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Sarkar 3  : An Empire Reduced To Debris
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Friday, May 12, 2017
Action
Ramgopal Varma
Amitabh Bachchan, Manoj Bajpayee, Yami Gautam, Amit Sadh, Jackie Shroff

The first handful of scenes hold promise when director Ram Gopal Varma comes straight to the point, introduces his key characters and the enmity brewing within and without Subhash Nagre’s parallel government. After the familiar hand waving of the man called Sarkar with the rudraksh around his wrist, a shady underworld sort called Gandhi drives in and the camera goes low behind his chair to show his arrogant stance. Nagre sips tea from a saucer before henchmen Gokul and Raman bundle Gandhi out of the door.

 

Sarkar’s dead son Shankar’s portrait is practically like another character, ailing wife Pushpa spouts only Marathi and she paves the way for grandson Shivaji to enter the household. Shivaji’s entry sets off a power game in the ranks with slow and deliberate chewing at the dining table firming up the friction.The background music breaks into loud chants of ‘Govinda, Govinda, Govinda, Govinda, Govinda’.  Outside, the stage is set for Subhash Nagre versus a rogues’ gallery. Politician Deshpande who spits fire against Nagre, union leader Gorakh who’s available to the highest bidder, a Dubai-based don with an underdressed starlet, Gandhi of course and Shivaji’s girlfriend Annu whose father has been murdered by Nagre.  

 

But the potent theme of a parallel power and palace intrigue aided by a towering actor like Amitabh Bachchan needed riveting writing more than clever camera angles.

 

Ram Gopal Varma certainly needed to cast more effective actors to stand up to Bachchan. With the exception of Manoj Bajpayee as politician Deshpande who evokes a bit of genuine laughter and Ronit Roy as strong right-hand man Gokul, the inept cast turns into a bunch of caricatures. Rohini Hattangadi as Manoj Bajpayee’s whisky-swilling mother is inexplicably parachuted into the film with an equally unceremonious exit. Yami Gautam as Annu only smirks while the camera lingers on her fingers and feet as if she has something up her sleeve which she doesn’t. Jackie Shroff and his skimpy ‘Darling’ look like poolside cartoons.

 

After the halfway mark, Ramu devotes most of the screen time to building up Shivaji as an alternate power to Subhash Nagre which turns into unscripted comedy as it exposes the inadequacies of Amit Sadh. When Sadh spouts, “Shivaji Nagre. Naam toh suna hi hoga” and “Main sher hoon”, there’s laughter instead of tension.

 

For a sequel that runs aground and cannot be tugged out, Sarkar 3 gets a 2* rating.

 

Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author
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