Cast: Rajinikanth, Nayanthara, Nivetha Thomas, Sunil Shetty
Director: AR Murugadoss
Runtime: 2 hr 39 min
When asked by the higher-ups if he would opt for voluntary retirement against getting suspended, Mumbai police commissioner Aadhithya Arunachalam retorts that 'he is on duty'. He has no time to respond to those petty threats. When reminded of the age, while seeking a fitness test, Aadhithya tells them that 'age is just a number'. Superstar Rajinikanth 'is on duty' and 'age is just a number' - AR Murugadoss' Darbar screams this at us.
Superstar's energy infectious throughout the movie and if you miss the adrenaline rush before/while/after watching Darbar then blame it on the script.
The film also marks Rajinikanth's first collaboration with Murugadoss. After Thuppaki, director Murugadoss teams up with cinematographer Santosh Sivan and editor Sreekar Prasad to give us another action thriller. Music composer Anirudh Ravichander once again, after Karthik Subbaraj's Petta, tunes us well into 'the Superstar spirit' with his unique mix in the Darbar album.
Suneil Shetty plays Hari Chopra, an international drug lord in the movie. As expected, Suniel Shetty packs quite a punch in action sequences. There is a quiet confidence in the way he delivers his dialogues. The action starts when he crosses path with Aadhithya. With his raw deliverance of justice, the city police commissioner becomes the nemesis of the international drug lord.
The first half reminds us of Petta with its celebration of the Style Mannan. The second half, however, deals more with action and sentiments. The family sequences that run parallelly are pit stops for some laughter. Nivetha Thomas' Valli wants her father Adhithya to get married before she is wedded off. Thus enters Lily (Nayanthara) into the scene and a romantic track is developed between the two.
Like every other movie in the 'Superstar genre', Darbar projects mass elements more while compromising on the logic factor. So, ignoring a few goof ups and some gaps in the logic, the movie is an enjoyable watch because of Rajinikanth’s powerhouse performance.
Sadly, the script, despite being over two-hour long, uses Nayanthara only for her saree-clad stunning looks while giving a miss to her acting prowess.
The tight editing by Sreekar Prasad, superb work behind the camera by Santosh Sivan, and Anirudh's background score add the extra flavour to the movie. However, ending abruptly, the climax seemed hazy and dull.
If you are a Rajini fan, Darbar should be added to the list of the actor's must-watch masala movies.