Darbar Movie Review: Got Rajini written all over it

Updated: Jan 10, 2020, 08:42 IST | Sonil Dedhia | Mumbai

Well, Darbar is not a movie for non-Rajini fans. But, it guarantees entertainment. For fans of the star, all that matters is that he appears to be having fun.

A still from Darbar
A still from Darbar

U/A; Action
Director: AR Murugadoss

Cast: Rajinikanth, Suniel Shetty, Nayanthara
Rating: Rating

Twenty minutes into Darbar, a man sitting next to me tells his friend, 'My next haircut will just be like Rajini sir's.' He is referring to the floppy hair that the actor is seen flicking away from his face, throughout the film. As the drama unfolds, his loyal fans whistle, hoot, and even throw their shirts in the air. That is the kind of crazy fan-following the superstar, almost 70, enjoys. The film is crafted just for this lot; it's an out-and-out Rajinikanth show.

Director AR Murugadoss, who also takes writing credits for the story, screenplay and dialogues, plays with a clichéd storyline about drug mafia and child-trafficking. The film focuses on Aditya Arunasalam, a badass police commissioner who doesn't follow the 'unwritten' rule book. He doesn't think twice before rubbing a powerful businessman the wrong way, or shooting the bad guy.

Darbar disposes notions of subtlety to present a film that celebrates the loud and the kitschy. The actor mouths the best lines, and pulls off the kind of fight sequences that would render a young actor rather shy. In a way, the film is an ode to Rajinikanth's off-screen persona — large-hearted, bigger than life, and emotional. His is the best-written role in the film, but one wishes that the others, especially the villain [Suniel Shetty] and leading lady [Nayanthara], had more to do. There are no significant confrontational sequences between the hero and the villain; the romantic track too is underwhelming.

Watch the trailer Darbar here:

Is it a great movie? Possibly not. With many subplots, and at a runtime of 160 minutes, the film isn't anything close to being good. Does it entertain? It totally does. The superstar towers over the film in a way that no other Indian actor can. Rajinikanth's overwhelming screen presence demands your attention, and grabs you from the first scene. Despite looking aged, the actor impresses with his unmatched energy, swag and the trademark flipping of his sunglasses. Even though the fight sequences are the kind that the actor can sleepwalk through, they still manage to send fans into a frenzy.

Should you go for it? Well, Darbar is not a movie for non-Rajini fans. But, it guarantees entertainment. For fans of the star, all that matters is that he appears to be having fun. If you're one of them, this shouldn't be missed.

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