"I started miscalculating"... AR Murugadoss opens up about the reasons behind Spyder and Darbar’s failure

(This article is authored by Alar)

Director AR Murugadoss, who is known for his blockbuster films like Ghajini, Thuppakki and Kaththi, has been lying low after his last two big-budget ventures, Spyder and Darbar, failed to impress the audience and critics alike. In a candid interview with Galatta Plus, he revealed what went wrong with these two films and how he learned from his mistakes.

Spyder, which starred Mahesh Babu and SJ Suryah in the lead roles, was a bilingual spy thriller that released in 2017. Murugadoss said that he had a pan-Indian concept in mind, but he miscalculated the expectations of the Tamil and Telugu audience. He said, "I calculated that the Tamil audience would watch the film for SJ Suryah, and the Telugu audience will watch it for Mahesh Babu,"

"Since I couldn’t project Mahesh Babu as a huge commercial hero in Tamil, I made his role a bit subtle. However, this resulted in severe backlash in Telugu as they thought that a Tamil director had downplayed a Superstar like Mahesh Babu and elevated SJ Suryah because he is his friend. However, I have put the same effort into films that worked and the one that turned out to be average."

Darbar, which featured Rajinikanth and Nayanthara in the lead roles, was a cop action drama that was released in 2020. Murugadoss said that he was under immense pressure to complete the film in a short period as Rajinikanth was planning to enter politics after that. He said that he did not plan the project well and did not have enough time to work on the details like set design, location scouting, and make-up. "About Darbar, I started miscalculating that the art of filmmaking and screenwriting are coming very easily for me,"

He continued, "However talented one might be, if he doesn’t plan a project well, it won’t work. You need enough time to plan everything from the set to locations to make-up to make a film believable. Aamir Khan once told me, ‘I will tell you a secret. If someone announces the release date of a film even before starting the shoot, there is a 50 percent chance that the film is already a flop. Start a film and see if it is coming out the way you wanted it to. See the rushes and once about 80 percent of the film is done, then lock the release date.’ I realized that (after Darbar)."

Renowned filmmaker AR Murugadoss has made a resolute decision to prioritize his vision over any other factor when it comes to his films. Whether it be accommodating the dates of a big star or succumbing to the lure of money, the filmmaker is determined to stay true to his artistic vision, no matter what.

Currently, Murugadoss is busy promoting his upcoming production venture titled 'August 16 1947'. Directed by NS Ponkumar and starring Gautham Karthik in the lead role. Meanwhile, it also confirmed that he is working on a new film with Sivakarthikeyan, which will go on floors later this year.