Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Writer: P. Jaya Kumar, P. Jaya Kumar (story and screenplay), Ramkumar Singh (dialogue)
Stars: Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Manoj Bajpayee, Ronit Roy
Runtime: 187 min
Genre: Crime, Drama
Released: 12 May 2017
Summary: The third film in Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar trilogy, which chronicles the exploits of a powerful political figure.
Review: Style takes precedence over substance by a fair distance in Ram Gopal Varma’s third entry in the Sarkar series. Despite riding on the broad shoulders of Amitabh Bachchan, as impressively on the top of his game as ever, Sarkar 3 is a tedious trudge. It exudes about as much life as the little stone bulldog that occupies a prime place in the brooding protagonist’s gloomy living room.
Sarkar 3 is stylishly shot, elliptically edited and only 132 minutes long. That apart, Manoj Bajpayee, Ronit Roy and Amit Sadh do their bit to support Bachchan in the latter’s all-out bid to shore up the film. But its worn-out under-wiring simply doesn’t possess the strength to carry the weight of the film.
In the sordid underbelly of Maharashtra politics, where an ageing Sarkar still calls the shots without brooking any opposition, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. In keeping with the ‘animal instincts’ of the film’s dramatis personae, lions, tigers, dogs, cats and rats receive more than their rightful share of attention in the ‘killer’ punch lines that they hurl at each other.
Manoj Bajpayee, who dons the guise of a fearless politician who takes on the mighty Sarkar, has a marginally better written role. He pulls his weight as long as he is allowed to, which, unfortunately, isn’t long enough.
Sarkar 3 is after all an Amitabh Bachchan show all the way. He adopts comfortably familiar methods to prop up the most inane of lines and situations. But no matter what he does to liven up the pallid proceedings, Sarkar 3 remains a soul-deadening affair, flashy but flimsy.