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By Troy Ribeiro


Film: "Sarkar 3"; Director: Ram Gopal Varma; Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Manoj Bajpayee, Amit Sadh, Supriya Pathak Kapur, Ronit Roy, Rohini Hattangadi and Yami Gautam

 

In "Sarkar 3", the legacy of Subhash Nagare aka Sarkar, the indisputable and ominously powerful politician of Maharashtra continues. The film uses political intrigue inside the corridors of power and despite every attempt to become respectable, the past cannot be erased.

The plot concocted by director Ram Gopal Varma and Nilesh Girkar, is a screenplay inspired by newspaper, broadcast media headlines and the generic political scenario borrowed from Director Francis Ford Coppola's "Godfather" franchise, which is artfully intertwined with the Nagare family's story.

The film opens, as each of the trilogy does, with a verbose disclaimer, suggesting that this film should be taken in the right spirit as it is a fictional piece which is not meant to hurt anyone. This is followed by a rousing speech by Subhash Nagare.

This edition takes off from the last 2008 released "Sarkar Raj". After the death of his sons, Nagare's wife Pushpa (Supriya Pathak Kapur) who is bedridden, informs him that his grandson Shivaji (Amit Sadh) who is fondly addressed as Cheeku desires to come over and live with his grandfather.

And thence begins the drama of doubts, crossing and double crossing, with Sarkar torn between the future represented by the two characters, his trusted nephew Gokul (Ronit Roy) who has been with him all along and his hot-blooded and volatile grandson Shivaji.

In an otherwise cold, dispassionate and predictable narrative, there are some poignant moments between Sarkar and his grandson that give this film an emotional tinge.

Amitabh Bachchan, whose character Subhash Nagare is designed on the lines of the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, dressed in black flowing robes and sporting a grey French beard long with the characteristic rudraksh, emulates the chieftain to perfection. With his steely gaze and paused speech, he effectively conveys the conniving persona.

Supriya Pathak Kapur with a limited on screen time is effectively wasted.

Amit Sadh as the brash young Shivaji along with Ronit Roy deliver perfunctorily convincing performances. Yami Gautam as Annu, Shivaji's love interest in the film, is lacklustre. Her character certainly seems forced into the script.

Manoj Bajpayee essays the role of the firebrand political instigator Govind Desphande with ease. He shines effortlessly with his faultless demeanour. He is aptly supported by Rohini Hattangadi as his equally ambitious mother, Rukku Bai Devi.

Jackie Shoff as Sarkar's UAE based adversary Michael Valya aka "Sir" is a misfit. His character is designed as a caricature and is performed with equal sluggishness. His presence onscreen emits involuntary guffaws.

On the technical front, with atmospheric lighting and unusual camera angles, the visuals are asthetically captured. The frames with a grey and sepia tone palette, are dark and in keeping the genre.

This, accompanied by the frenzied background score with the lyrics, "Govinda, Govindaa" elevates the viewing experience.

Overall, the film will appeal to those who have watched the earlier Sarkar versions and of course Amitabh Bachchan and RGV fans.

 

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