It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. Off late, in Ram Gopal Varma's case, this saying stands true. After directing 4 flop films in a row (Shiva, Nishabd, RGV's Aag and Darling), any other director would have quit their profession. But this Bollywood's Quentin Tarantino isn't backing off. Infact, he is coming back with a bang on June 6...not alone...but with the power of three - The Bachchan's, as Devansh Patel finds out.
Mumbai ka King kaun? (Who is the king of Mumbai?) The answer was loud and clear after the film's release - 'Ram Gopal Varma'. Yes, you heard! This question was asked by the character called Bhiku Mhatre from the hit film Satya directed by Ram Gopal Varma. That was 1998. Come 2007, the same director made RGV's Aag. This time the question asked was, 'Sabse kharab director kaun? (Who's the worst director of all?) The answer was even louder - 'Ram Gopal Varma' again.
The man who is known for making gritty, twitsty thrillers and smart, self-referential masala pictures all with watertight scripts and ace actors turning in some of the best performances of their careers in films like Shiva, Satya, Company and Sarkar has bounced back with a bang. He is coming back on the 6th June with 'Sarkar Raj' (a sequel to Sarkar) starring the three Bachchan's - Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya. Not only are the three Bachchan's acting together for the first time in a full length feature film, Sarkar Raj also happens to be Abhishek and Aishwarya's first film post their marraige. How exciting is that?
And the excitiment doesn't just stop here.
After a year of honeymooning, embarking on pilgrimages, arriving hand-in-hand with hubby at premiere nights and basking in the glory of her recent success 'Jodhaa Akbar', Aishwarya is set to take Bollywood by storm once more. India's highest paid actress who's back in Mumbai after celebrating her first wedding anniversary in Miami last month, Aishwarya's all geared up for her next big project 'Sarkar Raj' which has it's world premiere at the IIFA Awards in Bangkok this year on the 6th June where the creme de la creme of Bollywood will walk the green carpet along with the awesome threesome. (green - to support the climate change). So if Sarkar was highly lifted from the Hollywood gangster flick Godfather, the sequel Sarkar Raj isn't Godfather 2. The script is inspired from the real life Enron disaster way back in the mid 1990's. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan's character is actually based on Rebecca Mark, a high flying Enron executive who managed to lose Enron $2 billion before resigning. She was never accused of any crimes and actually walked out of Enron with about $80 million in stock options before the scandal broke. She immediately cashed out when she left, leaving her one of the few Enron executives to emerge smelling like Roses.
And after delivering one of his best performances in Sarkar, the junior Bachchan, Abhishek, is all set to take over the film from daddy Amitabh Bachchan. If you look at Sarkar, it was a fairly simplistic tale. It had a basic plot of a son (Abhishek as Shankar Nagre) taking revenge against those who attacked his father (Amitabh as Subhash Nagre). Simple, isn't it? Of course there was a power game involved with political and underworld angle coming in as well but the basic germ of the plot was centered on revenge. Sarkar Raj doesn't even start from where Sarkar left. It is just another episode in the life of 'Nagres' where the situations become far more complex. And though the common element in both the films will be the insightful sociological study of violence, power, honour and obligation, corruption, justice and crime in India, the sequel looks far more promising in terms of Abhishek's acting. In Sarkar, he was only shown in full swing after the interval portions. Let's hope this time around, he takes over the control from frame one. One things sure though, this Yuva (Youngster) is soon going to be the Guru (teacher) and Sarkar (Boss) of Bollywood.
Coming to the third curiosity factor called the Big Baap (father) of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan, he is the pillar to this sequel. Him removed and the film will fall flat like a pack of cards. This actor just keeps getting better day by day and film by film. Dressed in his black outfit from top to toe, rudraksh mala in his hand and his can't-miss-the-eye red tilak in Sarkar, Big B, as we lovingly call him, will be seen at his fiery best in the sequel too.
And finally, the byline for Sarkar Raj which says, 'Power cannot be given, it has to be taken' stands true for one man - Ram Gopal Varma. Being almost powerless after his four debacles last year, this man has the guts to not only take one or two but three power packed performers of Bollywood in his Sarkar Raj. And when you add Amitabh, Abhishek and Aishwarya you don't get power, but get powerful. But Sarkar and the soon to be released Sarkar Raj is an impressive reminder that Varma is a director whose strongest movies come out of his conflict with the Bollywood system, not his total rejection of it.
No matter what the fate of the film will be, you'd be a fool not to watch Sarkar Raj on June 6. Book your seats in advance guys!