Saturday, July 30, 2005

Sarkar (2005)

The movie is as well made as any of the better Ram Gopal Verma movies. The man knows the language of Cinema well and his technique flows very smoothly, but what takes this movie upwards and above RGV's other movies are the stellar performances.

The movie follows the story of the family of Sarkar, a powerful 'Bhai' of Mumbai who runs his own law. He executes justice for the down-trodden in the way he deems right, even if it may be (as it invariably is) outside the law. His seat of power, the opposition to it, and it's eventual inheritance is what the movie deals with.

AB Sr. does his most balanced portrayal since Aks. His 'Sarkar' comes across as a person aware of the power he controls, rather than one basking in it. And it is this underplayed demeanor that covers the Superstar we otherwise tend to see over the character he plays.

AB Jr. plays 'Sarkar Jr' in the movie and he pulls off the double-whammy of proving to be a worthy son/successor of 'Sarkar Sr.' & AB Sr. - I say that coz the dad took a lot more years & movies to prove himself as good as what AB Jr has already proved himself to be.

Most of the other characters are played by non-names, or small-names but each of them paints their characters with a reality portrayal - these people ARE the characters they play. I have come to realize that one of the trademarks of a RGV movie is to use actors that have rarely been seen in roles otherwise, leading the viewer into the character without any set expectations/typecasts.

But put all of that aside - and watch Kaykay. He plays the elder son of Sarkar, and does he play it. The director knows that this man can shout out words from his eyes what actors fail to do with their mouths, and uses it to full advantage, much to the delight of cinephiles. There are three distinct shots where the camera focuses on Kaykay's face, and one shows only his eyes. What we see in them is as clear as this text you are reading. The fact that this man does so few movies and so far apart makes his performance much more valued, because one tends to forget how good an actor he is. Never is his name mentioned among the better actors of India, and would it be even now?

I would rate this above Company. The reason? Company was a movie about selective performance - Ajay & Vivek doing it then. But Manisha, being the wonderful actor she is, was nothing more than a distraction. And was Ajay Devgan ever able to shed his *star* from his role? No. As real as the movie's story was, the picturization made it quite 'filmy'.

The only other movie close to Sarkar in the RGV element is Satya - more so because of the grittiness and lack of deliberate stylization. It stays in the real world creasing out any clich├ęs that would give it a fictionalized feel.

Sarkar is the movie that would be played in the tributes of everyone associated with it, especially Ram Gopal Verma, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishekh Bachchan and Kaykay (if he ever has one).

My rating --> 4 of 5

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