All you need to know about Rajinikanth’s Darbar shoot in South Mumbai

Here’s all the dope from the discreet SoBo shoot as Rajinikanth and Suniel film action sequence for Darbar

After repeated instances of pictures being leaked from the sets of Darbar, director AR Murugadoss has been shooting the latest sequence in Mumbai under a clampdown. Long after the hustle-bustle of the day is over, Horniman Circle lights up, ready to greet Rajinikanth. It wears a busy look — while stunt directors Ram and Laxman Chella are instructing the junior artistes about the sequence to be shot, Murugadoss is having an animated discussion with the megastar. The location is swarming with as many as 20 bouncers.

“We have been filming for the past four days. Today’s scene is crucial — it’s a car chase sequence that culminates in a face-off between Suniel Shetty and Rajinikanth,” we are told. The action thriller, also starring Nayanthara, is in its final leg of shoot, racing towards the January 15 deadline.

We try to click pictures of the set and are immediately stopped by the bouncers around. “There is a lot of pressure on us to not let any picture get out,” says one of them. Our chat is interrupted with Shetty’s entry. Dressed in a printed shirt and black denims, he walks up to a khaki uniform-sporting Rajinikanth, who has finished a quick patch shoot.

The crew starts setting up the shot as per cinematographer Santosh Sivan’s instructions, before Murugadoss bellows ‘Action’. And thus begins Thalaiva and Shetty’s high-octane sequence, with a fleet of cars — police jeeps, SUVs, a Mercedes and an Audi with Shetty in it — playing their parts. The scene is broken down into several shots, with body doubles filling in as required. Sometime post-midnight, we enquire how long they shoot every night. “Till 6 am,” says the chaiwala on set, who is only too happy to witness Thalaiva in the flesh.

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