Tughlaq Durbar: A Fun Political Satire

Delhi Prasad Deenadayalan’s Tughlaq Durbar is an interesting political satire which looks at what if our politicians had a conscience and it stopped them from doing something wrong. It is this twist which makes Tughlaq Durbar different from other ones of this genre. The debut director is in control for most part in the way he handles the subject, it also helps that Vijay Sethupati is in good form after some indifferent performances in Uppena and the recently released anthology Navarasa.

Vijay Sethupati plays Singaravelan aka Singam. He aspires to be the next counsellor of his area. Singam is born during a political rally and he grows up thinking that he’s destined to be a politician. He does everything in his power to win the trust of Rayappan (Parthiban). Singam slowly rises in the ranks of the party and goes on to become the trusted aide of Rayappan. The twist comes in when Singam has an unfortunate accident which leaves him with an unusual condition. Singam starts experiencing events where his conscience takes control, as a result he is not able to do anything wrong. As the story progresses we see him Singam fighting with his split personality and struggling to take control of his life. What makes Tughlaq Durbar work is how the director uses the theme of the dual personalities in Singam. He uses this theme to look at the inner battle of Singam and how Singam eventually grows a conscience. Politics here isn’t that important. Another good thing is that it doesn’t use Singam’s condition to mock him or have easy laughs out of it.

Parthiban as Rayappan is another character that makes Tughlaq Durbar an entertaining watch. The scenes between Vijay Sethupati and him are a major highlight of Tughlaq Durbar.

Out of the subplots the track of Singam’s friend Vasu (Karunakaran) works well. The friendship between these two comes as natural on screen.

Lastly Sathyraj’s cameo towards the end is well placed. Satyaraj’s cameo helps the film to end on a high.

What would have made the film better though is the treatment of the female characters. Rashi Khanna as Kamatchi is just there for sake of it. The love story could have been far better etched; however one good thing about the love story is that Kamatchi doesn’t return back to Singam just because he develops a conscience. The sister played by Manjimma Mohan also had the potential to be better. She is mostly there to ponder on what the hell is going on.

Watch Tuglaq Durbar for the duo of Vijay Sethupati and Parthiban.

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