Monday, July 04, 2005

There are no goods and bads. only a bland Sarkar.

If you were one of those who wondered why Godfather HAD to be a movie of 3 hours length to masterfully depict the characters, go watch Sarkar. Not that Sarkar being too short, was its only folly. It was just one of them.
Sarkar (writing credits to newcomer Manish Gupta) was shockingly mediocre, having come from the Factory and more importantly made by the man himself. I found D run-of-the-mill (w.r.t. RGV camp) too. But, I kinda understood that because plainly put, it wasn't made by RGV himself. And, RGV's candour in telling that D has a definitive Hero and is more on lines with Don that Satya/Company was hitting the nail on its head as to what D actually was meant to be. But somehow, many claimed (incl. a not-so-candid/illusioned Varma this time) Sarkar to be RGV's best effort.Hence the shock.
RGV seems to have been not as ambitious as I thought he would have been when he was making Sarkar, that is, remaking The Godfather. Heck, let's not even use the word Ambition, as apparently there wasn't any, unless you count directing Big B as one.
Sarkar is a hip-packaged movie (read as more 'on lines with Don', or 'D' for that matter) relying much more on Amitabh-Abhishek chemistry rather than merits on scripting and directorial departments. I am saying this not by comparing/contrasting it with the Classic. Sarkar, independently as a movie, regardless of where it is inspired from, is a very ordinary effort. That it comes from RGV is what is unacceptable. Hell, we even have a cliched glib-talking villain in Kota Srinivasa Rao as Selvan Mani cracking insipid jokes (that he is going back to Tamilnadu and asking Rashid to go to Dubai) at serious situations that one would expect in superHero flicks when the lamenting villains await for Hero's inevitable arrival to take his revenge on them, and a self-mocking character in the bogus saint played by Jeeva. In the above instances, the audience may have got a few laughs, but at the cost of characterization assassination. Rashid stares, stares, stares and then dies [Chhota Sarkar's words here - "Tujhe marte huae dekhne ki mazaa khona nahi chahta tha" - are some rare points where the movie scores regardless of its plot; Again, contrast this with Michael Corleone who is in the baptism ceremony when the "revenge" is being taken]. And, whats with the heavy noisy background score? Was Amar Mohile thinking he was scoring for a horror flick? There were shades of such heavy BGM scores even in RGV's last directorial attempt Naach. But here it really irked me.
In a scene where some friend reveals to Vishram that Sarkar has got his bail, we hear a big bang on the background. The camera zooms fast towards Vishram for a moment and comes back in sync with the background thud - worthy of inclusion in next Simbhu flick where he would inform an overcaring/rich/powerful father that he just now slept with the latter's daughter. The performances were all competitive. Lesser appreciation because most of them are very much underwritten that some otherwise nice performances like that of Kay Kay's are tarnished.
I never thought I would be panning a RGV movie to this extent. Neither was the movie bad. But much much far away from being a worthy successor to Ramu's previous works on "Crime and Punishment", as he had put it here - "Satya and Company were just preparatory blueprints for SARKAR. With this film, I hope that my trilogy on crime and punishment; within the reality of our country, our city and our neighbourhood; has come a full circle." Hence, I have one question to Ramu. That, what was going on in his mind?
Perhaps, I should have given more thought to/interpretation on what Ramu had said here too.

P.S.:- For all the non-tamil-movie-watching readers, Simbhu is one of the last disasters that struck the tamil moviedom.


  1. Hi,

    Nice revu. But why you didn't leave comments as to why the movie is not bad. Well there so many ascpects you have mentioned why the movie is not good. Anyway i am not gonna watch this flick.

    Btw, did you listen to Thiruvasakam by Illayaraja. It is too good. IR at his best. Do buy the album and let me know ur opinions on it. If interested read my revu on this album.

  2. Suresh,
    Listened to Thiruvasakam and liked it immensely(and read ur revu too). I havent had repeated listenings yet due to hectic work schedule, of late. This weekend, I ll allot more time to it.

  3. nice review.keep it up.

  4. Hi Zero,
    Returning the favour. RGV's note about this being his best film made we wonder too. But since I'd prefer being RGV's advocate in most cases, I can offer one argument in favour of his comment: he's talking from the POV of a filmmaker, and not from the POV of the maker of a piece of popcorn entertainment (Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Lush Chopra, ...). I doubt that RGV will ever attempt (or want to, for that matter) a film with the grammar of someone like Antonioni. What he is clearly capable of, and what I'd love to see him do even more, is absorb that kind of filmmaking into providing an alternative to the mainstream that deals with the gritty grime of the underbelly of society. I use the word "underbelly" loosely to accomodate criminal elements, social struggles, and human relationships.
    The bulk of the Factory's output has been in the horror/crime/thriller mould. And occasionally there's something like MMDBCH. Despite this being a much-explored genre, I'm glad to see that the material has had its fair share of interesting elements.
    Back to RGV's note about this being the final edition in his trilogy on crime and punishment. I don't think he means "trilogy" in the Pather Panchali/Aparajito/Apur Sansar sense or Kieslowksi's French colours. I'd like to think (and I believe I have reasonable evidence to) that it's used in the thematic sense; in the sense of offering different perspectives to the idea of crime and punishment. He has successfully made so many gangster movies, which while sharing a lot of common ground, offer slightly different subtle nuances of their own. And I can't think of other filmmakers in the public eye (the people in the parallel cinema sector suffer from a complete lack of marketing, unfortunately).
    My more-than-2-cents. I'm still keen on anything the Factory produces -- even if it might end up not so satisfying, it's at least more promising than prisoner number 786.

  5. Well.. RGV is RGV!!
    I, for one, was always an RGV's advocate and will remain one!!
    Perhaps, its an angry fan reacting to this film of his, which is only worthy when seens as a so-and-so's attempt... but not when made by RGV himself. Agreed, not alwats has he made landmark films. But I really expected this to be one!

    I agree with your comments on all fronts [including his lines about the completion of the trilogy on crime and punishment; but Satya and Company were just preparatory blueprints for SARKAR??]. Only that my expectation scale was much higher and I think rightfully so (considering the whole setup of RGV remaking his favourite film).

    Now, eagerly awaiting for My Wife's Murder. Seriously, its a really promising flick [after shedding my inherent bias, that is]!!