When a successful filmmaker teams up with a massive hero for the third time, naturally expectations are high. sarkar (which marks the third collaboration for ar murugadoss and vijay) doesn’t live up to the hype. the film works in the first half, thanks to the introductory scenes. you can also see a song filmed in las vegas and all that. but after the interval, you lose hope when you realize that the movie is drifting.
if sarkar was a political launching pad for vijay, then arguably he won. but unfortunately, this is a movie. those slow-motion moments, action blocks, and fancy cigarette throwing moments don’t help if you’re watching the movie as a whole. Vijay’s excellent screen presence makes this underwritten saga somewhat bearable. but that doesn’t mean one would enjoy everything in a star-studded movie. for example, the governor suddenly responds to the chief justice’s phone call during a swearing-in ceremony. no, I’m not kidding.
vijay (sundar ramasamy), chief executive of an american company (calling himself a “corporate criminal”, he recalls), returns to india to cast his vote. to his disappointment, he finds his vote already cast. sundar reads and decides to start a revolution in 49-p (similar to 49-o) of the indian penal code which allows someone to cast his vote even though it has been falsified before. To our amusement, the movie features a lawyer (jethmalani) who doesn’t even know such a law exists.
sundar initially says he would be leaving chennai in four hours, but an incident involving a family setting itself on fire changes his mind. he wants to stay behind and clean up the system. More importantly, he wants people to understand the power of democracy (ovvoru ottum mukkiyam) as it is in our hands.
sarkar belongs to vijay, but not to ar murugadoss. It’s tailor-made for ‘thalapathy’, which talks about farmer suicides, jallikattu, tuticorin protests, the fishermen problem, ‘marketing and branding’ and how, with the support of young people, it can save tamil nadu. Watch out for the scene where he talks about tomatoes and ketchup, please.
As for the secondary characters, except for Radha Ravi (Rendu), none of them make any kind of impression. The role of Pazha Karuppiah (Masilamani) wasn’t substantial enough to make an impact, and Yogi Babu didn’t do much to add to her repertoire either. tries to be funny for a couple of moments, but fails miserably.
I quite liked the interval block where vijay says, “I’m waiting!” in his characteristic style. but the problem with sarkar is that he has a lot of long dialogues but nothing stays in mind. perhaps ar murugadoss had many things to say, but he did not know how. there are multiple references in the film about the politics of tamil nadu in recent years: death of the leader, doubts, etc.
read also | sarkar full movie leaked online by tamilrockers, vijay fans discourage piracy
Also, I wonder why keerthy suresh (nila) was cast in the movie. she has nothing to do but she wanders aimlessly wherever she wants her vijay to go. after seeing her in mahanati aka nadigaiyar thilagam i wonder why she did sarkar. it’s not about the template of the commercial film, but about the character. on one side is keerthy, and on the other side we have varalaxmi sarathkumar (komalavalli aka paapa) who steals the show. I genuinely think the creators could have introduced more of her character in the first half. but she is abroad, advising her political father (pazha karuppiah) by phone and disappears. some scenes in sarkar reminded me of ramana. comparisons are inevitable, due to the same director. but hey, if only sarkar was half as hot as ramana.