Darbar [2020] - Telugu - 20x10 Photocard Design-1578652817162
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Rajinikanth has given a perfect encore to his legion of ardent fans with another of his trademark performance in ‘Darbar’, coming on the heels of last year’s ‘Petta’.

For one who’s been watching Raijni’s movies for over 40 years, the 'bad cop' routine — with a round-shaped shades portrayed by Rajini in ‘Darbar’ — brings to mind the short and sweet character of Alex Pandiyan that Rajini portrayed in ‘Moondru Mugam’ way back in 1982, which is still etched in Tamil movie folklore.

The walk and the style adopted by his character Aadithya Arunachalam replicates that of Alex, and here one has to say that Rajini has lived up to his own standards. To sum it up: ‘Darbar’ is an outright Rajini movie, with director AR Murugadoss bringing fast-paced action to the forefront.

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The plot has done its round many times in several movies and in various languages. Aadithya is the Mumbai Commissioner of Police and is coming down hard on crime in the city. In the process, he comes up against the powerful villain Hari Chopra, played by Suneil Shetty. To get even, Chopra targets Aadithya and his daughter Valli, played by Nivetha Thomas, which lays the foundation for a showdown between the two.

The stunts and the storyline are tailor-made to suit Rajini’s age. The superstar commands presence in ‘Darbar’, though sadly the same cannot be said for the film’s other superstar, Nayanthara, who hardly gets the due she deserves.

The romance between Lily (Nayanthara) and Aadithya is merely a sub-plot to the film’s main story, which is the relationship between a doting father and his daughter. Which is why it comes as a surprise why Nayanthara would even agree to such small role.

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Credit, though, must be given to Thomas who has carved out a niche for herself with her subtle expressions and has displayed the transformation in her acting with a measured performance as a daughter, who’s a top cop. She certainly has added value to the storyline. Thomas can now boast of playing supporting roles with some iconic South Indian actors, including Kamal Haasan in ‘Papanasam’, Vijay and Mohanlal in ‘Jilla’, and now with Rajini.

Over the years, big releases of star-studded movies have always sent fans into a frenzy, especially if it happens to release during the festive season. The fans try to show their support and love in many ways. But this time one fan outdid himself, wanting to hire a helicopter to shower petals on the superstar’s giant-size banner in Tamil Nadu; the sky is the limit we suppose.

And watching Rajni movie on the first day is an experience by itself. Though it was a subdued ambience in comparison in Dubai, Rajini’s on-screen persona is such that you can imagine fans throwing coins in the air during scenes.

Coming back to ‘Darbar’ though, the only minor blip in the movie is that the lip sync appears to be off in some of the scenes, which could have been easily avoided.

Big-budget movies, these days, get into some controversy or the other and historically Raoijni has used his movies to hit-out or respond to some politicians. There was a presence in ‘Darbar’ too. But the veiled reference to jailed former AIADMK supremo Sasikala did not create the flutter.

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Don’t miss it!

‘Darbar’ is out now in the UAE. Watch the trailer below: