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Sarkar (2018 film)

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Sarkar 2018 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byA. R. Murugadoss
Produced byKalanithi Maran
Written byA. R. Murugadoss,
B. Jeyamohan
Screenplay byA. R. Murugadoss
Story byAR Murugadoss
Keerthy Suresh
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Yogi Babu
Radha Ravi
Music bySongs:
A. R. Rahman
A. R. Rahman
CinematographyGirish Gangadharan
Edited byA. Sreekar Prasad
Distributed bySun Pictures
Release date
  • 6 November 2018 (2018-11-06)
Running time
164 minutes[1]
Box office₹253 crore[2]

Sarkar (lit. Government) is a 2018 Indian Tamil-language action drama film[3][4][5] written and directed by AR Murugadoss, and produced by Kalanithi Maran under the banner Sun Pictures. The dialogues were co-written by Murugadoss and B. Jeyamohan. The film stars Vijay, Keerthy Suresh, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Yogi Babu and Radha Ravi. It follows Sundar Ramaswamy, a non-resident Indian (NRI) who arrives in India from the United States to cast his vote in the election, only to find his vote has already been recorded as casted. Ramaswamy raises awareness against electoral fraud among the masses, and decides to contest as a nonpartisian politician in the elections.

Principal photography for Sarkar began in January 2018. Murugadoss collabrated with Vijay for a third time with Sarkar, which was the latter's 62nd film and given the tentative title of Thalapathy 62. In early December 2017, Sun Pictures agreed to produce the film. While Girish Gangadharan handled the cinematography, A. Sreekar Prasad served as the editor. In August, few scenes were shot at Las Vegas. Filming was completed by September 2018. The film's soundtrack, composed by A. R. Rahman with lyrics written by Vivek, received positive reviews.

After various complications, including protests and allegations of plagiarism, Sarkar was released on 6 November 2018, during the week of Diwali. It received mixed reviews; while Vijay's performance, concept and cinematography was praised, both the screenplay and sequences were criticised. Post-release, the film involved in controversies with reference to Jayalalithaa in the film's audio track and other sequences from the film led to protests by members of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. After lawsuits were registered against the makers, the said allusions were muted. As of 27 November 2018, Sarkar has grossed ₹253 crore (US$38.85 million) worldwide, and has emerged as a commercial success.[6] Sarkar is the highest grossing south Indian film of 2018, overtaking Bollywood and Telugu hits like Gold, Raazi and Rangasthalam.[7] Sarkar collected $1 million at the U.S box office.[8]


Sundar Ramaswamy is a highly successful non-resident Indian businessman based in the United States of America, referred to as a "corporate monster" due to his ruthless business dealings. He arrives in Chennai to cast his vote in the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly election. However, he finds out that someone else had already voted in his name. Sundar approaches the Tamil Nadu State Election Commission and demands a stay on the election result for his constituency, an annulment of the fraud elector's vote and the ability to legitimately cast his vote, to which they agree. Sundar raises awareness among the public regarding fraud voting and finds that many people too faced a similar problem to his when trying to vote.

Meanwhile, Sundar rekindles his romance with his estranged sister-in-law's sister Nila, whom he had last met five years ago. His actions bring him into conflict with two influential and corrupt politicians, M. Masilamani, who is the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and his brother Malarvannan "Rendu". Although Masilamani's party wins the elections, the Election Commission annuls the result based on Sundar's plea and fresh elections are scheduled to take place within the next fifteen days. After attempts are made on his life by Rendu's henchmen, Sundar decides to contest the election against Masilamani as an Independent and resigns from his company to avoid any conflict-of-interest.

Initially unpopular among the masses due to his corporate background, Sundar delivers a speech detailing his rise from a humble fisherman background to a businessman, and gains popular support. He and his supporters gatecrash an event involving the merger of Masilamani's party with the opposition. After Sundar confronts Masilamani regarding his silence on district-related issues, the police brutally beat up Sundar and his supporters. At this juncture, he realises that the entire political system in the state and country needs reform, and decides to contest in all constituencies in Tamil Nadu along with his supporters. Sundar acquires video evidence wherein people who had attempted to expose Masilamani's corruption were killed under mysterious circumstances, and plans to reveal it to the media to discredit Masilamani and have him arrested.

Meanwhile, Masilamani's daughter Komalavalli "Pappa", based in Canada, arrives in Chennai after finding out that her father and uncle have lost support due to Sundar. She decides to spoil Sundar's reputation and frame him as a corrupt and power-hungry person. She orchestrates a car accident and frames Sundar for it, which causes him to lose considerable public support. She furthers her agenda by killing her father with an overdose of diabetic tablets, so that her party will gain sympathy votes. These crimes ensure that Pappa, the new Chief Ministerial candidate for her party, would likely win the election. Sundar decides against exposing the evidence against Masilamani as he feels that his support will further erode, which was what Pappa intended to accomplish.

On Election Day, Twitter messages generated from one "Muthukumar" allege Sundar has stashed black money in various locations, which further degrades Sundar's reputation. However, unknown to anyone, the tweets were sent by Sundar himself, as Muthukumar was one of those activists killed by Masilamani. Further messages lead to Muthukumar's decomposed body being found, exposing Pappa's lies. Meanwhile, Pappa finds out that her mother has decided to expose Pappa's role in Masilamani's death at the latter's memorial in front of the media later in the day. She arrives at the memorial with her henchmen to stop the expose, but Sundar subdues Pappa's henchmen and her mother's confession is live-streamed, which ensures that the public support is back with Sundar.

Sundar and his supporters win the election, while Pappa and Rendu are arrested for their various crimes. However, Sundar decides against becoming the Chief Minister, and instead chooses one of his supporters, a honest collector, to be the next Chief Minister.


  • Vijay as Sundar Ramswamy, a businessman-turned-politician
  • Keerthy Suresh as Nila, Sundar's love interest
  • Varalaxmi Sarathkumar as Komalavalli "Pappa", a politician
  • Radha Ravi as Malarvannan "Rendu", Pappa's paternal uncle
  • Pala. Karuppiah as M. Masilamani, Pappa's father, the former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu
  • Yogi Babu as Kaushik, a fraudulent voter
  • Rajesh as T. N. Chari, the Election Commissioner
  • J.Livingston as Venkatesan, Nila's father
  • Prem Kumar as Sundar Ramasamy's brother
  • Tulasi Shivamani as M. Masilamani's wife
  • Kalyani Natarajan as Sundar Ramasamy's mother
  • M. J. Sriram as Sundar Ramasamy's uncle
  • Janaki as Sundar Ramasamy's grandmother
  • Arumugam Bala as Sunder Ramasamy's driver
  • Ranjini Hariharan as Sundar Ramasamy's sister
  • Papri Ghosh as Sundar Ramasamy's sister-in-law
  • Yuvina Parthavi as Sundar Ramasamy's niece
  • Meenu as a victim
  • Manya as Sundar Ramasamy's niece
  • Jayaditya Kang as Kaushal, Sundar Ramasamy and Nila's nephew
  • Kanishk as as Sundar Ramasamy's nephew
  • Raneesh as Muthukumar
  • Ravi as Rathnasamy
  • K. Sivasankar as an election officer
  • S. S. Stanley as a merged party candidate
  • Alok Nath as Jethmalani
  • ECR Saravanan as an Ayodhyakuppam resident
  • Selva as an Ayodhyakuppam resident
  • Anitha Sampath as a newsreader
  • Ashwanth Thilak as a reporter
  • Raja Rani Pandian as a voting poll worker
  • Balasubramani as a police commissioner
  • Vinod as governor's personal assistant
  • A. R. Murugadoss as common man (Special appearance in "Oru Viral Puratchi")

Real-life activists such as Kalki Subramaniam, Piyush Manush and Narayanan Krishnan made cameo appearance as themselves in the song "Oru Viral Puratchi".[9]


Following the successful ventures, Thuppakki and Kaththi, AR Murugadoss was confirmed to be the director of the 62nd film of actor Vijay. The project, tentatively titled Thalapathy 62 (the working title as it is the 62nd film starring Vijay, who is known as Thalapathy among fans), was slated to enter production once Vijay completed Mersal and Murugadoss completed Spyder.[10][11] In early-December 2017, T. Santhanam was confirmed as the art director of the film, and following this, it was made official that Sun Pictures was producing the film[12] .Production began in January 2018, with a planned Diwali-2018 release.[13] Girish Gangadharan of Kali, Angamaly Diaries and Solo fame was roped in as the cinematographer.[14] A. R. Rahman was also rumoured to be in talks to compose the music of the film.[15] Sreekar Prasad, who had previously edited Thuppakki and Kaththi was the film's editor.[16] Jeyamohan was recruited as writer, and shooting began in January 2018.The title was revealed on 21 June 2018 ahead of the lead actor Vijay's Birthday,[17]. The team had successfully completed the first and second schedules of the shoot, and begin their third schedule in Las Vegas in early August.[18] Shooting was wrapped up on 5 September, after which dubbing and post production works were carried out.[19]


Tulasi played the role of Vijay's mother in the film.[20] In mid-November 2017, it was reported that actor Yogi Babu was in talks to play a role in the film and actress Nayanthara was in talks to be the female lead.[21][22] Jaswanth Khanna, son of comedian Ramesh Khanna, who had worked as an assistant director, made his acting debut with this film.[23]. Keerthy Suresh was later signed to play the female lead role and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar was also confirmed, playing a pivotal role.[24][25][26]


The music and score of the film is composed by A. R. Rahman,[26] and lyricist Vivek penning the songs.[27] The full audio album was launched on 2 October 2018.[28] The album consist of five songs, all penned by lyricist Vivek. The team launched the very first single "Simtaangaran", which received mixed reviews, on 24 September, followed by "Oru Viral Puratchi" on the last day of the same month of September which too received positive reviews. The album in its entirety was made available for download in digital on 2 October. The promotional music event featured dance performances for the songs in the background. The soundtrack album was released and bagged under the Sony Music record label after few days the single track is released.

Sarkar is Rahman's fourth collaboration with actor Vijay, after Udhaya, Azhagiya Tamil Magan and Mersal. The audio release event of the film was conducted in a much peculiar way, where for the very first time the audience were given the privilege of launching the music album online by the means of the production company's website. The audio launch event held a live telecast aired on Sun TV and on their exclusive paid service called SunNXT . Significant crew members took turns in giving an opinion of their experience being part of the project. Celebrities such as director Atlee turned up that night, as guests. Unlike other music events, Rahman opted not to perform. Instead trained dancers put a rendition for the beats of his. It transpired that the album was unofficially leaked without the team's consent, ruining the hype built up for album. In essence, the soundtrack was very well received by the public, the general consensus was positive. Indiaglitz gave a 4 out of 5 star rating, but cited: "Sarkar though rich in techno and electronic treatment, finds a winning combo with its amazing lyrics".[29] Studioflicks mentioned "A mix of local and western flavour from A. R. Rahman", giving it a rating of 3.25 out of 5.[30] Behindwoods gave it 2.75 out of 5 stars and stated: "A. R. Rahman goes full-on techno for Sarkar ".[31]

All tracks written by Vivek.

Sarkar (Tamil) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]
1."Simtaangaran"Bamba Bakya, Vipin Aneja, Aparna Narayanan4:42
2."Oru Viral Puratchi"A. R. Rahman, Srinidhi Venkatesh5:28
3."Top Tucker"Mohit Chauhan3:43
4."OMG Ponnu"Sid Sriram, Jonita Gandhi, Shashaa Tirupati4:44
5."CEO In The House"Nakul Abhyankar, Blaaze3:52
Total length:22:29

All tracks written by Rakendu Mouli, Vanamali, and Chandrabose.

1.""Rapta Maara""4:42
2.""Vulikithe Vudhyamam""5:28
3.""Top Tucker - Telugu""3:42
4.""OMG Pilla""4:42
5.""CEO In The House""3:53


Sarkar was released on 6 November 2018, during the week of Diwali.[32] The film released in an unprecedented way for a Tamil Film by releasing on Tuesday. The film opened in 3400 screens worldwide.[33][34] Additionally the film released to the Tamil speaking Indian Diaspora in 80 countries with 1200 international screens. The film’s overseas distributors have ensured that the film releases in as many as new markets such as Poland, Mexico, Philippines, New Zealand, Ukraine, Russia, and several countries in the African continent.[35] The Kerala fans of the actor erected a 175 feet tall cut-out of the actor, the tallest cut-out for a film actor in Kollam.[36] The film released on diwali and according to the trade trackers it earned across Rs. 30 crore in Tamil Nadu on its opening day, beating Baahubali 2[37]. Sarkar has broken several collection records, including the one held by 'Sanju' for Overall collections and joined the 100 Crore Club within two days.[38]


The film received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for Vijay's screen presence and performance, however, the screenplay and sequences were criticised.[39]

Anusha Iyengar of Times Now gave the film a 3.5 out of 5 rating and said, "Vijay’s performance is far better and mature than any of his other performances. Jeyamohan, the writer of the film, deserves all the credit here for writing dialogues that only Vijay can pull off with that kind of impact and power". [40]

Sakshi Post gave the film a 3.5 out of 5 rating saying, " Sarkar has all the makings of a commercial thriller. You will see Vijay's signature dialogues which are whistle worthy and scenes with Murugadoss trademark. The film contains all the ingredients of a masala entertainer and keeps you engaged through the movie. Vijay's role is powerful and leaves a mark, BGMs provide the perfect accompaniment while action scenes stand out. Keerthy and Varalaxmi deliver". [41]

Abhijith of Filmbeat rated the film a 3.5 out of 5 rating and cited: " Sarkar is not just a film meant for the fans to celebrate. It has a broader angle and the movie enlightens and envisions the people as well. Definitely, a very good entertainer that doesn't lose the focus from its good intent. [42]

Times of India gave the movie a 3 out of 5 rating cited that Vijay carried the film in a smart, lengthy film that has a good message but lacks strong antagonists.[43]

Indiaglitz rated the movie with a 2.75 out of 5 rating with praise for Vijay's performance, but the screenplay was criticized. "On the downside, the screenplay is completely devoid of logic right from Vijay taking his case to court to contesting in the elections that all seem too easy and unconvincing even by commercial cinema standards.  The screenplay slump is massive in the cond half with the last one hour loaded with over the top speeches making it an ordeal to sit through as there is nothing new or intelligent in the hero's methods to best his enemies.  The director could have handled a sincere actor like Vijay better and not let his performance border on overacting. "

News18 was more critical of film and gave it a 1.5 out of 5 rating and said that the "Vijay's Film is the Glorification of a Politically Aspiring Actor. " While Sarkar cannot be faulted in direction or mounting with some great action sequences, the plot has been written only for Vijay. There is really no place for a second character. Even Keerthi Suresh, who was excellent as the South Indian actress Savithri in the biopic, Mahanati, is reduced to essaying a wide-eyed admirer of Ramaswamy. Others like Radha Ravi have also been relegated to the background. "[44].

Political controversies

Following release, the Tamil Nadu government accused the film-makers and Vijay that they are inciting the people by targeting the ruling government in some scenes and defaming former chief minister J Jayalalitha by naming the main antagonist with her alleged original name Komalavalli .[a][48] This led to numerous protests by AIADMK party cadre at theatres where the film is screened and vandalism of the banners of Vijay. AIADMK accused Sun Pictures which is owned by Kalanidhi Maran, who is the grand nephew of former Chief Minister Late M Karunanidhi of DMK of targeting the government.[49]

Several actors such as Rajnikanth, Kamal hassan supported the film-makers by raising the voice against the oppresion of freedom of speech. They cited that a film must not be scrutinized even after the censor of the film by CBFC India [50] Following the threat of lawsuits from the government, the film-makers accepted to cut the scenes and mute references of Komalavalli in the audio track.[51]

Plagiarism allegations

Writer Varun Rajendran accused Murugadoss of plagiarising Sengol, a story he had registered with the South Indian Film Writer's Association in 2007.[52][53][54] After K. Bhagyaraj, the head of the Association concluded that Sarkar's script was not original, the matter was taken to court, where the judge directed both the parties to come up with an agreement for the scheduled release of the film. In the resulting agreement, the director admitted that the story of 'Sarkar' was the same as of 'Sengol' and Sun Pictures have agreed to thank Varun Rajendran and flash a message card for 30 seconds after the thank you note in the title card and also pay him Rs 30 lakhs as compensation.[55]


  1. ^ T. T. V. Dhinakaran stated that “Komalavalli (the character’s name) is not Amma’s name at all. In 2002-03 when a Congressman referred to her by this name, Amma herself said this was not her name and that she had not even done any such film role,” in the context of a controversy over of the use of the name in the Tamil film Sarkar.[45] Jayalalithaa objected to the use of the name Komalavalli in a biography and obtained a stay .[46] Her niece Deepa Jayakumar also denied Komalavalli was Jayalalithaa's birth name.[47]


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  3. ^ SARKAR – BBFC
  4. ^ Here's the summary and run time of Thalapathy Vijay's Sarkar
  5. ^ Sarkar Audience Review: Fans all praise for Thalapathy Vijay’s action drama
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External links