For Die-hard Fans Only
‘U/A’Certified, 2 hrs 40 mins
What Is the Film About?One fearless act of a criminal, many years ago makes entire Mumbai police hang its head in shame. It leads to the thriving mafia and drug culture in the city. Aditya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth) is brought in as Commissioner to bring honour and trust back to police among the public.
What are the problems faced by Aditya Arunachalam in the process of cleaning the drug mafia in the city? How his personal life gets affected in the process? Did he finally get hold of the criminal responsible for all the problem is what the movie is all about?
How Is Rajinikanth’s Performance?
Superstar Rajinikanth is once again showcased in the best manner possible physically on screen. The costumes, the makeup etc. are all neatly done. The star takes the whole thing a notch higher with his swag and attitude.
The problem in Darbar especially is it relies too much on Rajinikanth’s charisma and style. Every second scene depends on that aspect. It gives a feeling of overkill and trying too hard at the same time. Of course, for fans, nothing is too much, and they would enjoy it, but the rest can see through it.
Previously, the story used to take care of the issues mentioned above. The style was blended into the narrative, and it elevated Rajinikanth as a performer as well. Even Darbar has several moments in the second half which showcases the acting skills of the Superstar. But the mismatch in the narrative between the swag moments and emotional ones doesn’t let those scenes have the required impact. Irrespective of all the issues, Darbar is a treat for the fans.
Direction by AR Murugadoss?
AR Murugadoss as a director is as solid as ever; he is also responsible for the story and screenplay for his movies. It is in the last two aspects that Murugadoss’s graph has come down significantly. Its impact can be felt the most in Darbar.
The story is very ordinary and predictable in Darbar. Usually, it is not a big issue, but when it is an AR Murugadoss movie, there are expectations on that count as well. It is the first disappointment. The second and bigger let down is the screenplay. Apart from direction, it is in this department that Murugadoss scores the most in his best films. In Darbar, he fails in this aspect as well.
The movie’s opening gives us a hint at what is in store ahead. The first fifteen or so minutes, which also include the Rajinikanth’s introduction lack the punch. They seem so forced and less organic. One can “literally feel there is a pressure to deliver the best intro and live up to the gargantuan expectations.
But, the narrative settles after a wobbly start initially. It picks up and maintains a decent pace until the pre-interval. The romantic song followed by the interval block sets the perfect tempo. While it raises the anticipation from the second half, we can also feel a weakened impact. The whole “block” could have had a terrific effect, but we get only a tampered feel of it instead of feeling the entire fire.
The second half starts alright. The first shock in the narrative comes when Lilly’s (Nayanthara) brother comes to meet Aditya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth). The conversation is unexpected and takes one by surprise. It is okay. Things get back on track with an action block, but it again slides down. Unfortunately, there is no coming back from this point.
The tempo of the movie nosedives entirely in the second half. While there are a couple of fan blocks on the way, the overall narrative never recovers from the fall. The turn taken by AR Murugadoss gives a jarring feeling. The climax, once again, fails to have the ‘wow’ factor going for it. The ‘Thomas Gomer’ method and the whole block leading to face off are dragged. After all the suffering, the ending seems simple and doesn’t give the required satisfaction.
Overall, the screenplay and weak plot kill the enthusiasm built on the strength of the decent first half. What we are left with is a part-engaging, part-frustrating watch.
Nayanthara, Nivetha and Others?
Nayanthara and Nivetha Thomas are the female leads in the movie. The former is the love interest of the star, whereas the latter is the daughter. Nivetha has a better role with more scope of emotion compared to Nayanthara. Also, Nayanthara’s part ends abruptly.
Sunil Shetty playing the antagonist is given a great build-up and stylish look. It is a typical villain character which is done alright by the senior actor. Yogi Babu does his part with significant control. The rest have bits and pieces part including Prateik Babbar.
Music and Other Departments?
First Half (pre-interval and interval)
A better connection between the protagonist and antagonist is required for starters. Adding a proper usage of daughter and love angle to it would have made the drama further engaging. The police system usage in the plot via the villain could also have made the narrative gripping.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, in parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, but with huge reservations
Darbar Review by Siddartha Toleti
With no real twists and turns and less scope for Superstar Swag, the second half turns dull and boring. The predictable end kills any hope of a high. Overall, Darbar ends up as a fare for the hardcore Superstar fans only.
– Finally, after a lot of beaten to death action and drama Arunachalam (Rajinikanth) meets Suniel Shetty. It’s time for a routine climax action episode.
– Aadhithya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth) gets suspended but gets back his job by proving his fitness.
– Aadhithya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth) loses cool after an unexpected shock. The way this entire episode conceived was very poor.
– Darbar second half started on a heavy dose of sentiment.
First Half Report:
Darbar wobbles a bit initially but soon gains momentum and rides confidently on Superstar swag. A feast for fans looking for Vintage Rajini ‘again’. The interval block sets high expectations on the second half. The scale of success depends on how engaging the second half turns out.
Darbar is less AR Murugadoss the storyteller – he rehashes his ideas here. It is a Superstar Rajinikanth show all the way. Anirudh recreates magic for Thalaiva.
– Aadhithya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth) kills the high profile drug lord after several dramatic incidents. His father and the most dangerous Hari Chopra (Suniel Shetty) makes an entry. The stage is set for the game between Rajini and Suniel Shetty. Interval.
– Aadhithya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth) makes a high profile arrest in order to shut down the drugs network in the city. But the convicted escapes to Thailand and the drugs continue to flow into the city.
– Nivetha Thomas (Rajini’s daughter) wants him to get married. The live track between Lily (Nayanthara) and Rajini is outdated but fun.
– Flashback time. Aadhithya (Rajinikanth) takes charge to make the city drug free and bring respect to the cops.
– Darbar show started. Police commissioner Aadhithya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth)’s multiple encounters creates terror in mafia groups. Rajini makes his entry in usual style with a fight followed by title song.
– Darbar show will begin in a few minutes. Stay tuned.
When a Rajinikanth’s movie is coming to the theatres, a kind of anticipation will be there by default despite low buzz or any other adverse factors.
‘Darbar’ has been experiencing low buzz due to director AR Murugadoss’ past flops. The effect can be clearly seen. The buzz on ‘Darbar’ is nowhere near Rajinikanth’s past films.
However, the usual excitement among the fans is there and besides the die-hard fans, the common fans awaiting the result of the movie.
The talk from the first shows of the movie is going to be very critical. What we expect is a big surprise from the director. Will the director spring a surprise?
On a positive note, the director and the superstar combination along with the fact that Rajini will be seen as an aggressive and energetic cop combined with his trademark swag is likely to excite the audiences.
It’s time to know whether the combination engaged the audiences. Stay tuned for Mirchi9 comprehensive ‘Darbar’ review. Keep watching this space, folks.