Sequels are dicey business. No matter how much you improvise on your new script, you cannot escape comparisons. And when you attempt a sequel of a critically acclaimed film that's a huge box-office grosser as well, it's akin to walking on a tight rope.
Most importantly, post Ramgopal Varma Ki Aag, Ramgopal Varma was everyone's favorite punching bag [till Tashan dethroned Rgv Ki Aag]. "Finished", "spent force", "has-been", "Pack up" were commonly used terms for RGV.
Now here's great news! Sarkar Raj supersedes the prequel and most importantly, RGV bounces back like never before. If you felt Shiva and later Satya were his finest efforts, you've got to watch Sarkar Raj. An outstanding film in all respects, this film has all it takes to emerge a major success story at the box-office... and a landmark film in everyone's careers.
When Anita [Aishwarya Bachchan], CEO of Sheppard Power Plant, an international company, brings a power plant proposal to set up in rural Maharashtra before the Nagres, insightful Shankar [Abhishek Bachchan] is quick to realize the benefits the power plant can bring to the people.
After convincing Sarkar [Amitabh Bachchan], who is against it for various reasons, Shankar undertakes a journey along with Anita to the villages of Maharashtra to mobilize support from the masses.
However, things are not what they seem to be and Shankar's dream project gradually becomes a political minefield. The evil forces, mightier than ever, mushroom and gang up to bring down the regime of Sarkar and obliterate Shankar's name from the political horizon.
Sarkar Raj exudes a lot of power from the word 'Go'. But let's not categorize Sarkar Raj as yet another "political film". Emotions and relationships run concurrently in those 2+ hours. What works in favor of Sarkar Raj is its tight writing. It's not difficult to decipher the power play, but more importantly, there's meat in the script. It leaves you awe-struck as the plot thickens. The film throws a number of surprises, but the best is reserved for the penultimate 20/25 minutes. The culmination to the story is simply fantastic!
RGV shines like never before. He takes to Sarkar Raj with a vengeance. He has to prove that the sequel is better, he has to prove the detractors wrong too. While RGV has handled the subject with great expertise, you cannot ignore a few scenes that leave a lasting impact...
* Ash's first meeting with the Bachchans to explain the power project;
* Govind Namdev trying to bribe Abhishek;
* The Bachchans' visit to Dilip Prabhawalkar's residence;
* The Bachchans' discussion over Kay Kay [who was shot dead by Abhishek in the prequel];
* The turning point in the film [not to be disclosed];
* The penultimate reels when the real culprit stands exposed. It hits you like a ton of bricks.
Besides its strong content, Sarkar Raj has been filmed exceptionally well too. In fact, Sarkar Raj has the trademark RGV stamp in every sequence. The review would be incomplete without giving the due credit to writer Prashant Pandey's incredible and almost flawless script. Amar Mohile's background score is topnotch. The by-now-famous 'Govinda' chant in the background only enhances the impact. Amit Roy's cinematography is exceptional. The DoP succeeds in giving the film the raw-n-rustic look, which works very well. Action [Allan Amin], in minimal doses, is perfect.
Sarkar Raj is embellished with superb performances! Amitabh Bachchan, expectedly, comes up with a terrific performance. He's as ferocious as a wounded tiger in the finale and takes the film to great heights.
First Yuva, then Guru, now Sarkar Raj. Abhishek Bachchan is cast opposite the finest actor of this country, yet he sparkles in every sequence. This time, the father and son go neck to neck as far as acting honors go. Aishwarya Bachchan is fabulous and delivers her career-best performance in Sarkar Raj. Enough has been written about her looks, but not much space has been devoted to her performances. Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Devdas, Provoked, Guru, Jodhaa Akbar and now Sarkar Raj - she's only got better with every film.
Every supporting actor in Sarkar Raj stands out - Dilip Prabhawalkar [superb], Govind Namdev [first-rate], Sayaji Shinde [perfect], Ravi Kale [terrific] and Supriya Pathak [good]. Tanisha is alright. The actor enacting the role of Dilip Prabhawalkar's grandson makes a strong impact.
On the whole, Sarkar Raj is an exceptional film in all respects. At the box-office, it has all it takes to set new records in days to come!