General ramblings

Review: Sarkar Raj

The best way to make a come back is to write about movies! And I happened to watch Sarkar Raj in the theater today. Before I write about my thoughts regarding the movie, let me thank you all for emailing and leaving me lovely comments. 🙂 I really missed blogging- reading your blogs, writing and reading comments. And a lot seems to have happened while I was away- Nita‘s blog pictures got stolen by Hindustan Times, Nova’s blog got a face lift, Ish’s results came out and he passed with flying colors- these are the changes that I can remember for now. But it’s good to see that things are otherwise just the way I left them! So, I’ll try and play catch up with your posts and comment. 🙂 Thank you all for sticking with me.

Surprisingly, I liked this movie quite a bit. And I haven’t seen the prequel- Sarkar. This being the first movie post Ash-Abhi’s historical wedding, I decided to give it a try. Plus, I’ve always liked Ram Gopal Verma as a director (even though he has made some very embarrassing movies like RGV ki Aag etc.). The plot of the movie is quite simple- Amitabh and Co. are people’s Gods and they do what’s best for the people of Maharashtra, even though it might mean killing his own son, who stands on his way of achieving his aim.

Aishwarya Rai plays the role of a CEO of an international energy firm and wants to construct a power plant in Maharashtra. She seeks the help of Sarkar (Amitabh Bachchan) and Shankar (Abhishek Bachchan). What follows is a lot of blood shed and power politics. Tanisha Mukherjee also has a small role, as Shankar’s wife. But she’s conveniently killed off a little before the interval, to make way for Aishwarya’s and Shankar’s love story.

Let’s talk about the positives first. Thankfully, no songs. The direction was quite tight in almost every scene. Abhishek Bachchan delivers yet another power packed performance. Tanisha looked really pretty, even prettier than Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Please don’t hate me for saying that. The dialogues are long and windy, but they go well with most of the scenes. Amitabh Bachchan is his usual self- neither too good, nor too bad. He delivers his typical straight-face-better-than-thou type of performance.

The negatives now- I know that Ramu probably tried to get creative with the lighting and his camera angles. But he’s not Wong Kar Wai or Krzystof Kieslowski. He spoiled some really good frames because of this. Most of the times, I was trying to move my head in different directions, trying to see the actors’ faces. But of course, I couldn’t do it because you see, that is what the director doesn’t want you to do. Probably the actors had a bad bout of acne and told Ramu to hide half of their faces?

Aishwarya Rai failed to impress me, despite her designer suits. She looked less like a CEO and more like a model. Even role wise, she doesn’t really have much to do in the movie, except for serve as a dummy in almost all the scenes. She’s just there…to listen to the men rant. And try to look pretty, with tons of lip gloss and kajal to go with it.

The background score could have been much better. There is this particular number called “Govinda Govinda” that keeps playing during every serious scene. The speed at which the chanting of the word “Govinda” increases can only be compared to the speed of your treadmill ramp.

Despite these idiosyncrasies, the movie kind of works and is definitely worth a watch. I’m quite choosy when it comes to Hindi movies and I would say that this is one of the better ones out there.

Rating: 7.5/10



34 thoughts on “Review: Sarkar Raj

  1. Welcome back!! Good to see you. How was your paper?

    And a 7.5 for a hindi movie from You means a must see. Surely will give it a try.

    Paper was OK! Hopefully, I’ll pass. 🙂 I don’t know about “Must see”, but I enjoyed it- probably because I needed a break and haven’t been following the Bachchan family, or seen any RGV movie! Don’t hate me if you don’t like it. 😛 Warning you beforehand.- Ruhi

  2. Boo! You’re back and you post a REVIEW OF SARKAR RAJ?!!! WTF!! 😛

    Welcome back btw!

    I’m not reading the review because I’m sick of the B Parivaar.. eating up my TV. The only channel they’re not mentioned is Cartoon Network [oh wait.. damn ads]… maybe Fashion tV then? 😛

    One advantage of not watching Indian TV- I don’t see the B Parivaar 😛 And they’ll be soon aired on Cartoon Network too…don’t worry! They’re becoming cartoons anyway. 😉 And yes, feels great to be back. -ruhi

  3. First of all, Yay! you’re back! I’m so happy! Yayayayayayay! Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo Re! Sowwie, that’s the only Bengali I know 😛

    How was your exam, then?

    And you made a comeback with Bollywood, great. I thought Sarkar Raj would be good because Sarkar was good and RGV would be wanting to do something worthwhile after his Aag. I wouldn’t mind watching it but the thing is that I can’t tolerate the Bachchans. They’re one small rich annoying and arrogant family. I think Abhishek is okay but I’ve never liked Amitabh. And Aishwarya too, she delivers her dialogues in a weird way. She’s Hema Malini part 2. So her being added to the family was yet another boost up to their hate ratings. Abhishek seems to have become rather arrogant too, it seems. But he’s a good actor, can’t take Guru and Yuva away from him.

    Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo Re?! Hahaha…dude, Rajasthan Royals Won! 😦 You can say “Ami Tomake Bhalo Bashi” (means I love you) or Just say “Isssshhh!”. Exam was good. Hopefully, I should pass.

    Yeah, I can’t tolerate the bachchans either. Still hate AB baby for marrying Ash. And let’s not even talk about AB Sr or Ash. AB baby has become arrogant? Obviously if he has Ex-Miss World with him…sigh…

  4. Welcome back!

    I missed watching this movie by whisker. I didnt try hard because reviews were not good. And I knew Aishwarya would disappoint me. 🙂

    But coming from you, 7.5 is very nice score for a Hindi movie, now I am wondering was it worth missing the movie! 🙂

    Thanks Poonam! Yes, the reviews are not really good- esp. Rediff India. I had no choice but to watch the movie because I’d already bought my ticket. I was feeling generous after taking my exam! So I thought- what the heck! Let’s make the Bollywood fans happy. 🙂 Doesn’t seem like anyone is happy with my rating. They like me best when I bash movies. Haha! – Ruhi

  5. Welcome Back !!!!!!!!!

    I am yet to watch this movie.. You have given a good score.. but what I see from CNN IBN’s review.. its not good as the first Sarkar movie.. did you read that review ?

    Yes, I read all the reviews! I was quite jobless- so I didn’t mind wasting some time. 🙂 But I did enjoy the movie (at least for a Bollywood movie, that is). – Ruhi

  6. welcome back.
    like dinu said almost all the newspapers have not given positive reviews for this movie. may be coz they are comparing it with the first movie.

    Probably yes! I haven’t seen the first one. So I guess my review is unbiased that way! On a stand alone basis, I enjoyed this one.- Ruhi

  7. U know, sarkar raj was cool, but try to catch aamir, u know the rajiv khandelwal movie that released this weak, now that is a gem of a movie……

    Hey thanks for your comment and welcome to my blog! Saw you at Ish’s. I have heard about Aamir. It hasn’t been released in the US, unfortunately. I’ll try to find a DVD print online. Thanks for your recommendation- Ruhi

  8. Hey welcome back! 🙂

    The movie I am not sure if i will see… simply coz i loved Sarkar and wouldnt want to tarnish the already depleting image of RGV in my eyes!!! Its best not to watch!

    Nova, I can understand! 🙂 Lots of people are apprehensive about this movie and I don’t blame them…what with the overexposure of the Bachchan parivaar and Ramu’s declining quality- Ruhi

  9. So glad you are back!!!!
    I just watched the movie today I have a whole blog lot to tell abt it… And yes do watch the prequel it way better than this one… I thought the second half had way too many loopholes and yes the score is better in the prequel than in this one.. I liked the cinematography though the tint made me weary after a while

    Had too many loopholes?Really? Well I didn’t see the first part- that might be a reason why I liked this one. Will wait for your review then. 🙂 And yes, the tint almost blinded me! – Ruhi

  10. So back to home finally!! 🙂

    Now seriously, you haven’t watched Sarkar (first one)? Come on!! you should watch it and you will know why I am insisting!!!


    Yes, back to home. 🙂 No, haven’t seen the first one. I really wanted to try something crazy and seriously felt that nothing can be crazier than wasting $10 on a Hindi movie. Luckily, it wasn’t that bad. Hell, I even liked it! – Ruhi

  11. check out the prequel, “Sarkar” and u will not like about this movie even as much as you have! And to support what u have written, abhishek is awesome, ash is Unh…. (words fail me as I dont want to be too rude)and am tired of amitabhi’s almost gone baritone voice..

    Yes, I haven’t seen the first part! That might be a reason why I thought this was a reasonable movie. Will try to catch the first one. 🙂 And yeah, Amitabh is annoying for sure. – Ruhi

  12. lallopallo says:

    Iam surprised that you liked this movie. I watched it during the weekend with my parents as they wanted to watch a Hindi movie at the AMC. Iam sorry but I didnt like it one bit. It was a torture inflicted in the form of jarring background music, beaten to death RGV’s bhaigiri, dongiri,netagiri and sarkargiri all combined into one , irritating glare of Abhishek, agnipathized Amitabh, crazy camerawork, mushy mushy scenes, very very predictable twists and everybody dies in the end morality.
    It’s prequel or whatever, Sarkar, was atleast tolerable and , in parts, effective too.
    RGV, my favorite director at one point , is a pale shadow of himself now. His Satya and Company were masterpieces, I always thought.

    Oh your parents are already here? 🙂 Not bad! Yes, the background scores were pathetic. Totally agree with you on that. The thing is, I haven’t watched a Ramu movie since ages! That might be a reason why I could tolerate this one. And yes, AB Sr. was just tolerable…nothing more. The movie was AB Baby’s…were it not for him, I would not have even stepped into the theater. I liked the way AB baby gets killed off…quite sad. RGV is nothing like how he used to be. I don’t remember the name of the last movie that I saw…there was one with Urmila and Saif Ali Khan…another thriller…where she takes revenge! I had liked that one quite a bit- probably 4-5 yrs back. – Ruhi

  13. I agree!

    Despite the idiosyncracies and the (slightly!) irritating “Govinda” chants, Sarkar Raaj is very watchable! 🙂

    I fully endorse your 7.5 / 10!

    Although, Aishwarua Rai is, as usual, PLASTIC! 😛

    Welcome back to the Blogosphere… “You were missed!”… 😉

    Finally one person who agrees with moi! 🙂 Ash was plastic and highly annoying too. And thank you for missing me 😉 – Ruhi

  14. Welcome back – hit by a bout of generosity? 7.5 for Ramu? I’ll take ur word for it, but r u sure?

    Haha…probably because I haven’t watched the prequel. 🙂 I went with very low expectations too. If you can leave your brains at home and not hope too much, you’ll like it. And if you don’t compare it to the first part too…- Ruhi

  15. welcome back Ruhi! You have sure come back with a bang! Great to hear that you liked the movie (I feel happy if you like a hindi movie!) and I am planning to see it this week. And a review will follow!
    7.5/10 is pretty high and I think that is the highest you have given to a Hindi movie so far and I am sure this movie must be good.
    I used to like RGV’s movies earlier and he has made some excellent movies but of late he has gone downhill. Good to hear that he has got his gray matter back!

    Thanks Nita! 🙂 Yeah, I was in a happy mood post-exam and wanted to do something that was a no-brainer and a Hindi movie fits the bill perfectly. 😛 I guess I got too generous with the rating- but I think you will like this movie, as long as you ignore some annoyances…and almost all Hindi movies have something or the other that goes horribly wrong. I think you’ve read at least three decent reviews (Amit, Suda and mine) and that should make you want to watch it! – Ruhi

  16. And thanks a ton for mentioning the HT blog robbery! 🙂

    No problem! I’ll try to find your post that talks about it (assuming that you’ve blogged about it). This is way too shocking and people need to be more aware.- Ruhi

  17. Hello!!! Welcome back. And what a comeback!!! 😛
    Sarkar Raj???
    I thought you were completely off Hindi movies after Tashan. 😀 So finally exams are over? And hows the job going?
    About SR, I liked the movie but as you said, the camera angles made me gulp a disprin later on. And…err..I liked Ash too. I think she was pretty ok. Hehehehe. What to do, I am helpless. 😆

    Thank you thank you! 😛 Good to know that I haven’t lost my regular readers. Arre I really wanted to do something which involved me relaxing and poking fun. 😛 This was the perfect outing for me! Don’t remind me of tashan…puhhhlllzz. Ash was ok? Dude, you need a brain check up. – Ruhi

  18. lallopallo says:

    Ruhi, the movie you are talking about is, ‘ Ek Hasina thi ” …Yes, I liked it too.but, it was neither directed nor written by RGV..It was directed by Sriram Raghvan..for me, the last good movie directed by RGV was Bhoot, even though I dont like watching horror movies..

    Suda, Iam not saying it doesnt happen.. plus RGV’s depiction of underworld etc is always very realistic……I absolutely loved Satya and Company..But, he should have stopped after that..instead he keeps making these type of movies again and again..after a while, everything looks beaten to death and repetitive..
    Iam sure there are good points in Sarkar Raj too, but , for me, if the movie doesnt connect at baser level, I overlook everything else..

    Oh yeah! Ek Haseena Thi…totally forgot the name. Thanks for correcting me here btw. Wasn’t Sriram Raghavan RGV’s assistant or something? The movie had a very RGV feel to it. There is a new horror movie coming out- Phoonk! Saw the trailer while watching Sarkar Raj and I wouldn’t want to watch that. – Ruhi

  19. lallopallo says:

    Ruhi, btw, how come you are asking if my parents are already here? I though you knew that after you commented on a post related to that..
    Did you drink too much after your exam ? lol

    Oye, I think I had a memory lapse…Sorry yaar. Too much partying. 😐 Won’t happen again. Maaf kar do.- Ruhi

  20. Who cares if Rajasthan won? SRK still owns Kolkata. Till the time that goes on, I’m Korboing, Lorboing and Jeetboing. Good thing your exam went well! Oh, and Ami Tomake Bhalo Bashi. 😉

    And Abhishek has become arrogant yeah. Stardust tells me that.

    Haha…you are a true Calcuttan my friend and should have been born in Cal. 😛 Your love for my hometown is overwhelming and makes me want to tell you “Ami tomake bhalo bashi too”. 😛 Duffer! – Ruhi

  21. Haha, I love your replies. Ami tomake replies bhalo bashi. Okay, there, pav bhaji bana di maine Bengali ki. 😛

    ROFL 😀 Seriously…don’t even know how to improve this bhaji now. Totally burned. :P- Ruhi

  22. Splendid re-entry into the blog sphere
    i liked it because of the very interesting twists and overall it has an intelligent story, and politics in india and especially Maharashtra is portrayed, though the plot is nowhere near reality of mah politics which is much more layered and complex.

    i think that ramu has experimented or gotten inspired by old Hollywood and new gangster movies with his camera angles.. and he has even taken a dig at the other thackarey. he has taken the whose who from the marathi theatre and soaps in this movie!

    Dilip P is as normal outstanding , so is Amitabh and i agree the others are not so great including miss plastic as my friend calls her

    I think Ramu can make an entire mini series if he were to talk about Maharashtra politics. 🙂 This was good enough by Hindi movie standards though. I don’t know who are the famous Marathi actors in this movie. but yes, the acting was quite good! Amitabh was OK types. Didn’t like him that much. 😦 – Ruhi

  23. You’re baaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Welgum! Welgum! 😀
    How’re life? How’s work? How’s everything? What’s been happening?
    Btw, I saw the movie too and i absolutely HATED it..!! Solid Waste of Money! 😀

  24. Wow, nice pavbhaji ish-bhaiyya.,…… just read Three BIG mistakes of…. Chetan Bhagat and I found our ish there in the book 😀

  25. Hey, you back to basics.

    I have been visiting your blog to go to other related blogs from your blogroll. The small URL helps me navigate easily 😉

    & Welcome back… 🙂

  26. welcome back…glad that u are back… 🙂
    how were the exams aand all..i hope every thing is fine now 🙂
    and abt the movie..
    i dint see it 😛

  27. woow…a 7.5 frm ruhi…
    must be really good then….have to watch it..

    and of course, welcome back…

    I wouldn’t say it’s very good! It’s good, yes. And decent enough for a Hindi movie. That’s the reason I gave it a 7.5. If I start ranking Hindi movies on a global scale, then I don’t think I would give it more than a 5/10.- Ruhi

  28. I donno they could have just continued copying from the godfather…i liked the first one…I wanted something like
    “fredo ur my brother, I love you but you went against the family”

    coolest line ever

    Godfather, Goodfellas and all other gangster movies! 🙂 – Ruhi

  29. Ruhi:

    It may surprise you but I watched the film in India, with my cousin’s family. I would stop at 7 on 10.

    I have not seen the film to which this is a sequel so I was filled in by my cousin. The references to the brother are too numerous for people like me.

    While it is commendable that no songs were sung around trees, the Govinda chant does get on one’s nerves. They could have also edited down Amitabh Bachchan’s monologue towards the end. There are some good lines (“kabhi kabhi hamare usool zindagi se bade ho jaate hain” resonated with me the most) but the Poirot-like deductive unravelling of the role of Rao Sahab was a bit far-fetched. My niece asked several times how he could know all that. Aishwarya was decorative and barring her crying in the shooting and death scenes, mostly plastic – which is the norm. I was a bit sad to see Supriya Pathak wasted in the film.

    I wonder how Aishwarya ‘ek chai lana’ Rai and Cheeku ‘my father was killed by my Uncle’ Nagre will square off in the next sequel!

    Shefaly, Welcome back! Even I kind of lost track when they started talking about the older brother. My friends had to fill me in. Probably a 30-second flashback would have been good. The Rao Saab politics was way too complicated and the script writer needs to be given kudos for coming up with such an elaborate plot, which, I’m sure, nobody knew/guessed. And yes, I think Cheeku will be played by some other hot guy and AB Sr. will be in his death bed by then. Ash…middle aged frustrated woman? We’ll see!

  30. Hey, I will definitely watch Sarkar Raj after reading your review. What you said about Aishwarya is understandable; I am not a fan of her acting skills (if she has got any that is). Probably someone like Tabu might have been a better fit for the role.
    Thanks for the review.

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