Watching big-actor big-budget films on the first day is always a huge task with lots of noise, cheering and celebrations in India. The Kollywood industry is no different. Sarkar starring Vijay, Keerthy Suresh, Varalakshmi Sarthkumar and several more lead actors from the industry, directed by A.R.Murgadoss was definitely no stranger to the tradition.
My experience watching the movie though, was a bit different since I was watching the first-day-first-show screening in London. It was definitely an experience I enjoyed.
A Vijay fan since I was a kid, there were definitely a lot of things I absolutely loved, but this, hopefully, will be an unbiased review despite my craze.
Right, so, the director loses no time to jump straight into the plot with a brilliant hero introduction immediately followed by a very subtle heroine introduction.
Let’s consider the technical side of the film first.
Cinematography by Girish Gangatharan is flawless throughout the film. Editing by Sreekar Prasad is definitely good despite flaws here and there. For instance, right at the beginning, the editing between the background music between two scenes does stand out and not flow that much, but that I suppose could be contributed to the different settings. However, the slow motion effects in the fight sequences and editing in a lot of places supplement the film perfectly. There, unfortunately, seemed like there was a problem with the audio-video sync here and there when people continue speaking in the video but the dialogues don’t come through. But that could be written off as a part of the direction. Music by A.R.Rahman while not exactly the biggest hits by themselves, definitely worked well in the film. The background tracks were definitely great. The weird part about the music might have been the element where they were a bit ununderstandable. But they are simplified in the movie with translation before the song for a couple of the tracks as a part of the direction itself. While this is a definite plus for the direction, it was a bit sad that it was required at all. Costumes for the movie as such are great, but however, costumes in the song seem over the top and extremely unnecessary.
With respect to the acting, the performance is brilliant as expected of the caliber of actors that the director has roped it. Keerthy Suresh has performed well despite having absolutely no role in the film or the storyline. Varalakshmi Sarthkumar steals the show with a brilliant portrayal of her character. Despite a comparatively smaller role, Yogi Babu delivers a performance that stays in the mind. Vijay delivers his trademark brilliance in acting with his trademark dancing in the songs, comedy in several scenes including some fight sequences. However, his acting might have been a bit over the top in some sequences, especially all the facebook live videos that he does as a part of the film.
Dialogues in the film stand out for the most part including the comedy sequences but seem unnecessarily cliched in some places, especially the action sequences.
Coming to the more important aspect of direction. A.R. Murugadoss does a splendid job with the film, delivering a definite box office hit with all the necessary elements for a commercial success. The first half gets by pretty well with everyone mesmerized by the acting and Vijay, the second half, unfortunately, gets a bit slower and more serious. There is definitely a good message that the director has expressed in a great package. Some parts of the direction are exceptionally good. The innumerable facts about the Tamil Nadu politics that is referenced, even the naming of the characters and more that is thought off (Sundar Ramaswami for Vijay reminding us of Sundar Pichai, Infoware reminding us of Infosys, Varalakshmi Sarathkumar almost reminding us of Sasikala and Dr. Jayalalitha and more). Moreover, the subtle reminder with previous Vijay films like the famous Thuppakki dialogue ‘I am Waiting’ and the handshake action from Mersal. It is clear that a lot of thought went into the making of the film.
It is almost not surprising that the entire story seems a little far-fetched, however, the good message involved makes it almost ignorable. The Governor picking up a call in the middle of a swearing-in ceremony, a lawyer who has close to no work because the client does it just as well, An anchor randomly talking into his earpiece in the middle of a show, live, just to hear that the protagonist is appearing too, and a few other aspects definitely seem almost weird and avoidable.
What was sad was that the film, of course, involved an unnecessary song here and there (especially the one right after the interval), a sad element in a hospital, a brief sad flashback for the protogonist and elements that have become an unfortunate trademark of Kollywood movies.
Overall, while quite a few negatives come to light, the movie can still be considered a good one with good direction, cinematography and acting with a strong message, a good plot and of course, Vijay with his brilliant screen presence. And of course, the movie makes you wonder ‘when’ and not ‘if’ Vijay will enter the Tamil Nadu politics.
I’d definitely be up to watch it again, but irrespective, the movie is a definite must-see at least once. I’d give it a 4 out of 5.