SARKAR 3 Movie Review: The story of a stunted ‘chikoo’ tree


The hero of this film is a bonsai chikoo tree. It’s not just a metaphor but sum and substance, leitmotif and raison d'être of the film. In Indian cinema trees & plants like mango, tulsi, rose, chameli, etc. have played important roles in the past but never before have you seen a chikoo tree getting so much prominence. If you can decipher this puzzle, the mystery of SARKAR 3 will reveal itself to you in an instant.


That’s the masterstroke of a sensible filmmaker turned a bullshit artist called Ram Gopal Verma who has among his ardent cohorts the ‘mahanayak’ of the past, present and the next few millenniums, the immortal among mortals, Shri Shri Amitabh Bachchan Ji.  जब तक सूरज चांद रहेगा, बिग बी तेरा नाम रहेगा।


If you believed that SARKAR 3 might be a rehash of one of the GODFATHER films, you will be surprised. It’s a rehash of the rehash of its own rehash and if you want to know how a filmmaker can turn a Godfather into a hamming clown, this is the film you must watch.


Here is the story described as sweetly as your humble self can. Subhash Nagre (Amitabh Bachchan) has lost both his sons. He has two supposedly loyal lieutenants Gokul (Ronit Roy) and Raman (Parag Tyagi). Nagre also has a bonsai chikoo plant. He waters and worships it all the time. His wife wants him to get back their grandson Shivaji (Amit Sadh), घर का नाम चीकू।


Chikoo is none other than the son of Nagre’s elder renegade son who was killed by Nagre. Chikoo’s arrival creates all kinds of tensions. He also has a girl friend Annu (Yami Gautam) whose father was killed by Nagre. She does not seem to have any issue with this. The two lieutenants feel sidelined as Chikoo begins to take over the reins of his grandfather’s political-criminal empire that’s threatened by a builder called Gandhi who is part of a powerful syndicate run by a Dubai based tycoon Michael Vallya (Jackie Shroff). They use a local politician Govind Deshpande (Manoj Bajpayee) to challenge the political hegemony of Sarkar. After a few ˇठाँय ठाँय” firefights that offer no clue of who is killing whom, Chikoo turns against his own grandfather who orders his lieutenants to eliminate him while he continues to water the bonsai chikoo plant in his living room. That’s where lies the mystery.


Ram Gopal Verma transcends his own genius in the film. He innovatively uses low-key lighting and dramatic close ups of fingers and toes and a fake bulldog. It’s probably the first time such extraordinary combo of film noir and comedy has been attempted in the history of cinema.  


The super-star of the past, present and all future millenniums delivers the ultimate performance of his life and achieves the impossible. He caricatures himself, and beats Sudesh Bhonsle hollow. Only missing element here is a song by the thespian about how his chikoo tree will begin to bear fruit. Big B’s performance in the film will wake Sohrab Modi up in his grave and give repeated standing ovation.


We keep wondering how does he manage not to laugh at what he is doing in the film. Only a highly accomplished artiste can achieve that.  And the seriousness with which he waters and worships the chikoo plant is an amazing out of this world piece of acting. Bravo.


Should one rate this film? How do you rate bullshit?



Directed by Ram Gopal Varma, Produced by Rahul Mittra, Anand Pandit, Gopal Shivram Dalvi, Krishan Choudhary, WeOne, Written by P Jaya Kumar, Ramkumar Singh, Screenplay by Ram Gopal Varma, Story by Nilesh Girkar

Starring - Amitabh Bachchan, Jackie Shroff, Manoj Bajpayee, Amit Sadh,Yami Gautam, Ronit Roy, Music by Ravi Shankar, Rohan Vinayak, Cinematography Amol Rathod, Edited by Anwar Ali, Production Companies Alumbra Entertainment, Wave Cinemas, Company Product, AB Corp Ltd., Distributed by Eros International

Rajesh Kumar Singh

@khulkebolo @neelnabh

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