Rating: 3.5/5
Director A R Murugadoss leaves no chance to paint larger than life image of Superstar Rajinikanth in almost all his scenes

The director is not a stranger. Not even for the Hindi cinema circle. He’s the one who’s given Bollywood Ghajini and Holiday, starring Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar respectively. Darbar definitely entertains you with dozens of action sequences and maintains the course of social messages to the society, like a typical Rajinikanth film. When it’s Rajinikanth painted on each frame of the screen, it’s a celebration in itself but the film also has a well knit plot whose threads keep attaching with one-another from the inception till the end.

Darbar, film, review, hindi, 2020
Rajinikanth and Director A R Murugadoss (image source: indiatoday.com)
One day, Hari Chopra (Suneil Shetty) puts a police station on fire, setting a bunch of policemen ablaze along in Mumbai and flees the country to become a big shot drug dealer covering markets around the world. On the other hand, Aadhithya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth) is sent to the city as the police commissioner to detoxify Mumbai from the hands of the drug peddlers. The whole story revolves around the life of this cop, his daughter, his revenge for the deceased policemen and how he ensures elimination of drugs from Mumbai.

The story by Murugadoss himself seems very familiar at times with similar type of power politics and revenge games between the antagonist and the protagonist, but twists and turns keep paving their way to keep you on a go. And that’s a relief.

The script has a lot of substance to make it a success but it keeps lacking realistically, logically and at a point scientifically as it progresses. But do you mind that in a Rajinikanth film? Undoubtedly, there are times you would want to applaud the story for highlighting unknown facts of the criminal world like proxy prisoners. It is these details and nuances that balance the shortcomings.

Darbar, review, film, hindi, 2020
On sets of the film (image source: instagram.com)

In general, the center of attraction of the film becomes the bond between the father (Rajinikanth) and the daughter (Nivetha Thomas), who is not just a daughter, but a mother, a friend, a motivator, and the only companion he ever needs around him. The emotional track is woven nicely amid the loud unabashed world of crime.

Coming to the end, the climax doesn’t seem to delight you much and there is no reason found to make an effort to praise the face off between Rajinikanth and Suniel Shetty at the end.


Superstar Rajinikanth is the cop around whom the story revolves and his expressions at work, around his daughter or around his love interest keep changing in accordance to the situations, grabbing your attention everytime with the multi-layers his character showcases justifiably. He is a superstar, and his entry to exit matches the benchmarks he has set for himself. For the Rajinikanth fans, its a treat for their eyes, topped with so much of emotional value. His attire, makeup, and the way he carries himself, doesn’t give you an insight to his real age.

Darbar, film, review, hindi, 2020
Scenes from the film (image source: latestly.com)

Suniel Shetty adds energy to the plot with his virtue of villainous acting but his expressions become monotonous after a point of time. His character isn’t established well from the onset plus there is no mention of reasons as to why he has entered the criminal world.

Nivetha Thomas adds liveliness to the plot each time she enters the frame. Her smile not only makes her father comply with what she says but also makes the audience hold on to their chairs with a smile all the time. She renders the emotional touch to the plot.

Nayanthara doesn’t have much role to play, and seems as if she is a just a filler to a few sections of the film. She looks adorably perfect in every situation with the similar types of expressions all the time.


The background score doesn’t appeal much and is unnecessarily very loud. Even the songs by Anirudh make less or absolutely no impact to the story line.

The legendary cinematographer Santosh Sivan is behind the lens here. He does a good job, especially in the visual palette of the film. The locations and sets are more or less routine places which gives the essence of cinematic flavor to the plot centering a typical life of the cop.

Editing by A Sreekar Prasad is good in parts, mundane in some. Overall he makes sure you enjoy the film and that’s what is important.

All in all, it’s a masala film. Highly entertaining in its holistic appeal. Of course it’s not the one where you leave your brains at home. It does give you a decent story with effective elements at play. Most importantly, it gives you Rajinikanth. What else do you want?

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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