Saturday, July 09, 2005


the great thing about the godfather for me was always the fact that we saw the violence of the mob from the point of view of the 'innocents' of the family. the women and the children… and al pacino. gradually as the film progresses and al pacino becomes more and more implicated in the business we see ourselves torn into two, watching this corruption from the sidelines with diane keaton and submitting ourselves to the inevitable brutality that is the nature of the business. the film was always for me a film about a family- its value systems, its internal tensions, rather than the mafia. being part of ‘the mob’ was just a job.

instead ‘sarkar’ focuses on ‘a savior of the masses’ modeled on bal thackerey and his sons kk and abhishek as they fight a new emerging group of gangsters in the city. everyone was surprised that the sena “supremo” let the film pass so easily. it was obvious that he would once we had seen the film because it makes him out to be some kind of god figure who is above the law, incredible upright, not at all corrupt and who uses violence only to solve social ills that formal legal systems are unable to; and we all know how inaccurate a portrait that is.

the ambiguity of who can be called ‘guilty’ or ‘innocent’ when dispensing power so arbitrarily- in fact entire discourse possible on the arbitrariness of dispensing justice- within or outside the legal system was missing. instead ‘sarkar’ became a 'good' gangster vs 'bad' gangster flick, playing it safe and ruffling no feathers. all that grit and intensity of the promos went on interminably through the film as fancy photography and a really loud background score. the acting was good enough, the film was well enough made… rgv can now do this in his sleep.. but what would have mad it out to be better was if he was willing to explore some of the complexity of the psychology of the individuals and their relationships.

after ‘naach’- which was a much superior film- this was very disappointing- and actually a little angering because it was so very terrified an approach.

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