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Rajini is a visionary, says AR Murugadoss

Ahead of Darbar’s release on January 10, director AR Murugadoss meets us for a chat about the film and reveals why he wanted to make a cop thriller with Superstar Rajinikanth.

Rajini is a visionary, says AR Murugadoss


Director AR Murugadoss is as excited as any other Thalaivar Rajini fan as he arrives at the office of Lyca Productions to talk about his directorial Darbar. “There were many fanboy moments on the sets of the film with Rajini sir. Every time he got down from the caravan for the shot, I would be awestruck by his charisma and the energy he has. Once he is front of the camera and enacts the dialogues I had written for him, it doesn’t get better than that,” begins Murugadoss. The director says that the film wasn’t intentionally made or titled Darbar to boost Rajini’s political image. “Though Darbar means a king’s courtyard, the issues spoken about in the film will have nothing do with his political entry. Like how MGR’s Ulagam Suttrum Valiban unintentionally bolstered his image as a politician, even though it didn’t intend to, likewise, Darbar could do the same to Rajini sir as well. One thing I can say is that, he is a visionary and he has a few plans for welfare of people,” he tells us.

Darbar will have Rajinikanth playing a cop, 27 years after Pandiyan. Murugadoss clarifies on why he chose to cast Superstar in the role. “If you take a look at his films from 90s and early 2000, the storylines of his films revolve around how he loses his properties, bounces back and recovers it. I didn’t want to repeat it. When Thanu (Kalaippuli S Thanu) and I discussed portraying Rajini sir in a different light, we said why not a cop as it has been a while since he played one. He liked it too and that is how the film took off,” says the Kaththi director. Superstar’s look from the film was one of the most discussed topics by movie buffs ever since the teaser released. Some even asked about a cop sporting a beard and unruly hair. “In Tamil cinema, those days, people who had a hefty physique were cast as cop. Of late, actors who look fit are tailor-made for police roles. So, when we designed the look, there were a few hairstyles we tried for him before we zeroed in on this one. Moreover, there are cops who grow beards. It could be a religious reason or a medical reason for which they have to submit a proof to their department. There is a scene in the film that talks about it,” he reveals.

Murugadoss laughs when we ask him about the leaked pictures and videos from the sets, which left him miffed. “To control the crowd was a huge task. I confiscated everybody’s phone as we started the shoot and gave it to them only by the end of the day. However, when we had the photoshoot in Mumbai, I saw a couple of boys standing on top of a boulder and clicking pictures. The next day, I was shocked to see that they had leaked the pictures. I cannot help it when outsiders click pictures. Moreover, Darbar requires live locations and that is why I chose Mumbai. Working in Thuppaki gave me the confidence to shoot the film in that city,” he reveals.

Nayanthara’s role in the film will have its prominence in the film according to Murugadoss. “We needed a heroine who could perform and is a crowd puller. I couldn’t think of anyone else,” he says. Talking about the remuneration issue that the actress raised during the final leg of Darbar shoot, he says, “I have a tremendous respect for her personally and I wouldn’t be comfortable talking about it,” he concluides.

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