Vijay’s persona and Rahman’s music are the main draws of the film. Allegations of plagiarism only increased the hype around the film’s release. The film opens in Las Vegas where we are introduced to Vijay who plays an NRI named Sundar Ramaswamy, CEO of a US-based software company called GL (thinly veiled reference to Google?). In the first couple of minutes, we learn that Sundar Ramaswamy’s character is inspired not by the CEO of Google Sundar Pichai, but from Tony Stark in Avengers. People, who know him describe him as a genius, billionaire, playboy and a philanthropist (this trait comes to the fore much later in the first half).
Sundar lands in Chennai on the day of elections and heads directly to the polling booth only to realise that someone else has voted in his name. He transforms into a one-man army and is in a hurry to clean up the country’s corrupt political and election system. Meanwhile, we are also introduced to Nila (Keerthy Suresh), who merely accompanies the hero throughout the film. Not the kind of role you would expect from the actress, who played Savitri in a film like Nadigaiyar Thilagam. We start getting the first hint of weak writing through Keerthy’s character. However, the subtle performances from Vijay, Radha Ravi and Pala Karuppaiah save the first half. Simtaangaran and Rahman’s background score in the first hour are not memorable.
It is in the second half that things take a huge turn. There is so much propaganda that makes mass dialogues preachy. The film has also taken a dig at current political scenario. A few scenes like Vijay’s speech in the housing board and during his election camapaigns on social media make us wonder if Sarkar has been exclusively written for Vijay, to further his political agenda. These scenes are not impactful either because, the dialogues get too preachy, and some are more amusing than inspiring.Vijay’s suave looks, backed by a brilliant performance from Radha Ravi in the party headquarters scene, Pazha Karuppaiah, who lives the role of a politician on screen and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar in the second half are Sarkar’s high points. Rahman’s music in the second half though comes as a relief, hasn’t enhanced the script. The clash between Sundar and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar (Komalavalli) doesn’t provide high octane thrills of an action film. In the end, many are left wondering about Keerthy Suresh’s role in the whole film. Yogi Babu as Kaushik extracts a few laughs but his characterisation is weak.
Vijay has tried to steal the show single-handedly, without much success. Girish Gangadharan the cinematographer has ensured that the dramatic fight scenes isn’t all over the place and deserves appreciation. Overall, Sarkar isn’t what we expected from the usual blockbuster combine of Vijay-Murugadoss.
Cast: Vijay, Keerthy Suresh, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Pazha Karuppaiah, Radha Ravi, Rajesh, Yogi Babu, Prem Kumar and Livingston
Director: AR Murugadoss
Music Director: AR Rahman
Synopsis: A CEO of a software company, lands in Chennai on the election day to cast his vote. Much to his shock, his vote has been misused. How he stays back to contest the elections and fight the corrupt system forms the story.