Sunday, July 24, 2005

Ram Gopal Varma's Sarkar

An independent review

(This was first written as an email response to some friends. Hence the abruptness.)
I'm a HUGE RGV fan.  Satya had been my all time
favorite movie before I saw Sarkar. Recently we saw his "D", and were
really disappointed. But we followed that up by Sarkar, and were
really really blown away. You can see a lot of Francis Ford Coppola in
the movie. I loved the dialogues and the music, and the cinematography
was outstanding. Acting by both the B's is phenomenal.

The only
ironic thing is that Amitabh, who plays RGV's version of Vito
Corleone is totally incapable of "method acting", which is the very
heart of Brando's technique.

I thought I saw a studied and very
accurate impression of Al Pacino by Abhishek, in many of his
mannerisms, his slight tilt of the head (which, in the movie, his
character picks up from his father) etc.

One scene in the movie is played out so incredibly well, I think it
will (or should!) go into Indian film-making history books; it is this
(but it is impossible to write this, without giving something away, so
if you haven't seen the movie yet, please skip this part) -


When Abhishek kills his brother and walks into the room where Amitabh
is resting, and the women are standing around his bed, no words are
spoken. The camera shows a long shot of the various characters, and
then closes in on each character one by one. The audience, of course,
realizes, at the same time as the characters, what Abhishek has done, even
before Abhishek confesses, sits by his fathers side, arms on the bed,
sholders drooping, head hung, legs swinging. SO Al Pacino! And
Amitabh says, "Now?" SO Brando!


BTW, I've tried to read what Indian reviewers are saying about the
movie. I've already seen a couple that go something like: "Sarkar is
inspired by Mario Puzo's literary classic THE GODFATHER. However the
film is only inspired from the novel and not copied frame by frame."
This is complete baloney. Puzo's novel is not a literary classic, but
a pulp novel of the first order. It was Coppola's genius that created
the movie phenomenon (and, to some extent, Puzo's stroke-of-genius
screen-writing.) RGV has been hugely affected by Coppola's movie, not
the book, like most students of film-making probably are, in some way
or another.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Mummy's birthday video

Mummy's 64th birthday, Tahoe Keys, cake cutting!!