Ram Gopal Varma’s Sarkar 3 has been reviewed by print media film critics as well as by journalists on TV channels. According to most of them, the film has many flaws. Obviously Sarkar 3 has failed to engross cine goers, the simple reason being that it does not come up to their expectations.
As regards the performances of the main players in Sarkar 3, the reviewers, as expected, are quite generous to Amitabh Bachchan but have very little to say about others in the film. It is only Manoj Bajpayee who gets a few laudatory words.
The rest of the cast only gets a bare mention and in some reviews, it is almost glossed over. This reminds me of what a few months ago, upcoming actor Amit Sadh had said about Sarkar 3, in which he has a sufficiently substantial role. Sadh has been in the film industry for some years but is still struggling to find his feet.
In Kai Po Che, based on Chetan Bhagat’s novel, The Three Mistakes of My Life, his performance was impressive and was critically acclaimed. But despite that Amit Sadh could not quite cash in on it. In short, Kai Po Che may have got him admiration but could not get him roles. Now Sadh was hoping that RGV’s Sarkar 3 would definitely give a fillip to his almost standstill career in films.
But the somewhat cold reception by critics and its failure to attract crowds to the ticket windows in the first week of its release must have dampened Sadh’s hopes. So his struggle to establish himself as an actor in Bollywood still continues. This raises an important question. Does it help an upcoming actor to shine when he is cast in a film of which a superstar like Amitabh Bachchan is the main protagonist? As a matter of common sense it should, for it is the attraction of the superstar in a movie that makes filmmakers confident that it will ensure commercial success. And if the film is indeed successful at the box office, the upcoming actor in it has quite a sporting chance of furthering his career prospects too. By basking in the reflected glory of the superstar, the upcoming actor rightly hopes that he might thus get noticed by prominent filmmakers and admired by general viewers. But, alas, in reality things perhaps do not always work out like that in Bollywood. Very often the overarching presence of a superstar in a film puts in the shade the performance of a junior actor. In Sarkar 3, for instance, it is Amitabh Bachchan who monopolises the screen most of the time. In fact the position of Sadh in this film is not much different from a sapling that has been planted beside a mighty banyan tree. Let us go back in time to talk about another superstar of the Hindi film industry — Dilip Kumar, who too would overshadow the performance of the junior actors working with him. The thespian progressed to elderly roles in films when he was nearing 60. But even in elderly roles, he commanded the same dominating position in films that Amitabh Bachchan does today. In fact, stories of Dilip Kumar’s films were scripted in such a way that everything revolved around him. If today we remember films like Mashaal (1984), Karma (1986) and Saudagar (1991) among others, it is mainly because of the overawing presence of Dilip Kumar in them. Junior actors in these films were there partly to minister to the image of the patriarchal Dilip Kumar and partly to provide romantic interest by cavorting and singing love duets with the strapping young girls they were in love with. But if a film has been poorly scripted and weakly directed, even a superstar cannot save it from sinking at the box office. These are quite a few films of both Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan, which failed to click with the cine-going masses. We will take here just two — Dharam Adhikari (1984) of Dilip Kumar and Sooryavansham (1999) of Amitabh Bachchan. Dharm Adhikari was a remake of the Telugu film Bobbili Brahmanna. Directed by K Raghavendra Rao, it had an impressive star cast — apart from Dilip Kumar, it had Jeetendra, Sridevi, Rohini Hattangadhi, Pran, Kadar Khan and many others. But this ship, in spite of being skippered by the superstar Dilip Kumar, sank without a trace. It was mainly because Dharam Adhikari was one big boring melodrama with the Dharmaadhikari (Dilip Kumar) in it projected more like a larger-than-life mythological character than a normal human being with normal human weaknesses and strengths. So, obviously if anyone among the junior actors in this film thought that starring with Dilip Kumar would raise his stock in Bollywood, he was obviously in for a great shock. Amitabh Bachchan’s Sooryavansham directed By E V V Satyanarayan also came a cropper at the box office when it was released in 1999. Except for its moderate success in the Bengal territory, it was a big flop in the rest of the country. So, obviously no one among the junior actors working in it could have derived any benefit by costarring with the Big B.