When the iconic Rajinikanth signs a film directed by one of Tamil cinema’s most formidable names like A.R. Murugadoss, there is bound to be pressure.
With Darbar up for release soon, the modest director says Rajini 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 he 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,” the filmmaker adds.
As for convincing him to do the film, Murugadoss says Rajinikanth instantly approved. “He had only one condition: Do not dilute the plot just to please the audience. He 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,” smiles the director, who shot the entire film 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. We shot in the early mornings and during weekends to avoid the crowd. It must have been tough on Rajiniji, but he is a fighter. He will never give up, no matter what.”
If one recalls, Murugadoss had Bollywood at his feet after Ghajini in 2008. Aamir Khan wanted to work with him again, and Shah Rukh was keen as well, but nothing materialised. “The problem was that they already had four or five films on the floor,” he says. “Rather than wait for Bollywood A-listers, I decided it was best to make films in Tamil. 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,” he asserts in conclusion....