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. 🙂
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)