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A R Murugadoss: “Directing Rajnikanthji Was A Long-Cherished Dream”

When   the  iconic Rajnikanth  roars into  a film directed by one of Tamil cinema’s  most formidable  names, there is  bound to be  an added  pressure.

 The very  saleable A  R Murugadoss  is  ready to release the Rajinikanth starrer  Darbar.

 The  super-modest  director says Rajnikanth  plays a role like never  before. “The  whole  idea of us  coming together  was  to create something that would satisfy his fans.  After all , he hasn’t been seen in any film for year—his last release was  during the  last Pongal.”

 Then  began  the brainstorming. “I  was  sure I wanted to do an action film with Rajini Sir. But I was also  sure I’d write something that Rajini Sir had  not done before. We decided on bringing him back as a  cop after 20  years and a really dark mean  cop. I decided  to make  it a crime  investigation  drama  with lots of unusual  fights and  action.”

Rajinikant  instantly approved of Murugadoss’ script. “But   he had  only one condition: do  not  dilute the plot just to please the audience. Rajini Sir wanted it to be  as raw and real  as possible. So he asked me  to make  a few changes in the script which I  happily did.”

Darbar  was shot completely in Mumbai.

Explains  the  director of such blockbuster as  Ramanna, Ghajini, Stalin, Thupakki and Stalin, “Rajini  Sir plays a cop in Mumbai. We shot the entire film on the streets  and other outdoor locations  of Mumbai. How did we  avoid the  crowds? We shot  in the early mornings and during weekends. It must have been tough on Rajiniji. But he is a fighter. He will never give up, no matter what.”

Murugadoss had Mumbai at his  feet after Ghajini  in  2008. Aamir Khan wanted  to work with him again, and Shah Rukh was keen . So what happened?

Laughs  the director, “Well, yes they  all wanted to work with me. But the problem was  that they already had  4-5 films on  the  floor. Rather than  wait for Bollywood A-listers  I decided  it was  best  to make  films in Tamil.And tell me , in today’s day and age, what is the  difference between a Hindi, Tamil, Telugu or Bengali film? The language  barriers have broken. People in remote villages of  Tamil Nadu watch Korean  films.”

Darbar  is dubbed  in several languages including Hindi.

Explains Murugadoss, “Every  version of Darbar is the same except that the dialogues are in a  different language. We are releasing on Thursday January 9 ahead of Pongal so that the audiences can  avail of the  festive week.I am aware there are other  big films  releasing that week,like Mahesh Babu’s new film. He’s such a  big star in Andhra.”

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