At one point in Sarkar Raj, the villains are planning their next move. One of them shouts: Zabardast idea
The other asks kya
and he replies: abhi puri tarah se aaya nahi hai
. That's exactly what I felt about the movie.
It is a good idea that doesn't quite coalesce into a whole. Despite wonderful performances and nicely done dramatic moments, Sarkar Raj
doesn't pack the visceral punch of Sarkar
The sequel takes us back to the Nagre's Thackeray-esque dynasty of self-styled political leaders.
One character describes Nagre senior as Neta ke libas mein ek goonda
Subhash Nagre, played by Amitabh Bachchan, is still enthroned but it is his son Shankar, played by Abhishek, who is the new Machiavelli, plotting moves and ordering hits.
An international company wants to set up a power plant in Maharashtra.
The plant will displace 40,000 people. Shankar believes that the plant will empower the state and backs the plans. He becomes embroiled in a vast and lethal conspiracy, which almost destroys the Nagre family.
What works here are the performances. The Bachchans-all three of them are in fine form.
Aishwarya displays a rarely seen steel as the head of the corporation. Mr B creates a carefully controlled menace - you know this smiling grandfather could kill without blinking. And Abhishek surpasses them both with a brooding intensity that echoes, in the best way, his father's angry young man days.
The supporting cast is also impressive-Ravi Kale as the right hand man who proves fallible is especially good. What doesn't work as well is the screenplay.
Ram Gopal Varma shoots-in tight close-ups and notches up the background score to create a sense of drama but the film remains flaccid.
There is so much plot that at the end, Mr B expounds at length about who did what to whom and why and yet there is very little tension. Beyond a point, all the subterfuge and counter-subterfuge becomes tedious.
The film's politics also remain specious - Nagre senior expounds on gandi rajniti
and then coolly has his enemies murdered.
Despite these sizeable bumps, I recommend that you see Sarkar Raj
. Its performances are a proof that Ram Gopal Varma, who last gave us the mind-numbing Aag
, is on way to getting his groove back.