Verdict: Blown Away.
Very few directors ever have understood the essence of The Godfather as has RGV (If you don’t know what/who RGV is, don’t bother even reading any further). Only a RGV could have understood the madness thats part of The FountainHead and made a Naach with it and only he could have made sense of The Godfather and made the Sarkar with it.
The driving line of The Godfather has always been “Its not personal. Its business“. But when Don Vito gets shot, its Michael that tells the consigliori that its all personal…
For the second time he saw Michael Corleone’s face freeze into a mask that resembled uncannily the Don’s. “Tom, don’t let anybody kid you. It’s all personal, every bit of business. Every piece of shit every man has to eat every day of his life is personal. They call it business. OK. But it’s personal as hell. You know where I learned that from? The Don. My old man. The Godfather. If a bolt of lightening hit a friend of his the old man would take it personal. He took my going into the Marines personal. That’s what makes him great. The Great Don. He takes everything personal. Like God….”
These line were according to me the real essence of The Godfather, and made the novel what it is. That, in spite of all the power and the mafia it was all family, all personal.
Sarkar was according to me a defining tribute to The Godfather. But Sarkar Raj definitely took the series to a new high. To the story if you are a RGV guy you will just about make sense of almost all of it by interval [Tssk, tssk, just try making comparisons of Sarkar and Sarkar Raj – you will know].
RGV understands the subtlety of film making – every shadow, every angle, the light, the effort it takes to build that minimalism. Frankly, I haven’t seen closeup shots being used as effectively as in this movie, nor have I seen any movie that has used so many of them. RGV never made any movie that had a great story to build up on but where he shines, where he is the real master of the skill is his screenplay – his ability to build that momentum, drag the audience through his storyboard, and all through the shots. This one too has flaws, no doubt – a weaker ending – too simple – and too many power packed dialogues and performers – but then, no complaints.
And what fine one this has been – amazing use of shadows & light – and no small credit to Amit Roy. I don’t remember a movie recently that had as much play of shadows & light as this – full marks to the cinematography. The sepia orange (or brown, is it?) tint of course adds weight to the proceedings.
Ramu is back with a bang (I’m yet to see Aag) – a resounding answer to all his detractors. Afterall, even a genius is allowed one mistake, ManiRatnam has his ‘Thiruda Thiruda’, RGV his ‘Aag’.