Darbar Review: Strictly for Rajini's swag

Thursday, January 9, 2020 - 14:15
Darbar (2020)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Darbar
Cast: Rajinikanth, Nayanthara, Nivetha Thomas, Suniel Shetty, Yogi Babuand others
Music: Anirudh Ravichander
Cinematography: Santosh Sivan
Editor: Sreekara Prasad
Producer: Subaskaran
Banner: Lyca Productions
Written and Directed by: AR Murugadoss
Release date: Jan 09, 2020

What's it about!

Adithya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth) is specially deputed as the police commissioner of Mumbai to erase drug menace in the city. He doesn’t go by the rulebook, doesn’t think a second to break the law to get the things done, to nab the criminals. He soon finds Ajay Malhotra (Prateik Babbar), a businessman’s son, is behind the racket of drug supply. Using his own ‘bad cop’ methods, he kills Ajay Malhotra in a dramatic incident. Now, another drug lord has targeted Adithya Arunachalam and his daughter Valli (Nivetha Thomas). Who he is? Why does he want to kill Valli?


From the time Rajinikanth enters the scene, we get to see a marathon of his stylish walks, show off of other chic movements including changing sunglasses. The difference is Rajinikanth looks a lot younger than his age. His face and his hairstyle remind us of his late 90’s movies. We don’t complain as long as he exhibits his cool swag and the fun banter with his grown-up daughter played by Nivetha.

Introducing Rajinikanth as a cop (since he’s originally a villain) who doesn’t hesitate killing criminals and threaten even Human Rights Commission members to serve justice is a perfect stroke by the writer and director Murugadoss. Also making him play his age with a grownup daughter is a wise decision. These two decisions have played a huge difference in the otherwise stale cop drama. The film’s first half is engaging and entertaining for the said reasons. However, the director runs out of ideas after the simple proceedings of the first half. 

Though I personally liked the emotional hospital sequence between Rajinikanth and Nivetha, there are hardly any redeeming points towards the end. Suniel Shetty comes across as a weak antagonist. There are no proper confrontational scenes between Rajinikanth and him either. And the romantic thread between Rajinikanth and Nayanthara has lost sheen in the first half itself. She gets relegated to unimportant appearances later. All these factors culminate in uninteresting final sequences.  

69-year-old Rajinikanth looks younger than his age thanks to great styling and camerawork. His swag is the main highlight. He single-handedly runs the show. His sentiment scenes with Nivetha Thomas melt our hearts. She gives a fine performance as well. Nayanthara appears in some fashionable sarees but her cardboard character has not added any value. Suniel Shetty doesn’t make any difference to the film. Pratiek Babbar is wasted. Yogi Babu’s comedy is routine. 

Anirudh gave terrific songs in Rajini’s ‘Petta’ but he has failed totally here. Cinematography is excellent. Santosh Sivan’s camera work has made a huge difference besides some cool fight sequences. 

Bottom-line: ‘Darbar’ is entirely Rajinikanth’s show. Looking younger, he also has carried the movie on his shoulders that has a predictable storyline. The film indeed offers some engaging moments but the final sequences should have been better. 

Reviewed by: 
Jalapathy Gudelli