Sarkar is all Vi­jay

Mail Today - - WEEKEND - By Kirub­hakar Pu­rushothaman

IT’S films like Sarkar that keep re­mind­ing us how our brand of cin­ema is en­tirely dif­fer­ent from the gen­eral per­cep­tion world­wide. If a film can be con­sid­ered good, if it suc­ceeds in meet­ing all the goals it sets for it­self, then Sarkar is a win­ner be­cause its only mis­sion seems to be sell­ing Vi­jay as the other po­lit­i­cal prospect of Tamil Nadu – even if it means sac­ri­fic­ing the form. It is shock­ingly sur­pris­ing that di­rec­tor AR Mu­ru­ga­doss has cut a lot of slack in his cin­ema to in­cor­po­rate the hero that is Tha­la­p­a­thy Vi­jay.

Sarkar is a pro­pa­ganda film in many ways but here the film­maker is not sell­ing an ide­ol­ogy but a hero; a brand called Vi­jay, and it is safe to say that he suc­ceeds. Sarkar is the kind of film that Ra­jinikanth or Ka­mal Haasan would have done even­tu­ally, but Vi­jay pulled the trig­ger first.

But Sarkar fails as far as cin­ema is con­cerned. The story, which has been mak­ing a lot of noise over the past few months, opens with NRI Sun­dar Ra­maswamy (Vi­jay) the CEO of Amer­i­can cor­po­rate com­pany GL, com­ing to In­dia. His ar­rival is news. It sends chills down the spine of all the do­mes­tic cor­po­rate com­pa­nies be­cause he is a “cor­po­rate mon­ster” known for hos­tile takeovers and dis­solv­ing com­peti­tors. But the pur­pose of his visit is to cast his vote and re­turn that very day. The twist is that his vote has al­ready been cast by some­one il­le­gally.

The fight for his one vote takes Sun­dar on a jour­ney that changes the fate of the state.

There is very lit­tle hap­pen­ing in Sarkar even till the in­ter­val. Apart from the “massy” fight se­quences which are com­pul­sively in slow-mo­tion, plead­ing the au­di­ence to hoot and whis­tle, not much is go­ing on. There is very lit­tle drama in the film. Real-life politi­cian Pala Karup­piah as the vil­lain Masil­a­mani doesn’t look all that great as it sounds, but his daugh­ter Papa (Var­alaxmi) turns out be the only in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ter in Sarkar.

Keerthy Suresh as Nila is the third wheel in the ro­mance that goes on be­tween Vi­jay and his fans. She is om­nipresent but has no rea­son to be so. It is one of the ter­ri­bly-un­der­writ­ten roles for a hero­ine in re­cent times. As Vi­jay fans drool over their star, she drools along with them, and our hero doesn’t give two hoots about her.

Af­ter a point, Sarkar looks like a stretch of Vi­jay’s speeches – on is­sues that range from Tamil Nadu fish­er­men to Jal­likattu to free­bies to what not – knit­ted one af­ter the other in a weak nar­ra­tive.

Com­ing to the only thing the film seems to care about – Vi­jay. He is, with­out a doubt, suave. A.R. Mu­ru­ga­doss seems to know the alchemy of mak­ing Vi­jay look his charis­matic best. He is on top of his game when it comes to the dance num­bers and send­ing goons up in the air, but fails to in­voke em­pa­thy. His emo­tional seg­ments don’t do much for the viewer. But the film is not about his per­for­mance. For Vi­jay, Sarkar is some­thing be­yond box of­fice, act­ing and suc­cess; it is an an­nounce­ment... that he is very much in the game of thrones.

Vi­jay’s big Di­wali re­lease

Sarkar serves only its hero. Watch it for Vi­jay. There’s not much more than that in the film.

Sarkar is a pro­pa­ganda film, in one way sell­ing the brand called Vi­jay.

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