By the time Joshua and I rushed into the movie theater, the logo of the production house was being displayed. Joshua flashed the light from his cellular and quickly navigated us to our respective seats. No sooner than we took our seats the screen blacked out momentarily. And then came the moment which gives goose bumps to all Rajnikanth fans. The unmistakable blue dots started displaying the letters SUPERSTAR on the big screen. The background score which was immortalized in Annamalai close to three decades ago reverberated in the theater. Everyone in the theater went into frenzy. An entry which no one ever in Indian cinema [past – present – future] enjoys was on full display. I never made any attempt to hide my joy and started clapping.  Joshua, who is a die-hard fan of Rajnikanth, let go of his emotions. He was screaming his guts out and never bothered to be seated. All this frenzy evolved into a mass hysteria when DARBAR was displayed on the screen. This was the first day first show of Rajnikanth’s latest flick DARBAR and it was worth all the trouble that we had taken to watch it.

The anticipation for the movie was building up for a few weeks now. At home, we had planned to watch the movie on the weekend. We could not keep our usual date of first day viewing, owing to our daughter’s school schedule. Joshua, a friend and colleague, who had been sending me the promotions of this movie for close to a year now, called me the previous evening to join him for the first show at 7:45 AM, in a theater at some remote place in Bangalore. After some indecisiveness, I finally accepted his invite and decided to go with him. Even though we started early, we hit a major hurdle with Bangalore traffic. It was 20 minutes for the show to start and we had another 3 km to travel in the choc-o-block traffic.  Our friendly Google maps indicated that we will never reach the theater on time. Both Joshua and I did not want to miss anything of the movie, starting from the display of Rajni’s name. We ran out of patience in no time. We requested our colleague who was driving the car to meet us at the theater. We alighted from the car and without reasoning a lot, decided to run the remaining distance. Within five minutes we were gasping for breath and realized that running was futile. Joshua had the presence of mind to call a couple of his friends who were also heading to the theater, albeit on motor bikes. This is when we were dealt a fortunate hand of serendipity. Joshua’s friends were very close to the location where we gave up on our running misadventure. And as luck would have it, it was two guys each riding their own bikes! Voila! We rode pillion on each of their bikes and reached the theater in the next ten minutes. It was horrifying to see the traffic pile up all along. It was clear we could not have run the distance and it was even clearer that travelling by car would not have gotten us on time. We were just so happy and fortunate that we made it on time.

The hooting and howling subsided as the movie started. The director Murgadoss had done a good job of building up the enthusiasm before introducing the Superstar. And the introductory scene was one of the best I had seen in recent times. Rajni donning a police officer’s uniform after eons, made an entry like none another. And that is when the hysteria in the theater reached a crescendo. The Superstar of Indian cinema had made his appearance yet again, to enthrall the audience and in particular in his fans.

Darbar was a good movie, one of the best of Rajni in recent times. Like all Rajni movies, he had taken up the maximum screen time. And hence invariably, everyone else only had a cameo in the movie. The best performance in the movie was by Nivetha Thomas who acts as Rajni’s daughter. And I also felt the best moments in the movie where the ones where the father – daughter duo are together. The plot, like most of his recent movies had a heady doze of family sentiments, humor, super – hero antics, a predictable ending, peppy background score, etc. Even though it was surprising to see a director like Murgadoss kissing logic and reasoning goodbye on certain occasions, the movie was a true delight for Rajni fans.

What I liked most about the movie was that it delivered certain expectations which fans like me have now gotten used to. Like most of his movies in recent years there was no vulgarity; no obscenity; the ladies were adequately dressed; there were no item numbers; no profanity in dialogues; he did not caress his lady love… I doubt if he even touched her; he never smoked; he never drank liquor; the list can go on. In short, there was nothing whatsoever which can make one uncomfortable watching the move with one’s children or parents. Given that he is 70 years old now [OMG… that is the same age as my dad], understandably his dance moves and fight sequences were tad limited. Even without any of these so called USP’s which other movies and stars rely upon, he managed to entertain the crowd like none another. Not to mention that the movie is ringing the cash registers worldwide. His stardom beats one’s imagination. I doubt there will be anyone in Indian cinema capable of pulling off such feats so consistently. Superstar ROCKS!!!

We had a lot to discuss about the movie on the way back to office and at office. Joshua wanted to see the movie at least five times. Over the weekend, I watched the movie a second time with my family, parents and in-laws included. And now the wait begins for the next movie, which I hear is towards Diwali this year.

Until then… it is Chumma Kizhi!!!