Murugadoss glorifies Vijay and bores the audience 

Murugadoss glorifies Vijay and bores the audience 

A still from Sarkar

Film: Sarkar 

Tamil (U/A)

Director: A R Murugadoss 

Cast: Vijay, Keerthy Suresh, Radha Ravi, Varalaxmi 

Rating: 2 stars (out of 5)


A R Murugadoss tends to begin his films with a concept. Sadly, when the end credits roll, all we take back home is just the concept.

For when you are focused on elevating the hero to an ultimate mass leader, you often forget filmmaking. And when you are keen on offering a plethora of solutions to the central conflict, there is less of ‘cinema’ and more of information. In Sarkar, Murugadoss’ biggest mistake is this: failing to entertain.

In his third association with Vijay, Murugadoss picks up yet another social issue. If it was terrorism in Thuppakki (2012) and farmer’s suicide in Kaththi (2014), in Sarkar, Vijay is out to fix the administrational mess in Tamil Nadu.

Sundar Ramaswamy (Vijay), CEO of a top California-based software firm, flies down to Chennai to cast his vote. But somebody has already cast his ballot illegally. An infuriated Sundar turns the assembly elections upside down. The highly influential man takes an oath to fight for democracy and beat the big baddy of TN politics Maasilamani (Pala Karuppiah).

For a masala film, there exists a serious lack of creativity. The hero's introduction, the most important aspect of these films, is outright dull in Sarkar. With zero build-up, the director uses the outdated idea of a song to throw the protagonist into the narrative. 

Many potential 'whistle' moments get crushed due to the lack of knockout blows. Thanks to an unimaginative writing, Murugadoss closes these moments out with tedious fights or weary dialogues.   

Not every director can engage the audience with a message-heavy movie. Murugadoss’ approach to highlight the problems of the state is through lengthy monologues of the protagonist. Sundar is the hope for the helpless. But we don’t feel for them or their plight because the scenes are designed to tell us ‘see how good the hero is’.  

The handling of the antagonist leaves you frustrated. Maasilamani is always shown as naive. His daughter Paapa (Varalaxmi) arrives too late in the story to take on her dad’s nemesis and fizzles out just as soon.  

There is no scope for acting here for Vijay because he is only asked to execute one speech after another. Keerthy Suresh plays the typical commercial cinema heroine: a voiceless presence around the hero with no added value to the story. 

Sarkar was supposed to be a Diwali delight for fans. But it doesn’t set the screens on fire.