Tughlaq Durbar movie review: Vijay Sethupathi’s film is a largely entertaining political comedy with a wacky twist
- Tughlaq Durbar movie review: Vijay Sethupathi’s recent performances have been indistinguishable, but in this film, he delivers one his best in recent years.
Director - Delhi Prasad Deenadayalan
Cast - Vijay Sethupathi, Parthiban, Raashi Khanna, Manjima Mohan, Sathyaraj
It’s raining films for Vijay Sethupathi, who has as many as half-a-dozen releases in the coming months. Last seen as the antagonist in Tamil film Master, Vijay Sethupathi plays an aspiring politician who’d do anything to get a party seat in Tughlaq Durbar, a largely predictable but entertaining political comedy with a twist that'll leave you in splits. Debutant director Delhi Prasad Deenadayalan turns the generic political satire template on its head with a quirky subplot.
What if our politicians had a conscience and it stopped them from doing anything wrong? Vijay Sethupathi plays Singaravelan, aka Singam, who aspires to be the next councillor of his area. Born during a political rally, Singam grows up thinking he’s destined to be a politician, and he does everything in his power to win the trust of Rayappan (Parthiban), a local politician. As Singam slowly makes his way up the party ranks and goes on to become Rayappan’s close aide, one unfortunate accident leaves him with an unusual condition. Singam starts experiencing events where his conscience takes control, leaving him unable to do anything wrong. As the story progresses, Singam fights with himself to take control of his life and fulfil his political ambitions.
Watch the Tughlaq Durbar trailer here:
Without making a straight-out political comedy about corrupt politicians, director Deenadayalan gives a very interesting spin to the ‘do the right thing’ philosophy. The idea of dual personalities puts a wacky spin on an otherwise tried-and-tested political satire template. It’s the story of a man (who eventually grows a conscience) engaged in an inner battle with himself. It merely uses politics as a backdrop to question the morality of a man who’s just been voted to serve the people. The film never mocks Singam's condition or derives laughs from it. It just uses it as a catalyst for the him to understand what he’s doing is wrong.
Vijay Sethupathi is such a prolific actor that most of his performances have gotten repetitive. Thankfully, his performance in Tughlaq Durbar is easily one of his best in recent times. Parthiban, as the corrupt political leader, is another character that really makes Tughlaq Durbar a highly entertaining watch. Scenes between Parthiban and Vijay Sethupathi are hilarious, and they're unarguably one of the best on-screen pairs in Tamil cinema in recent years.
Tughlaq Durbar pays a fitting tribute to Tamil political comedy Amaidhi Padai in the climax. Veteran actor Sathyaraj returns to play his highly popular character from that film, and his scenes with Vijay Sethupathi help the movie end on a high. With a very promising core idea, the film could’ve been a lot more ambitious, but it settles for less. Nevertheless, Tughlaq Durbar largely entertains with a fun twist on familiar tropes and some highly memorable performances.