Darbar (transl. Court) is a 2020 Indian Tamil-language action thriller film written and directed by A. R. Murugadoss, and produced by Allirajah Subaskaran under the banner of Lyca Productions. The film stars Rajinikanth, Nayanthara, Nivetha Thomas, and Sunil Shetty. The music for the film composed by Anirudh Ravichander while cinematography and editing are performed by Santhosh Sivan and Sreekar Prasad, respectively. The film was released in India on 9 January 2020, coinciding with Thai Pongal.

Darbar release poster.jpg
Darbar Poster
Directed byAR Murugadoss
Produced byAllirajah Subaskaran
Screenplay byAR Murugadoss
Music byAnirudh Ravichander
CinematographySantosh Sivan
Edited byA. Sreekar Prasad
Distributed byLyca Productions
Release date
Running time
150 minutes[1]
Budget200 crore[2]
Box officeest. 200 crore[3][4][5]


The film opens with Aadithya Arunachalam, Commissioner of Mumbai Police killing gangsters in Mumbai using encounters.

In a flashback, Aadithya arrives in Mumbai with his only daughter Valli to become Commissioner of Police. He cleans up drugs and trafficking using the situation of the kidnapped minister's daughter as a catalyst. During the mission, he comes to know about drug supplier Ajay Malhotra, son of industrialist Vinod Malhotra and apprehends him.

When Aadithya goes to prison to meet Ajay, he is shocked to see that a proxy is in prison and not Ajay. Aadithya asks Indian government commission to investigate this and the corrupt officials declare the proxy is Ajay and there was no error. Aadithya comes to know that Ajay is in Thailand and gets Thai police to arrest him along with his fake passport. Since govt already declared Ajay is in jail they are forced to declare the person in Thailand as different person. Aadithya uses this loophole and shoots Ajay's proxy in jail and announces that his body will be shown to public. This forces corrupt officials to actually kill Ajay to save face and replace original Ajay's body instead of the proxy killed by Aadithya. At Ajay's funeral Vinod Malhotra reveals that Ajay is not his child. Ajay is the real son of Hari Chopra, a notorious International drug lord.

Hari comes to know of his son's death and enters India and kills Vinod. He also attacks unsuspecting Aadithya and his daughter. While Aadithya survives, his daughter dies of internal bleeding, causing Aadithya to turn extremely violent and begin his rampage of slaying criminals mercilessly.

Aadithya wants revenge but Vinod is already dead. He sees the clip Valli recorded for him before she died and learns there is a third person behind all this.

Aadithya comes to know about that Hariharan "Hari" Chopra & his link to Vinod & Ajay. Aadithya manages to kill Hariharan Chopra in the same police station which was set ablaze by him 27 years ago that killed many police officers, thus avenging his daughter's death and instilling peace in Mumbai.



"Every one of us grew up with [Mr. Rajini] and even professionally, he just has a different vibe. Whenever you see Rajini on-screen doesn’t it remind you of your childhood? I made this movie and wrote the script as a fan, how I enjoyed him on-screen. I didn’t put the same sequences but with an updated concept. He plays a heroic cop from Mumbai. We even have a similar sequence in the film like the one that took place in the recent Hyderabad vet rape case. I had written a similar sequence in the film where the criminal is punished in the same place he committed the crime. We were surprised to see something like that happen in reality."
— AR Murugadoss about Darbar and Rajinikanth to Times of India[7]

Production of the film began with the working title Thalaivar 167. Lyca Productions announced that they would collaborate with Rajinikanth again after their previous collaboration 2.0 with A. R. Murugadoss directing the film. Principal photography began on 10 April 2019 in Mumbai.[8] Filming began on 8th April 2019, with a first look poster released by Lyca Productions on Twitter and Facebook the same day.[9][10] The first look of Rajinikanth had him surrounded by police dogs, belts, badges and handcuffs.[11]

It was earlier reported that Bollywood actor Prateik Babbar was the main antagonist in Darbar. However, later reports showed that Sunil Shetty was cast as the lead antagonist. Sunil Shetty agreed to play the antagonist despite decling previous offers to play the antagonist in other Tamil films.[12] Murgadoss approached Shetty while he was filming for Marakkar for which Shetty grew his hair long.[13] Murgadoss wanted to do something special with Shetty's long hair. Shetty showed Murgadoss the look of his man bun, which was ultimately used for the film.[14][15][16] Shetty returns to Tamil cinema after his debut film, 12B.[17] In a 2019 interview, Shetty revealed how Darbar is his first "meaty" role in Tamil cinema.[18]

The director further wrote that this action thriller is Rajinikanth's 167th film. Rajinikanth has taken up the role of a cop after almost 27 years, his last police role being the 1992 film Pandiyan.[19]. A.R. Murugadoss also stressed on the fact that Darbar is not a political film, "Darbar is a thrilling commercial mass entertainer. I repeat it's not a political film. It is a film about a tough cop like Alex Pandiyan," added the director.[20]


Soundtrack album by
Released27 November 2019 (single)
7 December 2019 (full album)
StudioAlbuquerque Records, Chennai
New Edge Studios, Mumbai
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LanguageTamil, Telugu, Hindi, Malayalam
ProducerAnirudh Ravichander
Anirudh Ravichander chronology
Gang Leader
Indian 2
Singles from Darbar
  1. "Chumma Kizhi"
    Released: 27 November 2019

The film's soundtrack and score was composed by Anirudh Ravichander, marking his second collaboration with actor Rajinikanth after Petta and also with director A. R. Murugadoss after Kaththi. An instrumental theme song for the film titled "Thalaivar Theme", that accompanies with the motion poster was released on 7 November 2019, the same day that the motion poster was released.

While the album would be released under Rubax audio label with Divo as their digital partner, the rights to stream the album were secured by Gaana through their online music streaming platform.

The film's first single, "Chumma Kizhi", with lyrics by Vivek and sung by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, was released on 27 November 2019.[21]

The film's album was launched on 7 December 2019 at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium, Chennai.[22] The full album was simultaneously made available to stream via Gaana's online music streaming platform, on the same day itself.[23]


1."Thalaivar Theme" Instrumental0:44
2."Chumma Kizhi"VivekS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Anirudh Ravichander, Rajinikanth (voice-over)3:51
3."Thani Vazhi"Yogi B, Senthuzhan, SyanAnirudh Ravichander, Shakthisree Gopalan, Yogi B (rap portion)3:27
4."Dumm Dumm"VivekNakash Aziz4:33
5."Tharam Maara Single"VivekAnirudh Ravichander, Arjun Chandy3:49
6."Villain Theme" Instrumental1:06
7."Kannula Thimiru"Arunraja Kamaraj, Ku. KarthikChandramukhi, Rachana, Priya Murthi3:15


1."Thalaivar Theme" Instrumental0:43
2."Dhummu Dholi"Anantha SriramS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Rajinikanth (voice-over)3:51
3."Pratyeka Margam"Rakendu Mouli, Yogi BAnirudh Ravichander, Yogi B (Rap Version), M. M. Manasi3:27
4."Dumm Dumm"Anantha SriramAnurag Kulkarni, Nakash Aziz, Vedala Hemachandra4:33
5."Nanytalo Marpu Single"Anantha SriramNakul Abhyankar, Anirudh Ravichander, Inno Genga, L. V. Revanth3:49
6."Villain Theme" Instrumental1:06


1."Thalaivar Theme" Instrumental0:43
2."Napde Killi"Raqueeb AlamNakash Aziz3:49
3."Thalaiva In Charge"Raqueeb AlamRaftaar, Yogi B (Rap Version), Bhoomi Trivedi, Shakthisree Gopalan3:27
4."Dumm Dumm"Raqueeb AlamNakash Aziz4:33
5."Dil Toh Cute Hai"Raqueeb AlamArmaan Malik3:49
6."Villain Theme" Instrumental1:06


1."Thalaivar Theme" Instrumental0:43
2."Kaliyakunnu"Rafeeq AhamedVijay Yesudas, Rajinikanth (voice-over)3:49
3."Pratyeka Valli"Rafeeq AhamedUnni Menon, Yogi B (Rap Version), Shashaa Tirupati3:27
4."Dumm Dumm"Rafeeq AhamedM. G. Sreekumar4:33
5."Gunanilavarattilekk Maruka Single"Rafeeq AhamedVijay Prakash, Shankar Mahadevan3:49
6."Villain Theme" Instrumental1:06


The first look poster, announcing the film's title was released on 9 April 2019, through the official Twitter handle of the production house. The poster was decked up with police instruments and equipment, with the punchline, "You decide whether you want me to be good, bad or worse."[9] The poster was decked up with police instruments and equipment.[24] The second look posters starring Superstar Rajinikanth with two different shades were released by the director AR Murugadoss by his official twitter handle for the fans art.[25] Another poster was released as a Diwali special on 26 October 2019.[26] Rajinikanth's character was revealed to be Aaditya Arunachalam, which is a combination of Murugadoss's son and father's respective names.[27]

The motion poster along with the theme music, was released on 7 November 2019, by Kamal Hassan, Mahesh Babu, Mohanlal and Salman Khan in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi respectively.[28] The first look of Sunil Shetty with salt and pepper hair tied back into a man bun was released in December of 2019.[29]

Speaking to The Hindu, R. Kannan, COO, Lyca Productions said, "The film will release in 7,000 screens across the world. We are planning to release it in a few islands to reach out to the maximum number of people". Mr. Kannan said that around 15 brands such as SpiceJet, Cadbury’s, BookMyShow and Airtel have tied up with the film. "We are spending ₹7-8 crore to promote the film. The marketing investment for this film is one of the highest in Tamil cinema,” he said, adding that the trade is expecting a super hit.[30] The movie promotion began when SpiceJet airlines unveiled Darbar Rajini livery on its flights. The outside branding on the aircraft bearing an image of Rajinikanth in police uniform from the movie Darbar was displayed.[31] A few years ago, producer Kalaipuli S. Thanu, managed to get the decals of Rajinikanth printed on an Air Asia flight. Now, Rajinikanth has become the only Indian actor to get two aircraft with his pictures on it.[32]


The film had its worldwide release in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi on 9 January 2020, coinciding with the season of Thai Pongal.[10][33]


Critical responseEdit

Behindwoods wrote "Rajini's Darbar has the substance perfectly laced with Superstar's style and mass".[34] Firstpost wrote "Yet another ode to superstar Rajinikanth and a celebratory film for his fans".[35] NDTV wrote "Darbar is targeted fair and square at Rajinikanth fans, but it does nothing to give masala cinema a fresh shot of energy".[36]

Neeshita Nyayapati from Times of India wrote "Rajinikanth and Nivetha Thomas let it rip in this one and Murugadoss makes the best use of it."[37] A Mumbai-based critic from mid-day.com noted "Darbar disposes notions of subtlety to present a film that celebrates the loud and the kitschy".[38]

Box officeEdit


The film reportedly minted Rs 18 crore in Tamil Nadu alone on its first day.[39] and it has approximately grossed over Rs 85 crore in Tamil Nadu.[40] Chennai city has been particularly good for Darbar, where it grossed Rs 14.67 crore[41]. while in Kerala and Karnataka it has collected Rs 8 crore and Rs 19 crore respectively. It has collected around Rs 20 crore from Telugu states and around Rs 8 crore from the Hindi version.[42] The film has grossed ₹135 crore in domestic box office in 11 days.[43]


Darbar has grossed over 200 crore worldwide in 11 days since its release.[44][45] The film grossed $400,000 (USD) on its opening day in the United States.[46] Just over the opening weekend, Darbar has comfortably raked in $1 million (7.09 crore) in the US.[47] Till 19 Jan 2020, The film crossed $1.6 million (11.36 crore) in the US.[48] Darbar has collected approximately 70 crore in overseas market in 11 days.[49]


Darbar has two scenes where characters speak of prison inmates being allowed to go out and shop. The dialogues are not mouthed by Rajinikanth in either scene, though the actor is present in the shot in the movie. Lyca Productions announced that it will be removing controversial dialogues in the film, deemed to be a reference to V. K. Sasikala, the jailed aide of former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa. Lyca Productions released a statement on Twitter that read: “In Darbar, particular words and dialogues having references to prisoners or inmates going out of jail or prison during their imprisonment was only included with an intention of providing entertainment to the audience and not intended to refer to any specific individual or to offend anyone. However, since some of those words seemed to have hurt some people, we have hereby decided to remove the same from the film."[50] Talking about the same, Sam Daniel from NDTV wrote, "Fans watching superstar Rajinikanth's Darbar will miss his dialogues on irregularities inside prisons which many felt were a tacit dig at jailed Sasikala Natarajan, close friend of late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa".[51]


  1. ^ "Darbar (2019)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved 4 January 2020.
  2. ^ "'Darbar' box office collection: Rajinikanth starrer mints Rs 150 crore worldwide in first weekend". Times Of India. 13 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Darbar enters Rs 200 crore club, fifth Rajinikanth film to achieve feat". hindustantimes. 21 January 2020.
  4. ^ "'Darbar' box office collection: Superstar Rajinikanth's starrer enters 200 crore club in 11 days". timesofindia. 22 January 2020.
  5. ^ "Darbar becomes Rajinikanth's fifth film to hit Rs 200 cr". firstpost. 22 January 2020.
  6. ^ "'He's MY appa, Aaditya Arunachalam': Nivetha Thomas on playing Rajinikanth's daughter in 'Darbar'". The New Indian Express. 18 October 2019. Archived from the original on 23 October 2019. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  7. ^ "AR Murugadoss talks about 'Darbar', Rajinikanth and more - Times of India". The Times of India.
  8. ^ "Rajinikanth starts Darbar shoot in Mumbai". The Indian Express. 10 April 2019. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Rajinikanth's 'Darbar' first look poster out!". www.filmsbit.com. Filmsbit News Network. Archived from the original on 2 May 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  10. ^ a b "The title and first look of #Thalaivar167 released!". Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  11. ^ "Rajinikanth starts shooting for his much awaited film Darbar in Mumbai". Pinkvilla. 11 April 2019. Retrieved 11 April 2019.
  12. ^ Sharanya CR (28 February 2018). "I'm in cinema because of Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan: Suniel Shetty". Times of India.
  13. ^ K Janani (23 May 2019). "Darbar update: Not Prateik Babbar, Suniel Shetty is main villain in new Rajinikanth film - Movies News". Indiatoday.in. Archived from the original on 4 September 2019. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
  14. ^ "Exclusive! Suniel Shetty on his man bun for 'Darbar': I am one of the few heroes with hair left on my head! - Times of India". The Times of India.
  15. ^ "'I deliberately did not reveal Darbar's plot in the trailer' - Times of India". The Times of India.
  16. ^ World, Republic. "Suniel Shetty talks about his look from Darbar, says he is proud of his hair". Republic World.
  17. ^ "Why 'Darbar' is a big deal for Rajinikanth fans". gulfnews.com.
  18. ^ "DARBAR Climax Fight Scene Making - Suniel Shetty Reveals Unheard Secrets! SUPER EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW" – via www.youtube.com.
  19. ^ "Rajini's 'Darbar' releases to a full house". Deccan Herald. 9 January 2020.
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  21. ^ "Superstar Rajinikanth AR Murugadoss and Anirudh's Chumma Kizhi from Darbar sung by SPB out". behindwoods.com. 27 November 2019., followed by it's respective version in Telugu and Hindi.
  22. ^ "ARM directed Thalaivar Rajinikanth's Darbar Audio launch on 7 December Details here". behindwoods.com. 5 December 2019. Archived from the original on 5 December 2019. Retrieved 5 December 2019.
  23. ^ @divomovies (8 December 2019). "Listen to the full album of #Darbar exclusively on @gaana" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  24. ^ "Rajinikanth starrer Darbar poster released, Tamil superstar to play a cop after 25 years". www.businesstoday.in.
  25. ^ "New motion poster of Rajinikanth's 'Darbar' is out - Times of India". The Times of India.
  26. ^ "Darbar new poster: Rajnikanth's stylish look is a Diwali gift for fans". 27 October 2019.
  27. ^ "Rajinikanth is Aaditya Arunachalam in 'Darbar'". 17 October 2019 – via www.thehindu.com.
  28. ^ "Mahesh Babu joins the league of superstars to release Darbar motion poster - Times of India". The Times of India.
  29. ^ "Suniel Shetty's baddie avatar for Rajinikanth's Darbar has all our attention, see first look". India TV News. 11 December 2019.
  30. ^ "Rajini's Darbar to release in 4,000 screens across India". The Hindu.
  31. ^ "Crazy Marketing Strategy Of Rajnikanth's Darbar Is Catching Attention". marketingmind.in.
  32. ^ "After Kabali, Rajinikanth gets Darbar-themed aircraft ahead of film's release". India Today.
  33. ^ "தர்பார் படத்தின் ஃபஸ்ட் லுக் போஸ்டர் - இதையெல்லாம் கவனித்தீர்களா?". Archived from the original on 9 April 2019. Retrieved 9 April 2019.
  34. ^ "Darbar (aka) Dharbar review". Behindwoods. 9 January 2020.
  35. ^ "Darbar movie review: Yet another ode to superstar Rajinikanth and a celebratory film for his fans - Entertainment News, Firstpost". Firstpost. 9 January 2020.
  36. ^ "Darbar Movie Review: The Film Is Disappointing, Rajinikanth Isn't". NDTV.com.
  37. ^ "Darbar Movie Review : A celebration of all things Rajinikanth". TimesofIndia. 9 January 2020.
  38. ^ "Darbar Movie Review: Got Rajini Written All Over It". mid-day.com. 10 January 2020.
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  40. ^ Upadhyaya, Prakash (28 January 2020). "After Vijay's Bigil, Amazon Prime acquires Rajinikanth's Darbar". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 29 January 2020.
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  46. ^ "'Darbar' USA Box Office: Rajinikanth's film sets a new record on a working day - Times of India". The Times of India.
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  50. ^ "Controversial scenes to be removed from Rajini's Darbar". The Hindu.
  51. ^ "Rajinikanth's "Darbar" To Remove Tacit Reference To Sasikala In Jail". NDTV.

External linksEdit