 am

    please go to youtube.com and search for shakeela.

    Warning: Not fit for work. Also, iam not responsible for any adverse reactions that might happen on your watching the videos πŸ˜‰

  18. 18 arvind June 24, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    @ liju
    ha ha … what an idea ??? πŸ˜›
    @ poonam
    if i were u i would ignore liju’s advice .. πŸ˜›

  19. 19 Poorna June 24, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Ah, well, the movie was downright boring. It had been quite some time since I watched a movie, so I was hoping this would really give me a break from all the studies, but it failed miserably. The reviews were very misleading and the movie was a major let down.

  20. 20 Harsha June 24, 2008 at 9:27 pm

    Yes.. Aish has failed in giving her best performance again.. just wearing business suit doesn’t make a business woman.. sometimes background music annoys a lot.
    Good Review πŸ™‚

  21. 21 RJ June 24, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    @Poo – I kinda liked it πŸ™‚ But then I get to see hindi movies very rarely as not all movies open up in the theatres close-by! Whatever it is, 2.5/5 means watchable πŸ˜€ – we don’t get 4 star movies very often. πŸ™‚

  22. 22 RJ June 24, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    Amazing Review – forgot to mention tht! Better than Raja Sen (the rediff guy) πŸ˜€

  23. 23 Poonam Sharma June 25, 2008 at 12:03 pm

    @Arvind: So guys stick together πŸ™‚

    @Liju: Now you have got me scared. πŸ™‚

    @Arvind: I am not more scared. I was planning to watch it at home. I am now intrigued what could it be?

    @Poorna: I know what you feel, as for reviews, you really dont know whom to trust. 😦

    @Harsha: The woman is such a bad actress, yet she keeps getting roles worth a lifetime. Like she will be playing Benazir Bhutto next, why does the director want to can another movie! It beats me.

    @RJ: You have a point, but to me it means I should reduce the rating. πŸ˜›
    Hey, Poo could stand for Poorna too. Using shortened names could be confusing on blogosphere. πŸ™‚

    Thanks, if you think review was better than Raja Sen’s, I would take it as huge compliment. Usually I like Raja Sen’s reviews.

  24. 24 RJ June 25, 2008 at 8:08 pm

    @Poonam Sharma of Visceral Observations – πŸ˜€ Wil this create any confusion? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›
    I dont like Raja Sen’s review much. But I will read yours πŸ™‚ Acc to your review 1.5 or 2 for Sarkar! πŸ™‚

  25. 25 praneshachar June 26, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    poonam you missed my small comment again just for fun

  26. 26 Animesh Raj June 26, 2008 at 9:59 pm

    well i almost completely agree with you. for me there were several loopholes in the movie. why didn’t the nagre family inquire into the death of tanisha’s character? in fact just a few scenes after the death of Tanisha Aish and Abhi were seen hand in hand! And then suddenly Subhash Nagre had all the information up his sleeve! Had he been proactive his son might have been saved. The end was stupefying…I mean there was nothing in the movie that showed that Aishwarya’s character was strong and shrewd enough to take Shankar’s place. And yes I don’t think there was much Aish could have done with the character. All that her character had to do in the movie was follow Abhishek and listen to his words of wisdom and later on shed tears in the face of tragedy.

  27. 27 Poonam Sharma June 30, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    @RJ: THis way put, name does not cause any confusions though. πŸ™‚ Glad to know someone will be reading my scathing reviews. πŸ™‚

    @praneshachar: Oh, I am sorry about missing your comment. THanks for encouragement and I agree Amitabh, with all his personal faults, is quite capable of giving stellar performances even in this age.

    @Animesh Raj: Welcome to Visceral Observations!

    Your comments make me think that why are not there more viewers like you? Film-makers then will be wary of making such hogwash movie. True, there was no toughness as portrayed in her character. I like the way you ahve summed up the entire thing. πŸ™‚

  28. 28 Neelathaamara September 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    its a nice film… i liked the direction of Ram gopal varma….


  1. 1 Ruminations in Sweltering August « Visceral Observations Trackback on August 29, 2008 at 11:24 am

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