Sarkar movie review: Not a Sarkar Deepavali

Sarkar movie review: Vijay’s terrific screen presence makes this underwritten saga somewhat bearable.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Written by S Subhakeerthana | Chennai | Updated: November 6, 2018 4:54:03 pm

sarkar movie Sarkar movie review: Vijay’s Sarkar fails to live up to the hype. (Photo credit: Sun Pictures/Twitter)

Sarkar movie cast: Vijay, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Radha Ravi, Pazha Karuppiah, Keerthy Suresh
Sarkar movie director: AR Murugadoss
Sarkar movie rating: 2.5 stars

When a successful filmmaker teams up with a mass hero for the third time, naturally, the expectations are high. Sarkar (which marks the third collaboration of AR Murugadoss and Vijay) fails to live up to the hype. The film works in the first half, thanks to the introduction scenes. You also get to see a song shot in Las Vegas and all that. But post-interval, you lose hope as you realise the film is going off the track.

If Sarkar was a political launchpad for Vijay, then you could say, he won. But unfortunately, this is a film. Those slo-mos, action blocks and stylish-tossing-cigarette-moments doesn’t help if you see the film as a whole. Vijay’s terrific screen presence makes this underwritten saga somewhat bearable. But that doesn’t mean one would enjoy everything in a star-driven film. For instance, the Governor suddenly responds to the Chief Justice’s phone call during a swearing-in ceremony. No, I’m not kidding.

Vijay (Sundar Ramasamy), CEO of an American firm (who calls himself a ‘corporate criminal’, mind you), returns to India to cast his vote. To his disappointment, he finds his vote cast already. Sundar reads up and decides to start a revolution on 49-P (similar to 49-O) of Indian Penal Code that lets someone cast his or her vote even it was forged before. To our amusement, the film features an advocate (Jethmalani) who doesn’t even know such a law existed.

Initially, Sundar says he’d leave Chennai in four hours, but an incident involving a family that sets themselves ablaze changes his mind. He wants to stay back, and cleanse the system. Most importantly, he wants to make people understand the power of democracy (Ovvoru ottum mukkiyam) as it lies in our hands.

Sarkar belongs to Vijay, but not AR Murugadoss. It’s tailor-made for ‘Thalapathy’ who speaks of farmer suicides, Jallikattu, Tuticorin protests, the fishermen’s issue, ‘marketing and branding’ and how with the support of youngsters, he can save Tamil Nadu. Watch out for the scene where he talks about tomatoes and ketchup, please.

As for the supporting characters, except Radha Ravi (Rendu), none make any kind of impression. Pazha Karuppiah’s role (Masilamani) wasn’t substantial enough to make an impact, and Yogi Babu too didn’t do much to add to his repertoire. He tries to be funny in a couple of places, but fails miserably.

I quite liked the interval block where Vijay says, “I’m waiting!” in his signature style. But the problem with Sarkar is that, it has a lot of lengthy dialogues but nothing stays in mind. Maybe, AR Murugadoss had lots of things to say, but didn’t know how to. There are multiple references in the film on Tamil Nadu politics over the past few years — death of the leader, misgivings and so on.

Also Read | Sarkar full movie leaked online by Tamilrockers, Vijay’s fans discourage piracy

Also, I wonder why Keerthy Suresh (Nila) was even cast in the film. She has nothing to do, but aimlessly roam around wherever Vijay goes. After watching her in Mahanati aka Nadigaiyar Thilagam, I wonder why she did Sarkar. It’s not about the commercial film template, but the character. On one side there’s Keerthy, and the other side, we have Varalaxmi Sarathkumar (Komalavalli aka Paapa) who steals the show. Genuinely, I think the makers could have introduced more of her character in the first half. But, she’s abroad, advising her politician-dad (Pazha Karuppiah) on the phone and vanishes. A few scenes in Sarkar reminded me of Ramana. Comparisons are inevitable — because of the same director. But hey, if only Sarkar was half as engaging as Ramana.

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