Sarkar (Hindi: सरकार, Urdu: سرکار, translation: Government or colloquially, a title used in Hindi, to address someone of authority, or an overlord) is a 2005 Hindi crime/drama film, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, starring Amitabh Bachchan in the title role. The film also stars Abhishek Bachchan, Kay Kay Menon, Katrina Kaif, Anupam Kher, Supriya Pathak and Tanisha Mukherjee. Sarkar meaning "The Government" or "The Overlord", is considered to be Varma's homage to the classic The Godfather. There have been speculations in the media that the movie is loosely based on the family of Balasaheb Thackeray, the leader of the Mumbai-based political party, Shiv Sena.
Its sequel, Sarkar Raj was released on June 6, 2008.
Subhash Nagre (Amitabh Bachchan
), who is known by his followers as Sarkar, lives in Mumbai
. The opening scenes show a rape victim's father (Veerendra Saxena
) approaching Sarkar for justice (which the corrupt law and order system has failed to deliver) which Sarkar promptly establishes by having the rapist beaten up by his henchmen. His son, Vishnu (Kay Kay Menon
), plays a foul-mouthed producer who is more interested in the film actress Sapna (Nisha Kothari
) than his wife Amrita (Rukhsar). Sarkar's other, more upright son, Shankar (Abhishek Bachchan
), returns from the United States with his love Pooja (Katrina Kaif
) after completing his education there. Pooja's doubts about Sarkar's image cause Shankar, who firmly believes in his father's righteousness, to break up with her later in the movie.
One day, a Dubai-based don, Rasheed (Zakir Hussain) tries to strike a deal with Sarkar; he promptly refuses on moral grounds and also forbids him from doing it himself. Rasheed tries to eliminate Sarkar's supremacy with the help of Silver Mani (Srinivasa Rao Kota), Sarkar's former associate and Swami Virendra (Jeeva). Meanwhile, they trap Sarkar by assassinating a righteous, upright, Ahimsa political leader and an outspoken critic of Sarkar, Motilal Khurana (Anupam Kher). Everyone, including Vishnu believe that Sarkar is guilty but Shankar has deep faith in his father. Sarkar gets arrested. Shankar now takes over the position of Sarkar temporarily. On learning of a plot to murder his father in prison, he approaches the police commissioner (Anant Jog) who mocks him and his father besides not providing protection. By the time he reaches the prison and appropriate action is taken, the attempt on Sarkar's life is already made. Sarkar is later acquitted. He remains bedridden as Shankar takes on Sarkar's enemies. Meanwhile, Silver Mani, Swami and Rasheed try to convince Vishnu to murder Sarkar. Vishnu was previously thrown out of Sarkar's house because he had murdered the actor who was having an affair with Sapna. Vishnu returns home pretending to have repented. When he approaches Sarkar in the dark of the night with the intent of murdering him, Shankar foils his plan and later kills him (establishing justice by the way of his father). Shankar eliminates Rasheed and Silver Mani. He also succeeds in making Swami his puppet. Shankar has also realized that Chief Minister Madan Rathore (Deepak Shirke) also has a part in the attempt to end Sarkar and his rule. This results in legal action against the Chief Minister. The closing scenes show people approaching Shankar for justice and his father apparently retired.
Cast and Characters
- Subhash Nagre a.k.a. Sarkar (Amitabh Bachchan) is an enigmatic man. His millions of supporters call him Sarkar - the government; also meaning Sir. He dispenses justice that is simple, effective and brutal - an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. He is not a criminal, yet his deeds are anything but legal. Sarkar is a parallel government.
This character is believed to be loosely based on that of Vito Corleone from The Godfather and Balasaheb Thackeray, the real-life leader of the Mumbai-based political party, Shiv Sena. Director Ram Gopal Varma has denied the latter.
- Shankar Nagre (Abhishek Bachchan) is the opposite of his brother. Suave, calm and calculative, yet extremely intelligent and foreseeing, he believes in his father completely and understands and accepts his ideals unquestioningly.
This character is loosely based on that of Michael Corleone and Bal Thackeray's son, Uddhav Thackeray; who has taken over his retired father's mantle as chief of the political party Shiv Sena.
- Vishnu Nagre (Kay Kay Menon) is a hotheaded and easily manipulated wastrel. He does not identify with his father's ideals. To him, power is meant to be used; abused, to get what he wants. He is constantly at odds with his father. Vishnu was killed by his own younger brother after being held while trying to assassinate Sarkar.
This parallels both Santino Corleone in character and Fredo Corleone in the fact that he is killed by his brother.
- Selvan Mani (Srinivasa Rao Kota) is an associate of Sarkar but is unhappy with Sarkar's unshakable righteousness (which obstructs the illegal activities he does without Sarkar's knowledge or approval). This causes him to enter into an alliance with Rasheed to end Sarkar's rule.
This character can be matched with two characters of The Godfather. Selvar, being one of loyal men of Sarkar, is possibly based on the character of Salvatore Tessio. But later his collaboration with Shankar specially in the way Shankar had him killed, has similarities with the character of Hyman Roth.
- Motilal Khurana (Anupam Kher) is a righteous leader, a preacher of non-violence (Ahimsa) and an open critic of Sarkar's policies which violates the rule of law. He accuses Sarkar of maintaining an army of thugs in the name of justice. Despite all this, Sarkar genuinely respects him and feels that the world needs leaders like him desperately. The influence of this character over the circumstance encourages to bring possible similarities from Mario Puzo's other novel & suggested to be a sequel of The Godfather, The Sicilian. It appears that this character is loosely based on Silvio Ferra. Khurana had immense popularity among people of Maharashtra but later ultimate rivals of Nagre assassinates him and frame the assassination as if it could have been done by Nagre.
The assassination theory of Silvio Ferra is exactly same from the point of view of The Sicilian.
- Rasheed (Zakir Hussain) is a Dubai based criminal who traffics illegal commodities. He, like many people, misunderstands Sarkar's parallel rule and approaches him to "seek blessings" for his new "business" in an area controlled by Sarkar. Sarkar promptly refuses and forbids Rasheed from doing his "business". He then plots to end Sarkar and his Rule.
This character is loosely based on that of Virgil Solozzo.
- Swami Virendra (Jeeva) is a delinquent Hindu pundit or "Swami" who is exceptionally intelligent and aware of Sarkar's strengths, weaknesses and philosophy. He enters an alliance with Rasheed and Selvan Mani to end Sarkar's rule.
His character is loosely based on the real-life, controversial God-man, Chandraswami.
- Pushpa Subhash Nagre (Supriya Pathak) is the wife of Subhash and the mother of Vishnu and Shankar. She silently observes her husband's dealings and calmly watches Vishnu abuse his power. Nevertheless she loves her family dearly and tries to make sure they stay together.
This character is loosely based on that of Carmela Corleone.
- Amrita Vishnu Nagre (Rukhsar) is the wife of Vishnu. She knows that her husband cheats on her everyday and that she'll probably never get the love and respect she deserves. However she puts up with Vishnu's temper and stays strong for their son.
Calmness of this character shows that this character is based on that of Sandra Corleone.
- Avantika (Tanisha Mukherjee) is Shankar's childhood friend who has loved him for years. His parents want him to marry her. When he returns she is happy but is devastated when he comes back with his girlfriend, Pooja. She puts on a brave face in front of him but it is not long before he finds out her true feelings. In the end, Shankar breaks up with Pooja and marries Avantika.
Her character is similar to Kay Corleone (premaritally known as Kay Adams)
only by her marital status. She was killed in a car bomb in the sequel Sarkar Raj, similar to the way Michael Corleone's first wife Apollonia Vitelli-Corleone was killed in The Godfather. However, unlike The Godfather, in Sarkar Raj, the car bomb was not meant to kill Shankar; although that initially appears to be the reason for it.In the novel The Godfather and in the deleted scenes of the movie of the same name, Michael revenges his lost love, similarly Shankar also launches a revenge attack.
- Pooja (Katrina Kaif) is Shankar's girlfriend and has studied with him abroad. When she witnesses what Shankar comes from she is shaken and scared. She makes Shankar choose between her or the life of guns and death. The two later break up.
This character shows up with some confusions while seeking similarities between Sarkar & The Godfather. In The Godfather, Michael's girlfriend Kay Adams had some annoyance about the Corleone family's illegitimate operations but Michael had her managed by giving word that he would bring legitimacy in five years. But in Sarkar, Shankar was enormously offended at Pooja's suspicions & remarks over his father. He finally broke up this relation, which the base character Michael Corleone managed to carry on. So, in Sarkar, more than Avantika, the character of Pooja is based on that of Kay Adams, though Shankar finally didn't marry Pooja.
- Savatya is Subhash Nagre's most trusted informers & an important man in Sarkar's intelligence & crime network. He is known as one of Sarkar's most loyal informer in the underworld. This is the character which seems as an important character according to the base film The Godfather, but the most interesting thing is this character has not been played by anyone. After Rasheed came to Sarkar with the drug-trafficking deal & got refused, Sarkar mobilized Savatya to gather every possible intelligence about Rasheed & his aides. Sarkar mentioned that this Rasheed seemed dangerous to him, the only moment in the entire movie where Sarkar is seen to be tensed about any single person. The information of Savatya's getting deployed, got leaked to Rasheed. Sarkar's most trusted capo regime found Savatya dead in his apartment while he looked for him after the arrest of Sarkar.
This character is loosely based on that of Luca Brasi.
- Khan(Ishrat Ali) is the counselor of Sarkar. He is one of most trusted men whom Sarkar gives importance to have every operations discussed with him. When Selvan Mani trapped Shankar to have him killed by Rasheed's hitman Ullas, during the shot Khan pushed Shankar aside and took the shot to himself. Then Shankar fled from the scene and Khan was brushed by bullets from others of Rasheed's men.
This character is loosely based on Tom Hagen.
- Chander(Ravi Kale) is Sarkar's capo, a tough guy who is incredibly loyal to Sarkar. He is often used as a counselor to settle up tough business matters, but being an enforcer is his main role in Sarkar's operations.
The character of Chander is loosely based on The Godfather character Salvatore Tessio.Though Chander had Shankar assassinated via an assasin in the sequel Sarkar Raj, Tessio's treacheries were detected before Barzinis could assassinate Michael Corleone.
- Ram Gopal Verma had signed Amitabh Bachchan for another movie Ek, he decided to scrap that script and decided to cast both father and son together for the first time in this movie.
- The term "Sarkar" is a title, used in Hindi, to address someone of authority. It is also the Hindi word for government.
- Contrary to popular belief Sarkar is not only based on The Godfather,but also has important plot elements borrowed from its sequel,The Godfather Part II. For example the characters of Fredo Corleone and Santino Corleone has been punched into one character played by Kay Kay Menon.So the defection of Fredo Corleone against the family and his eventual assassination by Michael Corleone which takes place in The Godfather Part II takes place in Sarkar itself.
- Some believe that the film's main characters are based on Bal Thackeray and his associates, although director Ram Gopal Verma has denied this.
became a hit at the box office.
The movie was greeted very well by critics. Critics liked the way the movie indigenised The Godfather
and introduced a political angle to it. The actors, particularly the trio of Amitabh Bachchan
, Abhishek Bachchan
and Kay Kay Menon
, were lavished with praise for their controlled yet intense performances.
in particular, was rewarded for his portrayal as an inexperienced son who enters an unknown world so as to save his father. He won the following awards: