If you look at the films Vijay has done in the recent past, most of them had these political intentions mixed with them in an entertainer format. In my opinion, they all worked for me and also for those who aren’t necessarily the hardcore fans of the actor because of the blending of propaganda and entertainment. When it comes to Sarkar, the blatant acknowledgment of the political aspirations of the actor becomes very clear. And because of that, I would say Sarkar is below movies like Mersal, Katthi, Theri, and Thuppakki, but yet a watchable one because of the moments and certain conceptual aspects.
An NRI CEO Sundar Ramasamy is our central protagonist. He is known as the Chengis khan among CEO’s as he sort of destroys every opponent company when he lands in a country. So this Tamilian one day comes to Chennai to cast his vote in the elections and he finds out that his vote was already done by someone else. Because of his popularity this issue becomes news and that eventually ends up in a reelection. How that happens and how Sundar manages to tackle this never before addressed hurdle is what the movie Sarkar showing us.
Like every other AR Murugadoss – Vijay movie, Sarkar is also highly pretentious and ambitious about the hero and the verdict. We have definitely enjoyed that in the past and even filmmakers like Shankar have done that successfully. But like I said in the beginning, the merging of these so-called mass buildups and the narrative of the movie doesn’t have that smoothness. In the very first scene itself, we are seeing an Indian CEO warning his employees about Sundar’s arrival in India and the employees are googling about him. The kind of exaggeration this movie gives to its main protagonist lacks the grace or charm some of the other films had. And some of the stunt set pieces, even though executed nicely, lacked an excitement. AR Murugadoss’s script has tricks with it which makes the cat and mouse political game look non-boring for a runtime of around 165 minutes. He peps up scenes with certain dialogues like how Gandhiji was alone when he was thrown out of the train, how people are the common factor etc. But there is a missing layer of adrenalin rush here. And because of that, this movie feels like a propaganda film rather than a festival entertainer.
With almost every film, AR Murugadoss has always tried to educate the audience about something. Sleeper Cells, corruption in the hospital business, the problems of the farmers etc are some of the things he has sort of presented in the mainstream commercial cinema. With Sarkar what he is trying to tell us is about the power of the vote we cast. And you can’t completely blame him for presenting things with zero subtlety as this is supposed to cater to a wide range of audience who doesn’t give a darn about subtlety. There are boxes of songs, fight, dialogues, interval punch etc that he has to tick as a filmmaker. He is a director who has managed to tick all those boxes and make a pleasing entertainer in the past. In Sarkar, I feel that mixture is slightly on the downside and it feels a bit repetitive too. The script conceptually looks interesting, including the climax statement about the relevance of credible opposition in a democracy. But Murugadoss sort of struggles in filling up this script with gripping sequences in between. As always the female characters have become a mere prop, luckily not for glamour this time. Girish Gangadharan plays with the grandeur aspect of the visuals and I liked how Sreekar Prasad edited those fight sequences eliminating the rope impact very effectively. The Oru Viral Puratchi song by AR Rahman was obviously catchy and other than that the tracks weren’t helping the movie much. Both Simtaangaran and OMG Ponnu are the Diwali burdens on this movie.
Vijay has developed a new body language in the last few movies where he has this way of being eccentric in a very mocking way. He has grace for sure, but this body exercise was at times a little too much and reminded me of Pachalam Bhasi’s famous Natya Shastra dialogue about acting. Keerthy Suresh has pretty much zero significance here. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar who sort of arrives in the halfway point of the second half has better relevance than Keerthy, but she also gets a character that doesn’t challenge her ability. Pala Karuppiah and Radha Ravi appear in characters with negative shades.
Sarkar is a Deepavali package and Vijay’s most obvious political entry vehicle till date. The compromises of every typical Tamil masala entertainer are there and for me, the entertainment energy of Sarkar is slightly less than movies Vijay has done in the recent past.
The compromises of every typical Tamil masala entertainer are there and for me, the entertaining energy of Sarkar was slightly less than movies Vijay has done in the recent past.