A radio jockey from my city’s local radio station very aptly said, that ‘Entertainment cannot be given, it has to be taken…”, and I took the advice seriously and booked myself into the nearest multiplex to watch the Sarkar Raj, the sequel to Sarkar, an offering from Ram Gopal Varma. For company I had two friends, and thank God for that. Their presence helped me to settle my nerves when the knots of the movie finally opened up.
The first thing about the movie which strikes you, is the cast. Stellar that is, with the towering presence of (His Highness) Mr.Amitabh Bachchan, the very talented and very brooding Abhishekh Bachchan and the smart, chic, dignified Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Apart from that, the movie boasts of a radiant supporting cast which includes Govind Namdeo, Dilip Prabhavalkar, Sayaji Shinde and Rajesh Shringarpore.
The movie has every possible ingredient that marks every Ram Gopal Varma movie. It has grey characters, suspense, a very large dollop of politics, a large dose of violence and bloodshed along with some really exceptional background score. The movie is dark. Even the scenes shot in open spaces had a sense of darkness about them. The scenes inside the house of the Nagare family has used sunlight so well that covers the faces of the characters in a shade which brings out the sultry nature of the various characters.
The cinematography is beyond excellence. The characters have been filmed right from the distant to such closeness that you could see the eyes of the characters with a proximity where the characters could not have been untruthful about the emotions they were to portray. The angles which the cinematographer has taken is immensely rich in variety and texture. Adding to the fact, is that some of these angles are rare and never seen before. One such scene where the father-son duo are discussing an issue has been taken in alarming darkness with a little ray of bland light from behind a glass table which they are staring at. It could not have been more indigenous and such excellence is rare.
Rare is the usage of background score in the right way and hitting the right notes in every single scene. It is loud when it needs to be, it is mellow when the scene requires it and it is tense when the situation takes such a turn. The music goes with the movie and the solitary song ‘Govinda’ has been used appropriately. The sets and costumes have been apt. Right from the modern pant-suits of Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, to the classy suits of Abhishekh Bachchan, to the Gandhian outfits of Dilip Prabhavalkar, they have all hit the right rhythms. Similarly the sets have paid allegiance to the script and its demands.
This is not a movie of a hero-heroine, but an ensemble effort which lifted the movie to a new height. I cannot imagine a cast other than this. Every actor has dutifully played his or her character to the hilt. Be it Aishwarya’s corporate turn, or Tanissha’s small role of the dutiful wife, or Supriya Pathak’s very submissive role as the wife of Subhas Nagare, these women have hit the spot right on. Among the men, Amitabh Bachchan is superior, he completely endorses the phrase “Excellence is not a one off thing, it is a habit”. Abhishekh Bachchan is at his brooding best and delivers after the disastrous, although I liked it, Jhoom Bara Bar Jhoom. Among the array of supporting cast, special mention has to be made of Dilip Prabhavalkar, who played the character of Rao ji with raw intimidation.
Overall, the winner here is the script which is tight and has been paced well. Unlike the other Ram Gopal Varma movies where the script fails miserably, it holds here, firm and steady. The direction is amazing and Ram Gopal Varma needs to be applauded for this piece of cinema.
It was a brilliant ride. I recommend the movie to all.