Will Rajinikanth's Darbar exceed expectations in Hindi?

Will Rajinikanth's Darbar exceed expectations in Hindi?

While Hindi-dubbed versions of South flicks normally do not make much of an impact, Darbar might prove to be an exception and exceed expectations 'up North'.

Last year, Rajinikanth gave strong proof of his star power when Petta opened to a good response at the Tamil Nadu box office and emerged as a runaway hit. Now, 'Superstar' is back with the eagerly-awaited Darbar, slated to hit screens on January 9, 2020.

The film, helmed by mass director AR Murugadoss, will release simultaneously in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi, making it a grand affair. While Hindi-dubbed versions of South flicks normally do not make much of an impact, Darbar might prove to be an exception and exceed expectations 'up North'.

To begin with, the actioner is set in Mumbai, which might make it easier for a pan-India audience to relate to it. The flick also features Bollywood stars Sunil Shetty and Prateik Babbar in key roles, which is an added bonus.

Another factor that might work in its favour is Rajinikanth's pan-India appeal. The star's 2018 release 2.0 was a clean hit in Hindi. Similarly, Kabali too had opened well despite not being a typical 'Thalaivar' starrer. As Darbar is being promoted reasonably well, it is likely to open better than the poorly promoted Kaala and Petta.

Interestingly, 'Boss' played a cop in popular flicks such as John Jani Janardhan, Phool Bane Angaarey and Geraftaar and entertained movie buffs with his antics. As such, Darbar -- which sees him donning the khaki after 25 years -- might prove to be a nostalgia trip for Gen X fans.

The Lyca Productions-backed flick is releasing a day before Tanhaji and Chhapaak. However, Bollywood movies are unlikely to affect Darbar as they are not mass entertainers. Deepika Padukone's drama revolves around the struggles of Laxmi Agarwal, an acid attack survivor.

On the other hand, Ajay Devgn's magnum opus is a period-drama dealing with the rise of the Maratha empire. All in all, Darbar might just prove to be the proverbial dark horse and spring a surprise.

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