“Darbar”… AR Murugadoss and Rajinikanth unite for a barely okay action-drama

Posted on January 9, 2020

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I think Murugadoss wanted to make another ‘Thuppakki’, but the dramatic beats weigh him down. The drama isn’t powerful enough. The action isn’t punchy enough.

Spoilers ahead…

You can read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/darbar-movie-review-ar-murugadoss-rajinikanth-nayanthara-baradwaj-rangan/

How effective is the hero-intro scene? That’s at least one way to gauge how much thought has gone into the writing of a “mass” movie, where the first sighting of the leading man — especially Superstar — is everything. It needs so much style that a quick scan of Twitter feeds from the FDFS yields multiple iterations of the word “swag”. It needs so much punch that a mild Dolby Atmos tremor should rattle the floors of the theatre. It needs so much surprise that we forget we’ve seen this situation a few thousand times. It needs so much… mass that science classrooms of the future will stop saying Force equals Mass times Acceleration. Force will be redefined in units of Rajinikanth’s acceleration in this scene.

And this is how it unfolds in Darbar, written and directed by AR Murugadoss. We’re in Mumbai. We’ve been told that a “mad cop” — Commissioner Aaditya Arunasalam — in on a killing spree. Goon after nameless goon is felled by a bullet. One nameless goon — a complete idiot, if you ask me — issues an open challenge to the Commissioner: Come get me if you can! (The only excuse for this stupidity can be that he hasn’t seen too many Tamil movies.) He goes to a politician’s birthday party, expecting protection. The name of the politician — Amar Singh — made me sit up. Is this one of those vague hints this actor likes to drop in his films, like the saffron flag that flutters in the corner of a frame in a later scene? (Political classrooms of the future may find it interesting that the last time this actor was seen in Mumbai, in Kaala, the saffron flag was planted squarely in the opposition side.)

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil