Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ram Gopal Varma|
|Produced by||Ram Gopal Varma
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
|Music by||Background Score:
|Edited by||Nipun Gupta
|Distributed by||ShowMan Pictures
Balaji Motion Pictures
|Budget||280 million (US$4.5 million)|
|Box office||594.6 million (US$9.6 million)|
Sarkar Raj (Hindi: सरकार राज, translation: Reign of the Overlord) is a 2008 Indian dramatic thriller film set in the world of politics and crime. It was directed by Ram Gopal Varma. It is the sequel to Sarkar (2005). The blockbuster film was premiered in the Marché du Film section at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival, and New York Asian Film Festival. The film was archived at the Academy of Motion Pictures library.
The primary cast features three members of the Bachchan family – Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan (who reprise their roles from the original) and new entrant Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Supriya Pathak, Tanisha Mukherjee and Ravi Kale also reappeared in their respective roles from Sarkar. The film released on 6 June 2008, was critically and commercially successful.
The sequel is chronologically set two years after the original film. Anita Rajan (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), CEO of an international electrical power firm based in London, holds a meeting with Mike Rajan (Victor Banerjee), her father and boss and Hassan Qazi, as a seemingly shady adviser and facilitator; regarding an ambitious proposal to set up a multi-million dollar power plant in rural parts of the state of Maharashtra in India.
Qazi states that this project will be impossible due to possible political entanglements. When Anita asks him for a solution, Qazi states that enlisting the support of Subhash Nagre (Amitabh Bachchan) (commonly referred to by his title of Sarkar), who he describes as a criminal in the garb of a popular and influential political leader, might help their cause. The resulting socio-political drama forms the crux of the story.
- Amitabh Bachchan as Subhash Nagare 'Sarkar'
- Abhishek Bachchan as Shankar Nagare
- Aishwarya Rai Bachchan as Anita Rajan
- Govind Namdeo as Hassan Qazi
- Tanisha Mukherjee as Avantika
- Victor Banerjee as Mike Rajan
- Supriya Pathak as Pushpa Nagre
- Sayaji Shinde as Karunesh Kaanga
- Dilip Prabhavalkar as Rao Saab
- Sumeet Nijhawan as Bala
- Kay Kay Menon as Vishnu Nagare (Cameo from the original film Sarkar)
- Upendra Limaye as Kantilal Vora
- Rajesh Shringarpure as Sanjay Somji
- Shishir Sharma as Sunil Shinde
- Ravi Kale as Chander
- Javed Ansari as Mystery Man
The film mostly garnered a positive critical reception. Critic Taran Adarsh from Bollywood Hungama gave the film four stars out of five and noted "Besides its strong content, Sarkar Raj has been filmed exceptionally well 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. Abhishek Bachchan is cast opposite the finest actor of this country, yet he sparkles in every sequence. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan is fabulous and delivers her career-best performance." Sify gave a two-star rating and said, "The only reason you might want to catch this is the performance level and the relatively good ending. Amitabh Bachchan is dependably good. Abhishek holds his own, though with a more filled-out character, he could have taken it to another level. Aishwarya is superb in the emotional scenes, but again, is let down by the unforgivably simplistic character sketching." Rediff which also gave a two-star rating noted "This is a watchable".
The Economic Times gave a three star rating out of five and said "Sarkar Raj clearly gains major marks for its clever culmination, which was so much lacking from recent RGV products. The considerately and crisply penned dialogues by Prashant Pandey add a lot of insight to the scenes and depth to the characterizations." Anupama Chopra from NDTV stated "What works here are the performances. The Bachchans-all three of them are in fine form. Despite wonderful performances and nicely done dramatic moments, Sarkar Raj doesn't pack the visceral punch of Sarkar".
Nikhat Kazmi of The Times of India rated the film with three and a half stars and applauded the lead performances saying "This film carries the sequel forward without losing out on the gritty feel and retains the charisma of the central characters". Critic Nathan Southern of MSN gave four stars citing that "Sarkar Raj thrives on its narrative cliffhangers, that the film never once fails to engage the audience; the premise and its characters are rock-solid, its dialogue convincing, and its suspense palpable. Varma and scriptwriter Prashant Pandey pack such unusual twists and double-crosses into the tale that even the most hardened and seasoned moviegoer will find the conclusion impossible to foresee".
Box office reception
Sarkar Raj grossed almost 340 million in India and over $1 million in the USA. The Filmfare Magazine (August 2008 issue) and other media declared it to be among the only four hits in the first half of 2008 (along with Race, Jodhaa Akbar and Jannat).
The producers reported that the movie had earned more than the entire grossings of its hit prequel in its first two weeks itself. According to the year end report of the The Free Trade Journal, Sarkar Raj was the seventh highest all-India grosser of the year after (in order) Ghajini, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Golmaal Returns, Singh Is Kinng, Dostana and Race. The trade magazine also reported high international collections. It was declared a super hit grosser at the box office.
Awards and nominations
Star Screen Awards
- Screen Award for Best Film (2009)
- Screen Award for Best Director (2009)- Ram Gopal Varma
- Screen Award for Best Actor (2009)- Amitabh Bachchan
- Screen Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (2009)- Abhishek Bachchan
- Screen Award for Best Actor in a Negative Role (Male/Female) (2009)- Dilip Prabhawalkar
- Screen Award for Best Background Music (2009)- Amar Mohile
- Stardust Award for Star of the Year – Male (2009)- Amitabh Bachchan
- Stardust Award for The New Menace (2009)- Rajesh Shringapure
- Stardust Award for Best Director (2009)- Ram Gopal Varma
- Stardust Award for Star of the Year – Male (2009)- Abhishek Bachchan
- Stardust Award for Star of the Year – Female (2009)- Aishwarya Rai
- Filmfare Award for Best Actor in Supporting Role (2009)- Abhishek Bachchan
- IIFA Award for Best Actor in Supporting Role (2009)- Abhishek Bachchan
|1.||"Chaah Bhanwar Trishna"||Sandeep Nath||Sunayana Sarkar Dasgupta||3:30|
|2.||"Jalte Rawan"||Prashant Pandey||Abhishek Nailwal||3:02|
|3.||"Jalwa Re Jalwa"||Prashant Pandey||Kailash Kher, Sunayana Sarkar Dasgupta||4:37|
|4.||"Jhini Jhini"||Prashant Pandey||Roop Kumar Rathod, Shweta Pandit||4:04|
|5.||"Saam Daam"||Sandeep Nath||Kailash Kher||3:29|
|6.||"Saher Saher Ke Hajharon Sawal"||Sandeep Nath||Arun Ingle, Bapi, Tutul||2:49|
|7.||"Subah"||Prashant Pandey||Pamela Jain||3:43|
|8.||"The Govinda – Chant"||Sandeep Nath||Kailash Kher, Bapi, Tutul||2:59|
|9.||"The Govinda – Groove"||Sandeep Nath||Bapi, Tutul, Jankee Parikh||3:03|
|10.||"The Govinda – Theme"||Prashant Pandey||Bapi, Tutul||3:34|
|11.||"The Govinda – Trance"||Sandeep Nath||Bapi, Tutul, Jankee Parikh||3:25|
|12.||"The Jalwa – Club Mix"||Sandeep Nath||Kailash Kher, Sunayana Sarkar Dasgupta||4:47|
Debutante Rajesh Shringarpore's character of Sanjay Somji was also reportedly based on Raj Thackeray, the estranged nephew of political leader Bal Thackeray; thus furthering the general viewpoint that the series is based on Bal Thackeray and his family. Apparently Ram Gopal Verma had even shown Raj Thackeray rushes of the film to allay his fears of being wrongly portrayed.
In 2009 Ram Gopal Verma stated that he had no plans finalised for the third instalment in the series and shelved Sarkar 3. However in 2012 it was reported that the sequel would go ahead once again and currently is in the post production stage where the script is being written. The film is expected to go on floors at the end of 2013, primarily with the same cast of Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan although his character dies at the end of this film and also Aishwarya Rai is to be left out.
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