Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Ram Gopal Verma is the best. Among the current crop of Bollywood filmmakers, he is one director who has consistently delivered the goods. Excluding a handful, like Daud (1997), Mast (1999) and Bhoot (2003), all his other films have stood out for not only breaking the mould, but doing it successfully.
His latest, Sarkar, made for compelling viewing, but I had a few quibbles.
1. This is definitely not Ramu’s best film till date. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can equal Satya’s visceral appeal, its grittiness, its stark storyline. Company was an improvement, but only as far as technicalities go. In the sense, it had a tighter script, some interesting camera angles and a very sleek feel. Sarkar’s script may have done with some fine-tuning, (the Tanisha-Abhishek sequence was totally unnecessary), but the film’s cinematography is out of the world. If it hadn’t been for the power-packed performances by the lead actors, the film could just be enjoyed for Amit Roy’s (Dil Maange More, Fida, Ishq Vishk) camerawork. Like Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, the entire film is shot using a filter, which makes for interesting viewing.
2. Amitabh’s Sarkar is good, but not impressive. As someone has pointed out, his role is underwritten. In trying to portray Amitabh as a larger-than-life figure (something that Ramu has confessed to in an interview), he seems to have gone against the grain of his film — realism. As a result, Sarkar turns out to be too one-dimensional, too straight a guy and too soft-hearted a man to evoke the kind of terror that is attributed to him. Contrast this to Pankaj Kapoor’s Abbaji in Maqbool. Kapoor’s Abbaji, though taciturn, had a menacing air. Also, Vishal Bharadwaj made him believable by depicting him as someone who was not above sleeping with a film actress who catches his fancy. For that matter, Kay Kay Menon’s character is the best written one. Even though he gets the least screen time among the top three male leads, his role is the most credible.
3. For once, the background score seems too loud and occasionally jarring. Ramu is a great believer in the efficacy of background music as a narrative device. In fact, he has successfully used it in films like Kaun and Satya. As a matter of fact, Sandeep Chowta’s score in Satya was such a big hit that the entire soundtrack was released as a separate album. Sarkar’s “Govinda, Govinda” score is catchy, but too loud and at times detracts from the onscreen action.
P.S. I just read in Etc, The Telegraph’s Friday pullout, that Ramu has described his meeting with Bal Thackeray a “moving moment”. Apparently, Thackeray had hugged him after Sarkar for capturing his life. For a director of his stature, methinks Ramu’s allegiance should lie with his audience rather than his subject.

You are right. Something was missing from Sarkar that was there in Satya or Company. Ramu is the best of the lot but he sould know that a director has to go beyond just mindblowing angles and sharp editing. Talking of a character's persona, Sarkar does not evoke a larger-than-life image, leave aside fear. Even Bhau in Satya evoked a certain kind of sickly fear. A small time Rashid ( "just a couple of murder charges") talks eye-to-eye with him...
Satya smelt of gutter, chawls and Chowpatty. Company wore the smell of a foreign (but smuggled) perfume. Sarkar, at times, smells fishy.
hello bhai !!! how are you doing ?? i thought this is the best place to contact u. howz bonti doing ? in which email should i mail u ? your hotmail one or yahoo one. which one do u check quite frequently...? i am doing fine here..right now in my sister's place will go to my univ this weekend..thats about it...jus at home taking a lot of rest.. did a bit of driving too...lot of rules here,,cant do this ..cant do that...u cannot be like chaltha bidu !!! light le na....not possible at learning all the rules thing about here is people dont care a shit about what they wear..anything and everything is fine and it makes quite a intresting watch ...!!! i am sure both of us could have had solid fun around ..what else then..thats about it then ..i will keep mailing u...once i reach the university..take care then...a big hug from my side to bonti bhabhijaan..!!!!
best regards, nice info
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