Shoojit Sircar who shot to fame with his earlier projects Yahaan and Vicky Donor returns for his third outing wielding the megaphone – Madras Cafe. With John Abraham and Nargis Fakhri in the lead, Madras Cafe has music and BGM by Shantanu Moitra.
Madras Cafe is the array of events leading to the assassination of an ex-PM, and its connections with the LTTE.
Starting off in Sri Lanka, the movie explains every bit of the incident and the happenings leading to it. With John Abraham introducing himself as the brave army man Vikram, and Nargis Fakhri as a journalist, we are presented with a number of characters, notably Sidhartha Basu and Ajay Ratnam. Even though the movie traverses on a slow note, Shoojit manages to keep you pinned with some well made scenes for the brain, and well-shot ones for the brawn. The pre-climax and climax portions are smartly etched.
One of the major drawbacks of Madras Cafe would be its casting. Even though he tries hard, John Abraham cannot act! However, his performance in this film takes the upper hand over what we have seen so far. Nargis Fakhri is a misfit, one puts up the question as to why all her dialogues in the movie are in English, when her character is named Jaya Sahni. Ajay Ratnam does garner some attention as Anna, while the rest of the cast are just about fine.
Cinematography by Kamaljeet Negi is commendable, he strikes gold in the action scenes. Editing too, is crisp.
Shantanu Moitra’s BGM is one of the first bullets in the gun. His classy background score elevates the film to another level. The song at the end is a highlight too.
Kudos to Shoojit Sircar to come out all guns blazing, and bring out the inside story to the world. He has neatly packed in an interesting story with a real life incident which created waves. Full marks to his direction where he has pulled the switches at the right places. This is one of the most serious movies you’ll see, with absolutely no room for a laugh.
Madras Cafe is surely not the Zero Dark Thirty of India, or even an Argo. But what it does offer is two hours of dedicated cinema, which is devoid of clichés, songs, over-actions and Bollywood’s masala. Hindi Cinema rarely comes out with these kinds of offerings, so make sure you catch it before it runs out of reach.
Verdict : Probably the best political thriller in a long time. A superb effort, leading to a memorable end product.
4 / 5