Sarkar 3 and the Death of an Icon

Pop Culture

Sarkar 3 and the Death of an Icon

Illustration: Akshita Monga


n 2005, Ram Gopal Varma went against conventional wisdom of remaking a seminal film and pulled off the unthinkable: A searing adaptation of Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather. Not only did he succeed at indigenising the magic of the classic, RGV also displayed his superiority as an astute filmmaker by layering his Indian adaptation with a distinctly relevant political angle.

In the film, Amitabh Bachchan played the eponymous Sarkar, bringing to life an influential figure working above the law in the world of both politics and the criminal underworld. Subhash Nagre was modelled on Don Vito Corleone, but his iconic status came from the real-life undertones that RGV wrote into the character: Bachchan played a thinly veiled version of Bal Thackeray.