If you are a fan of South Indian superstar Rajinikanth, you don’t need a list of reasons to put your money down for ‘Darbar’, out now in the UAE.
Often described as a “force of nature” on the big screen, this matinee idol’s stylish histrionics — like flipping his sunglasses or smoking a cigarette in his inimitable style — can elevate the most mediocre scripts to cinematic gold.
His thunderous presence and his unique style of dialogue delivery are reasons enough to watch his films. But for those who are not convinced about his invincible star power and magnetic screen presence, here’s a list of reasons why the Thalaivar — called adoringly by his legions of adoring fans — and his new action thriller could be the best thing to arrive in the cinemas in 2020:
1. It’s Rajinikanth:
The superstar is back to playing the avenging cop and is on a mission to clean up the streets of Mumbai from drug overlords. The ageing superstar, who has endured in South Indian films for several decades, plays super cop and Assistant Commissioner of Police Aaditya Arunaslam who makes it his life mission to nab an evil, devilish serial killer in the streets of Mumbai. He never plays by the book and is armed with questionable means of putting the bad guys behind bars. His irreverence to the rule book makes him a larger-than-life protagonist. You don’t question Aaditya, you just watch him unleash the mayhem as he ejects anti-social elements from Mumbai. ‘Darbar’ is his 167th film. ‘Kaala’ was his last release in 2018.
2. Back in uniform:
If Bollywood has Salman Khan as its cheeky-but-noble cop Chulbul Pandey and Hollywood has its caped superheroes, its southern cousin has the larger-than-life actor Rajinikanth to play its law-enforcement roles. In such characters, he holds himself to the highest standards and is simply beyond reproach. So, to watch Rajinikanth back as a cop on the big screen after a long gap — 26 years to be exact — is likely to make ‘Darbar’ shine. In 1980, Rajinikanth played a cop for the first time in his career in director Thyagarajan’s ‘Anbukku Naan Adimai’. But it’s director Jagannathan’s ‘Moondru Mugam’ that saw him play one of the most iconic cop roles. Rajinikanth as the ruthless cop, Alex Pandian was a knockout. He played three roles in this film, but it was his cop act in the entertainer that shone bright. His last cop role was ‘Pandiyan’ (1992). In this film, the 69-year-old actor will play a cop in his 40s, which is considered age-appropriate for the actor known to play youthful roles in his films despite his advancing years and receding hairline. An army of make-up specialists were on call to transform this diminutive idol into a charismatic figure in khakhi.
3. Real life inspirations?
While ‘Darbar’ isn’t a biopic on any particular real-life cop in India, its director AR Murugudoss didn’t discount the possibility of him being inspired by real law-enforcement officers. While several reports claimed that Rajinikanth’s cop role was inspired by late police officer Hemant Karkare (the Chief of Mumbai Anti Terrorist Squad), the director claims his leading man is a cocktail of several heroic police figures in India.
“When you make a cop film, there will be a few flavours from real-life incidents happened in the lives of police officers like Hemant Karkare and Vijaykumar but Darbar is not a biopic,” said director AR Murugudoss in an interview published on FirstPost. His focus will also be on the emotional toll that family members of police officers suffer when they lose their loved ones in the line of duty.
4. The AR Murugadoss-Rajinikanth partnership
If you are itching to see Rajinikanth in an out-and-out commercial film filled with action, drama and songs, then look no further than ‘Darbar’. Director AR Murugadoss, who has impressed us with his films like ‘Gajini’, ‘Thuppakki’ and ‘Sarkar’ will try his hand at reinventing Rajinikanth as a wholesome hero of escapist cinema. His films are laced with socially-charged messages and are wonderfully anti-establishment, it looks to be seen how he showcases the biggest stars of South Indian cinema in his new film.
5. Star studded spectacle:
Bollywood actor Suniel Shetty plays a vile and scheming antagonist Hari Chopra in ‘Darbar’. It’s is second role in Tamil cinema after ‘12B’. Actor Prateik Babbar will also try his hand at Tamil cinema as a rich, influential and privileged drug supplier. The star-studded list doesn’t end here. Top actress Nayanthara will also be a part of this dazzling action ensemble, reportedly made on a whopping budget of Rs218 crores. The two starred together in ‘Chandramukhi’ last. Also watch out for Nivetha Thomas, who plays Rajinikanth’s on-screen daughter Valli, and actors Yogi Babu, Nawab Shah and Jatin Sarna in important roles.
Don’t Miss It!
‘Darbar’ is out in the UAE cinemas now.