Sarkar Raj

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Sarkar Raj
Sarkar Raj Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ram Gopal Varma
Produced by Ram Gopal Varma
Praveen Nischol
Written by Prashant Pandey
Screenplay by Ram Gopal Varma
Starring Amitabh Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
Dilip Prabhavalkar
Supriya Pathak
Music by Background Score:
Amar Mohile
Songs:
Bapi-Tutul
Cinematography Amit Roy
Edited by Nipun Ashok Gupta
Amit Parmar
Distributed by Showman Pictures
Balaji Motion Pictures
Release date
  • 6 June 2008 (2008-06-06)
Running time
125 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 280 million
Box office 594.6 million[1]

Sarkar Raj (English: Reign of the Overlord) is a 2008 Indian political crime thriller film directed by Ram Gopal Varma. The film is a sequel to the 2005 film Sarkar and the second installment of Sarkar film series. The film was premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival,[2][3] the New York Asian Film Festival,[4] and the 9th IIFA World Premiere-Bangkok.[5]

The film was archived at the Academy of Motion Pictures library.[6] The primary cast features 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 and was critically and commercially successful.[7][8] The continuation and third installment Sarkar 3 was released on 12 May 2017 to positive reviews.[9]

Plot[edit]

The sequel is chronologically set two years after the original film. Anita Rajan (Aishwarya Rai Bachchan), is the CEO of Shepard Power Plant based in London, holds a meeting with Mike Rajan (Victor Banerjee), her chairman father, and Hassan Qazi (Govind Namdeo), as a seemingly shady business adviser and facilitator; regarding an ambitious proposal to set up a multimillion-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. Along with the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shinde (Shishir Sharma), they approach Sarkar with the idea of this project, who refutes the idea, due to the fact that the power plant will be built in various villages, affecting the livelihood of 40,000 people. However, when Shankar (Abhishek Bachchan) convinces him of the benefits of the project to the state, Sarkar agrees to the proposal. Shankar advises Anita to stay away from Qazi, as he is not trustworthy. Qazi joins hands with Kaanga (Sayaji Shinde), who wants to become the Chief Minister of Maharashtra but could not as Sarkar is the overlord for Shinde's political party. Shankar and Anita begin campaigning in Thackerwadi to gain support of local public for the project. During their chat Shankar mentions that his toughest decision of life was to kill his own elder brother Vishnu, Anita tells that her father never saw her as a daughter and was her boss.

Sanjay Somji (Rajesh Shringarpure), leader of farmer's association is shown to be protesting the Nagre's. Meanwhile Avanti, now Shankar's wife reveals to him that she is two months pregnant, Shankar also has growing friction in relationship with old family aid Chander (Ravi Kale). On the other hand, Shankar's sister-in-law Avantika's car is bombed within the premises of Sarkar's villa, and Avantika is killed, Sarkar who is shaken suffers a shock and is admitted to a hospital. Shankar replaces Bala (Sumit Nijhawan) as head over Chander (Ravi Kale), and asks him to quickly find out who was behind this brutal attack. Kantilal Vohra (Upendra Limaye) come to Sarkar requesting him to shift the project to Gujarat. As Sarkar refuses, Vohra, Kaanga, Qazi, are shown together hatching a plan. Chander calls up Shankar telling Qazi was behind the blast, Shankar shoots Qazi in his house. Mike comes to India and is seen to be meeting Vohra discussing about eliminating Shankar as, they both want only profit and Shankar aims for development for 40,000 villagers living in Thackerwadi also.

Vohra and Kaanga now hire a hit-man to kill Shankar for 5-Crore. While, Shankar and Anita are on a holiday, Anita cautions Shankar about an impending attack on them, a sniper shoots at Shankar six bullets, who later succumbs to his injuries in hospital. A furious Subash suspecting Vohra kidnaps him. Sarkar tells Anita that his men have killed-Kaanga, Chander, Vohra and her father who was in London as revenge. He also tells her that these people were just pawns and the mastermind behind all this was his own guru, Rao Sahab (Dilip Prabhawalkar) who wanted his grandson Somji to take over Shankar. His guru comes to home to pay tributes to Shankar, where Sarkar shows him his dead grandson. The film ends with Anita becoming Shankar's replacement.

Cast[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

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."[10] 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."[11] Rediff which also gave a two-star rating noted "This is a watchable".[12]

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."[13] 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".[14]

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".[15] 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".[16]

Box office reception[edit]

Sarkar Raj grossed almost 340 million in India[17] 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 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[edit]

Star Screen Awards[edit]

Nominated

  • 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 Awards[edit]

Nominated

  • 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 Awards[edit]

Nominated

  • Filmfare Award for Best Actor in Supporting Role (2009)- Abhishek Bachchan

IIFA Awards[edit]

Nominated

  • IIFA Award for Best Actor in Supporting Role (2009)- Abhishek Bachchan

Soundtrack[edit]

The music is composed by Bapi and Tutul. Lyrics are penned by Sandeep Nath and Prashant Pandey.

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Lyrics Singer(s) Length
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

Controversy[edit]

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.[18]

Sequel[edit]

In 2009 Ram Gopal Verma stated that he had no plans finalised for the third instalment in the series and shelved Sarkar 3.[19] However, in 2012 it was reported that the sequel would go ahead once again and currently is in the pre 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.[20][21]

In August, 2016 director Ram Gopal Varma confirmed Sarkar 3.[22] He told on his Twitter that Abhishek and Aishwarya will not be a part of the third installment.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Top Lifetime Grossers Worldwide (IND Rs)". Box Office India. Archived from the original on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "BBC – Shropshire – Entertainment – Sarkar Raj unveiled at Cannes". 
  3. ^ "Bollywood biggies bet big on Cannes". dna. 
  4. ^ David (16 June 2006). "The Films of Ram Gopal Varma – An Overview". Cinema Strikes Back. Retrieved 22 February 2009. 
  5. ^ "Bangkok for 2008 IIFA Awards". DESIblitz. 
  6. ^ "Sarkar Raj makes it to the Academy of Motion Pictures library". Bollywood Hungama. 2 August 2008. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  7. ^ "Sarkar Raj : Box Office India". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  8. ^ IndiaFM (18 July 2008). "Apne dhandhe ki jaat hi aisi hai:RGV". Sify. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  9. ^ "Sarkar 3 Review {3/5}: Abhishek Bachchan is in top form, mesmerizing you with his grey shades and grey irises". The Times of India. 
  10. ^ Adarsh, Taran (5 June 2008). "Sarkar Raj : Movie Review by Taran Adarsh". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  11. ^ Chopra, Sonia. "Movie Review : Sarkar Raj (Review)". Sify. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Sen, Raja (6 June 2008). "Sarkaricature Raj". Rediff. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  13. ^ Malani, Gaurav (6 June 2008). "Sarkar Raj: Movie Review". The Economic Times. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  14. ^ Chopra, Anupama (6 June 2008). "Movie Review: Sarkar Raj". NDTVMovies.com. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  15. ^ Kazmi, Nikhat (6 June 2008). "Sarkar Raj". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  16. ^ Southern, Nathan. "Sarkar Raj : Critics' Reviews". MSN Movies. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  17. ^ "All India 2008 (Figures in INR Crore)". Boxofficeindia.com. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  18. ^ Shah, Kunal (9 May 2008). "Why Raj wants to see Sarkar.." Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 5 June 2008. 
  19. ^ Iyer, Meena (21 July 2009). "Sarkar 3 shelved!". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 August 2011. 
  20. ^ "Amitabh, Abhishek to star in Sarkar 3". Times of India. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  21. ^ "'Sarkar 3' on cards, sans Aishwarya: Ram Gopal Varma". IBN Live. 26 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  22. ^ "Ram Gopal Varma announces Sarkar 3". bollywoodhungama.com. 22 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 
  23. ^ "Ram Gopal Varma on 'Sarkar 3': Reports on rest of cast, apart from Amitji, are wrong". The Times of India. ANI. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016. 

External links[edit]