Darbar (2020) is an all-out Rajni’s cop film. Throughout the film, Superstar is stylish and his energy level is infectious. Director Murugadoss has given a new year treat to Rajni fans. Beyond that, there is nothing good to be told about the film.
The film starts with Aadhithya Arunachalam (Rajinikanth), a supercop, being sent to Mumbai by India’s home minister to rid the city of its drugs and child trafficking. How come Delhi appoint a city’s police commissioner? Maybe, it is an indication to the viewers that the screenplay will be devoid of any logic. The first case of a deputy chief minister’s daughter kidnapping is solved by Aadhithya with clues that are simplistic, to say the least. Using this case as an excuse, the new commissioner cleans up the whole city in a few days; which in commercial Indian cinema is shown to be about arresting boatloads of women prostitutes and their pimps, Darbar too does the same. Is immorality the only crime in a megacity?
In Petta (2019), the love sequence between Rajni and Simran comes out poetic and charming, a contrast to what happens in Darbar. Here, a 50-year-old police commissioner who is on an important assignment, having a 25-year-old daughter is seen stalking a lady in her 30s. Adding to the offensive behaviour, the hero honks his car horn to draw the attention of the lady in public road. It is 2020, and I am bemused why do our heroes are the shy ones, and heroines being asked to make the first move? Anirudh Ravichander has given a hit with the theme song, but the other songs were dull.
Darbar is an age-old story of a fugitive don vs police that’s told in an uninspiring fashion! I tried my best but I was unable to feel any emotion for the hero or against the villain even in the climax.