Darbar: Crown Less King’s War
Star Cast: Rajnikanth, Suniel Shetty, Nivetha Thomas, Nayanthara, Prateik Babbar, Jatin Shah, Dalip Tahil, and Sriman.
Music Composed by Anirudh Ravichander
Cinematography by Santosh Sivan
Directed by A R Murugadoss
Tamil directors, at times, seem to go for heavy gesturing scenes with Stars in their film. Either they feel that the best mass moments involve only star actors trying to gesture in their famous slow-motion shots or for every ten minutes looking at the camera in anticipation of a whistle. But even those gestures work today, because of the kind of films they did earlier. Because of the kind of characters they immortalized in our memory. But if you base your entire film just on that, even hardcore fans won’t be pleased.
Rajnikanth has become a proof of such films in South India, lately. All the directors think about, is to make him walk fast in a slow-motion shot or make him fight in another slow motion shot. As these shots appear on the screen, the composer tries to bring in some nostalgic themes or their theme songs and fans go crazy whistling. Hence, the fan moment is achieved. Actually, fans go and scold excess use of such moments and treat the makers with heavy disrespect. Rajnikanth managed to entertain 3 generations and such an actor needs much better scripts that give a new experience with him in the lead. But all the directors are managing are quarter and half baked scenes with same old stories.
Petta is one of the few best films of Rajni in the 2010’s. This is not a compliment for Petta but a disgrace for Superstar Rajni’s career at the fag end. He, at the age of 70, doesn’t have to prove again but he still sings, “Enname Raja naan” (I am always the King) and tries to entertain. But he is becoming a King without Crown. Rajnikanth’s crown is the writer-director duo or single person, taking his film as a challenge and making a memorable film for his fans and common audiences.
Everyone expects directors to come up with Enthiran or at least Sivaji or refreshing Chandramukhi. But they all are making better Baba versions. Even Baba uses all Rajni-fying elements and then falls short on content. Similarly, every film of Rajni is also increasingly becoming his walking and jogging park. Maybe he is too popular in real life that he walks and jogs at sets, which directors shoot with some makeup and give us as a film.
Even a person like Murugadoss failed miserably in writing a compelling character for the protagonist. He could be still trying to figure out why his Spyder failed and he is getting carried away with what he missed there – proper mass elevations. He filled his Sarkar with some and in Darbar, he tried forced elevations at every single corner. Rajni can still do comedy, can still try some romance, can still fight and can still dance. If every film has to prove the same, maybe it is better to think that he is the first film actor and hopefully, that will make directors write characters that just moving caricatures.
Murugadoss might have tried to write a script with several sequences in his head but he just mistimed them all. He did not try to give any pay-offs and seemed highly rushed in many. For example, his writing in Nivetha Thomas hospital sequence could have been a bit more matured as it ended up being unintentionally funny with all meat removed. By the time, he came to the climax, he just gave up on Nayantara and Suniel Shetty characters too.
Superstar Rajni is equaled to King who has gone mad for revenge in his opening scene. He is shown younger in Santhosh Shivan’s frames, he is made to dance for his Annamalai theme while fighting. But at the same time, he is asked to do exercise for war but that ended up as a punchless battle that yields no Crown to the winner.
Theatrical Trailer: Darbar Review