Who better to play godfather or sarkar?


Images © SCI / T-Series
** Sarkar
ram gopal varma

Subhash Nagre is a powerful man in Mumbai who lives his life and business according to his own rules, which are not always in line with those of the state. When he refuses to partner with a gangster from Dubai, the situation escalates.

There is little reason to be happy in this story. The circumstances make it difficult. Because where the state does not provide justice, where politicians and police officers are corrupt, the helpless people need support. And a man makes these weaknesses his strength. India's acting legend Amitabh Bachchan (Sholay) embodies the godfather of Mumbai, a man whom ordinary people trust, but who also has many enemies waiting to overthrow him. Ram Gopal Varma stages his homage to Francis Ford Coppola's `` The Godfather '' with `` Sarcar '' and leans far out of the window. As in the American model from 1972, the focus in Varma's film is on the family and the problems resulting from it. Abishek Bachchan (Dum Maaro Dum) not only plays the son of Amitabh in the film but is also in real life. As Shankar Nagre he returns from the USA to India, unencumbered, naive and denies his girlfriend Pooja (Katrina Kaif, Dhoom 3) vehemently his father is a gangster (but we do not find out how he earns his money). Subhash's other son Vishnu (Kay Kay Menon, Life in a Metro) knows better about this, at least he pretends. Vishnu, an impulsive guy with a touch of inferiority complexes, is the producer of a Bollywood film, but is more interested in the leading actress even though he has a wife and child at home. The relationship with the father is not the best and tensions increase when the head of the family Subhash rejects a seemingly lucrative business.

The ingredients for an exciting gangster flick are there, but Varma does not manage to make something interesting out of it. Above all, it is frightening how the two Bachchans interpret their characters in a weak and powerless manner. The figures appear banal, too smooth, and offer no surface for friction. How should one be interested in their fate? As a clan chief, Big B's game is reduced almost exclusively to sitting in the rooms of his house, which is populated by numerous armed men. The Indian, born in 1942, lacks the charisma we can expect from numerous films. He delegates, points with his finger, hardly has to say anything so that the awesome people understand. In the long run this minimal, almost disembodied game becomes boring for the audience. Bachchan Junior's pale appearance and his change from reserved simplicity to family avenger are also not impressive. What is missing above all is Subhash Nagre's fearsome adversary, someone from whom one can remove the king from the throne. Instead, we get Zakir Hussain (Paan Singh Tomar) in the role of Rashid, the offended challenger from Dubai, who does not want to accept a `` no '' and therefore forges a plot against the godfather. One is therefore always grateful when Ravi Kale appears. As Subhash Nagre's right-hand man, he shows emotions, respect but not radical humility for his boss, but sometimes gets loud in his presence. He would certainly have done this film well on the other hand, in a bigger villain role.

The roles of women are kept small. Katrina Kaif, meanwhile matured into a superstar, was still at the beginning of her career in 2005 and the mini part here as a friend is out of the question (especially not a dance interlude). The experienced Supriya Pathak (Ram-Leela) has little more opportunity than Subhash's good wife to look worriedly in the background. Tanisha (the younger sister of Bollywood star Kajol) exudes a little warmth in this visually gloomy, almost monochrome and unfortunately monotonously staged drama. As Avantika, who has been in love with US homecomer Shankar since childhood, she bravely deals with the fact that there is probably no chance for her love. No romance, no dance scene. There is music in `` Sarkar '' anyway, and it is plentiful and so penetratingly loud and self-important that it seems like a helpless attempt to give this tenacious drama more momentum. As a director, Ram Gopal Varma has made over 40 films (and produced countless) over the past 25 years, including gripping gangster films such as `` Satya '' and `` Company '', his so-called `` preparatory films '' for `` Sarcar ''. It is unfortunate that the preliminary conclusion of his trilogy on the subject of `` crime and punishment '' is falling like this. Three years later, the story with `` Sarkar Raj '' continued.

DVD (SCI / T-Series, NTSC, code-free, 123 min)

The Indian import DVD comes in an Amaraycase with a cardboard cover. On the back of the DVD cover there is a written introduction by the director to the film (English).
Picture: 2.35: 1 (16x9); quite dark in places, not a good contrast, source material with dirt particles, lack of sharpness
Subtitle: English and others (can be hidden).
Volume: DD 5.1 Hindi; passable
Extras: Image gallery (slide show approx. 1 min), trailer, TV spots (4x3 letterbox format)
annotation: The red T-Series logo is occasionally displayed briefly in the upper right corner.

Staging and acting a disappointment. Tension-free genre cinema.

Text © Markus Klingbeil


India 2005. Color. Original language: Hindi. Length: 123 min. (NTSC) Aspect ratio: 2.35:1 Theatrical release: 07/01/2005 (India). Budget: n / A Director: Ram Gopal Varma. Script: Manish Gupta. Dialogues: Arshad Sayed. Camera: Amit Roy. Cut: Nipun Gupta, Amit Parmar. Music: Amar Mohile. Actor: Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Kay Kay Menon, Supriya Pathak, Katrina Kaif, Tanisha, Rukhsar, Anupam Kher, Srinivasa Rao Kota, Ishrat Ali, Zakir Hussain, Ravi Kale, Raju Mavani.
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© Layout, text: Markus Klingbeil, pictures: Filmverleih