Monday, August 11, 2008

Sarkar Raj

As many of you would easily understand I had to see this movie because Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays one of the leading roles and that’s a must be seen movie for me that I imagined it was going to be a regular Bollywood movie. Well, this movie is not Bollywood as has not even one dance and while there are songs they were not sung by the performes, but were like background music.

I cannot say that I missed the dances or the leading roles singing as I did not, and quite fast I got involved in the story that is basically entertaining and somehow it seems more like a Hollywood action/drama/thriller if it will not be for the dramatic performances that to western eyes could seem more like performances for the classical stage.

Aish looks in many scenes her outstandingly beautiful self, but this movie according to me belongs to Amitabh Bachchan that has such an imposing screen presence that when he’s in the screen he truly shines. Also here is Abhishek Bachchan with an acceptable performance when his real-life father and wife are not in the screen. Seems that this is the first movie that the Bachchan trio do together and well, they all look good in the screen.

The Ram Gopal Varma movie is a sequel to another Gopal movie called Sarkar that was based on The Godfather; but according to what I read the sequel was originally written and not based on any of the three Godfather movies. Still, when I was watching the movie and not knowing the above information, for a moment I had the feeling of watching the Godfather when Bachachan senior has a monologue and a conversation with Aish; but it was almost at the end.

The movie tells a story of the power behind the power and starts with a phrase that I still remember that says something like this: Power is not given… it is taken, which obviously sets the mood to the entire movie. It’s a story of betrayal and consequences when the powerful Nagre family is tested to the ultimate sacrifice and will do anything to conserve and preserve its power.

I have to admit that there is a moment in this movie that make me remember that I was not watching a regular Hollywood movie even when most of the time I had the impression. The moment is when one of the lead characters is killed that totally caught me by surprise and I love it, as was so unexpected that it was very good attention grabber.

As a movie I find it less spectacular than Bollywood movies and a little bit arty with the many close close-ups, sinister dark interiors and not common camera angles, obviously this helped to grab my interest in the story.

The movie seems like was controversial in India and most considered a flop as in the box office did a little more than the budget; then critics and viewers comments are more common in the negative side.

I definitively cannot give this movie the Bollywood label as to my eyes it is not, this is an acceptable and mainly entertaining movie with some arty tech specs that wider audiences could enjoy, but I know that most will not enjoy the dramatic performance style common to most India movies and will have the need to see the story developed in the regular Hollywood way, which absolutely this movie do not do (and helped me to enjoy it more).

So, thinking about western audiences the only target I could think for this movie are those that like Aish performances, like to see different India cinema (more arty) and mostly like Amitabh Bachchan amazing performances. Just for Bachchan senior performance this movie is worth watching.


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