Sarkar Review: Vijay is the biggest strength of the film
Director AR Murgadoss’ film Sarkar starring Vijay in the lead is what one would call a politically-driven film. Don’t get me wrong, the film doesn’t favour any political parties. It simply believes that government is made by the people, of the people and by the people. AR Murgadoss makes us believe that Vijay, the star is only propagating the current political scenario to the people, and he isn’t he mass messiah. Together the director and actor deliver a film with a solid agenda that’s partially a good watch, but it did have promising elements that could have made it better.
The story of Sarkar is quite predictable from the trailer. A NRI business tycoon comes to India to register his vote only to find out that it has already been cast. He begins to claim it legally. Soon after he finds himself in a political battle that’s powered by Papa (Varalaxmi).
The first half of the film establishes Vijay’s character and his interest to change the political scene. While the second half introduces us to Papa, played by Varalakshmi, who decides to weaken Vijay’s strategies. The film’s strengths include the action scenes which are original and terrific! For a change, the slo-mo actions weren’t a bore. The protests that break out in the political rally too packed a punch as they brought out that fact that getting into politics isn’t a simple job.
However, as clear and simple as this sounds, the film takes too long to establish what it really wants to tell, and the audience is left wondering about several loose ends. Not just that, the film has a few bizarre scenes as well.
For instance, Vijay arrives with his entourage, which includes four beefed up bodyguard and a secretary. After he decides to stay in India, he asks them to head back to America. One of the bodyguards insists they stay with him to protect him. And that’s the end of what we see of them. What happened to his powerful and busy life in America? We don’t know!
Another bizarre part of the film is when judges and lawyers question the common-man about new laws in regards to voting. How can a well-qualified judge/lawyer not be aware of it? There are many more scenes in the film that are as silly as this but it’s best if you watch it for yourself.
In the first few scenes of the film, we are told that Sundar’s brother and Nila’s sister who were once married are now divorced. I thought the film will invest few more scenes on this but there is nothing. You know another character which has ‘nothing’ to do in the film, it is Keerthy Suresh. She can contend to win the award as ‘The best prop’ in the film. She’s there in every frame but doesn’t have to even move a muscle. It’s a pity that there was nothing written for this talented actress.
The real problem in Sarkar lies when it forgets to make the film a gripping one. It could’ve been a film where Sundar and Papa face head-on and battle it out. Although it does start out as one but fizzes out sooner than you expect! It could’ve also been a film where Vijay challenges the system and tries to give a solution to atleast one of the many problems listed in the sheet. But it doesn’t get there.
A. R Murgadoss has a keen interest of explaining heavy concepts to the audience using food as an example. In Kaththi, Vijay’s character was a graduate of Msc Hydrology had to sell the idea of communalism using Idli. Now, in Sarkar, Vijay’s character, the CEO of an American based company (apparently it’s Google) uses Tomato as an example to explain the unethical ways of food manufacturing companies. Clearly, big terms are best explained over a plate of idly or tomato ketchup. It’s a clever idea, that is simple to grasp. Varalaxmi delivers her career-best performance and suits the role so well. It’s a surprise to see her underplay it.
The film’s biggest strength is Vijay, who is in top form. He delivers a terrific performance of a no-nonsense person who stays consistent throughout the film. He is especially good in the dance and fight scenes. He looks stylish in his costumes but I didn’t understand the purpose of wearing so many layers in Chennai heat (he sports jackets, trench coats). But who cares when Kollywood’s A-list star takes on the government and decides to lead the way as the common man.