• Sandeep Chandrasekar

Darbar Movie Review

We have seen all kinds of Rajini movies in the last few years ranging all the way from a gangster to a scientist. Rajini arrives as a supercop in Darbar taking a different avatar this year. Darbar is directed by AR Murugadoss with music composed by Anirudh Ravichander starring Nayanthara, Sunil Shetty, Nivetha Thomas and Yogi Babu alongside Rajinikanth. 

In 2018 AR Murugadoss gave us Sarkar which showed how a man entered politics just because he couldn’t get his vote casted. Similarly in Darbar, Adithya Arunasalam (Rajinikanth) tries to bring down the drug racket in Mumbai only to switch to a full-on revenge story. Darbar seems to look like two different movies; the first half being about the downfall of the drug racket and the second half about avenging the death of Aadithya’s daughter Valli (Nivetha Thomas). 


The movie doesn’t stand out amidst other Rajini movies in recent times purely because of the generic nature of the plot. Rajini shines as a police officer in the movie and carries the first half purely with his charisma and style. Rajini becomes more like Ajith from Nerkonda Paarvai in the second half when the death of a family member affects his mental stability; but still having the intent to destroy his arch nemesis. 

There’s not much ingenuity in the film as it follows the age old template of a stopping the evils in society and avenging the death of a loved one. Most of the film is revealed within the first 20 minutes so there’s no adrenaline rush at any point of time. Anirudh is the biggest blessing to the movie as the songs and background score Chumma Kizhi the screen. Similar to that of Petta, there’s a song which makes Rajini feel much younger in the movie.


Santosh Sivan as the cinematographer manages to give us few interesting shots but isn’t the most impressive. Stunts though superficial, are in perfect correlation with Rajini’s style and give a mass appeal. 

After watching the movie I still can’t understand what the objective of the film was like in Sarkar. If Sunil Shetty’s character wasn’t present in the movie, there would have not been any second half. I really felt that the plot was half baked and should have either been a revenge movie or a movie like Thuppakki. Rajini’s style and charisma, Yogi Babu’s perfectly timed comedy and the emotional sequences involving Nivetha Thomas aren’t enough to elevate this movie to the level I expected. 


From a larger perspective Darbar looked like a Hari’s Singam franchise with a different style of editing in the first half and Sasi’s Sivappu Manjal Pachai’s climax in the second half where there’s overflowing melodrama. So Darbar turned out to be just another standard masala action movie because if anyone else had taken the lead instead of the big stars it would surely not garner much attention. 



©2019 by Sandeep Chandrasekar