Actor Rajinikanth’s second role in Darbar may be similar to that of Manikkam aka Manik Baasha from Baasha, Rajini’s 1995 film that has a cult following among fans.
Nivetha Pethuraj reportedly plays the character’s daughter in Darbar. Rajinikanth’s other role is likely to be that of an encounter specialist, with Nayanthara starring opposite him.
It was earlier reported that Rajini plays the dual role of father and son in Darbar, but the details could not be confirmed. Director AR Murugadoss and the rest of the team began shoot in Mumbai on April 10, when a first-look poster was released, confirming Rajini’s role as a cop. Daily Thanthi now reports that his second role will be similar to Manikkam, the auto driver, brother and former don from Baasha.
Incidentally, back in 2015, when speculations said that Kabali would recreate Baasha, Rajini had clarified, “All I have to say is Baasha is incomparable. There is only one Baasha, and nobody can ever recreate a film like Baasha.” This year too, before the release of Petta, it was speculated that Rajini plays an undercover cop who will remind us of Manikkam. While this turned out to be untrue, the Baasha reference in Petta was Sananth’s character who was named after Anwar, Manik Baasha’s best friend.
Darbar is Rajinikanth’s 167th film, and his first with AR Murugadoss. The spokesperson of the film has maintained that nothing concrete can be said as yet about Rajinikanth’s role.
Important action sequences have already been shot and a body double was used for the heavy-duty fight scenes where he takes on goons in Mumbai. The team wrapped up its first schedule on May 15, and will resume the next round of shoot after a week’s break in Chennai, when scenes for the encounter specialist character will be shot, according to unconfirmed reports.
Actors Dalip Tahil, Yogi Babu, Prateik Babbar, Pradeep Kabra and Jatin Sarna are part of the cast. The rest of the team comprises cinematographer Santosh Sivan, who is working on a Rajinikanth film 27 years after Thalapathy. Music is composed by Anirudh Ravichander. Sreekar Prasad is the editor, T Santhanam the art director, and Ram-Lakshman the stunt directors.
The film is being bankrolled by Lyca Productions. It is scheduled for a Pongal 2020 release.