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.”