A commercial cocktail of drama, comedy and action with a pinch of romance, ‘Darbar’ is a long but engaging cop film. Starring Rajinikanth, Nayanthara, Suniel Shetty and Nivetha Thomas as leads, it is directed by the greatest A R Murugadoss.
Rajnikanth plays the role of a super cop Aditya Arunachalam who mishandles criminals and misjudges law. Suniel is seen as the baddie Hari Chopra and Nivetha Thomas does full justice to her character named Valli. Apart from that, Rajini’s romantic interest Lily, played by Nayanthara, has a short screen presence.
Coming to Rajinikanth’s physical appearance, the makeup and outfits department has done a sterling job of persuading us that he is a young cop. His charisma is intact and on full display in every frame of ‘Darbar’.
The movie is targeted fair and square at Rajinikanth fans, but it gives masala cinema a fresh shot of energy. Based on two specific missions: tackle the drug menace in Bombay and avenge the death of his daughter Valli, ‘Darbar’ fulfils each of it before and after the interval respectively.
On tables, ‘Darbar’ puts a good way of entertainment and leaves no room for confusion. But, there is no adrenaline rush or emotional tug that can hold the narrative together. Despite this, Rajinikanth doesn’t spare any effort to make the character work, especially when his role transits into a psychologically disturbed man after his daughter’s sudden death.
The film’s strongest selling point are the father-daughter scenes between Rajinikanth and Nivetha Thomas, who’s on screen relationship is endearing. ‘Darbar’ is filled with Rajinikanth’s trademark playfulness with Yogi Babu who has teamed up for the first time as the comic sidekick, clicks. ‘Darbar’ has a solid middle section, filled with emotional and whistle-worthy moments, including a training montage where we get to see Rajini flexing his muscles and a fight sequence set in a railway station.
Suniel Shetty doesn’t come across as a powerful antagonist despite being built up as one. There is no big showdown or solid confrontation scene between him and Rajini that makes it difficult for us to buy him as a deadly foe. The only good part of his role is the vulnerability, infectious energy and inimitable style that keeps us rooting for him.
‘Darbar’ has Rajinikanth’s set pieces where he is the fighter, the romancer, the jokester, the dancer, and everything else, all rolled into one. The most stupid part of the movie is when the doctor tells Valli that she only has two more hours to live and guess what? The doctors don’t make any effort to save her life, wow.
Also, yes we get a classic Thalaivar moment where Rajni does a slo-mo walk towards the camera, drawling, “I am a bad cop.” No one can do it like him!
Hoot, clap and whistle!
It is really only Rajini who is the crowd puller. While the superstar does not miss a trick, ‘Darbar’ is dragged to no limits with no magic to the storyline. It has a weak plot riddled with holes and convenient twists that one can see from miles away.
Watch it at your nearest screens only for a Rajinikanth show!