"Darr" is the story of three characters placed in a triangle, yet in a radically different mode from the earlier triangle films. Sunny Deol is a naval officer whose romantic involvement with a college student (Juhi Chawla) is disrupted by the third character in the film, Shahrukh Khan, whose obsession with Juhi is the driving force of the narrative of "Darr". The film opens with the setting of a hill station with the female protagonist Juhi Chwala reading reading a letter from Sunny. As it starts raining, Juhi is forced to run for shelter. As she starts untying her dress, the spectator's look overlaps with the look of an unknown voyeur/psychotic . The overlapping point of view also draws attention to the changing look of the camera, a look that may want to interpellate the audience in its gaze, to implicate the desire of the spectator with that of the voyeur. As a strategy used in the opening section of the film and some other instances in the film, "Darr" evokes a narrative of "interiority" that identifies quite clearly with psychotic gaze, implicating the spectator as a "desiring machine" As Javed Akhtar says " We respect freedom, there is an evil in all of us, there is a saddist hidden in each one of us, but our morality has imprisoned it and when we see somebody whose evil has broken all the moral norms and now he is a complete person in himself, even in his ill doing, we admire that person because he is a law unto himself, he is a morality in himself. We respect that power. We don't want to imitate him but that power fascinates us".
As the title of the film itself reveals, the fear of the unknown face, an unexpainable anxiety is what marks the story and cinematic construction of "Darr". The voice / body/dichotomy is also deployed interestingly through the use of telephonic conversations and the psychotic's recorded voice on a tape-recorder. The other chracters trying to look for the psychotic cannot connect the voice of the body. The voice/body split occurs at another very interesting moment, where Juhi fixes a meeting with Shaharukh on the phone in an effort to nab him, while Sunny Deol is waiting, looking down from a building Shaharukh is shown sitting in a chair talking to Juhi--in his imagination. We onle hear his voice, but do not see his lips moving.
The disembodied voice of Shahrukh in "Darr" seems to question the unity of the speakinf "self", a profound turning-point in the representation of the "angry man". The stuttering speech and stammer deployed by Sharukh, the madness in his acting style, are also evocative of the nervous, uncontrolled " self'.
" Darr" underlines a recurring theme in the psychotic films----the inability to name evil. Sunny Deol is established as a dedicated soldier fighting terrorists. With neither location nor time revealed, the patriotism of Deol is evoked in abstarct terms. In an amazing departure from earlier depictions of patriotic zeal. In the long run, the pilot of tormentations comes to light and in an encounter the psychotic villain has to pay. The screen-play is tight-scripted to arrest the audience. The art of story-telling is smart. All the same, Sharukh Khan has stolen the show. Deol and Chawla have done justice to their roles. The music is brilliantly composed