Cast: John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri, Prakash Belawade, Siddhartha Basu, Ajay Rathnam, Raashi Khanna
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Censor Certificate: U/A
Runtime: 130 Minutes
After all the mindless applesauces from few months in Tollywood, which tortured the true cinegoers. Luckily there were few genuine films from Bollywood like B.A. Pass, D Day and now the order continues with Madras Café.
Madras Café is a sigh of relief for Telugu audience after watching a dozen flops from past couple of weeks. After fine Yahaan (2005) and a stalled project with Big B titled Shoebite. Shoojit Sircar returned with a path breaking film Vicky Donor (2012) made on bold sperm donation concept with loads of entertainment values. After such a success Shoojit comes up with spy-thriller “Madras Cafe” which is indeed a bold step from a budding director.
Madras Café set up in Sri Lanka during its darkest years and comments on Indian role in strategy of things. Taking a spy thriller based on true events never an easy thing, certainly few things have been changed seeing the seriousness of the issue, like; Prime Minister is never named, Velupillai Prabhakaran becomes Anna Bhaskaran and Sri Lankan LTTE turns LTF for the movie.
Vikram Singh (John) is deployed for covert operations in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. After India signing peace accord with Sri Lanka in mid 1980’s, India carried this mission as their mission to help the neighbouring country and assuage the people from cultural discord between the Sinhalese and Tamilains. To catch the LTF leader Anna, Vikram starts teaming up with Anna’s opponents in the starting. Due to leaked information Anna escapes Vikram’s plans and gets kidnapped by his forces.
Now resolute Vikram teams up with Anna’s own team and lurks his army. However Anna survives the bloodbath and returns with more powerful by eradicating Indian forces from Jaffna and plotting to kill the former Prime Minister fearing of his return to power. Will Vikram be able to convince his superiors about the threat and save the life of hundreds? Or is it already too late to act?
A courageous step from John Abraham as actor and one of the producers for this movie. John Abraham puts all his efforts to accomplish the director’s requirements for this film. The way he gets up and starts confessing in the church is a bit weird and unexplainable as there is no fault of his in those tragic assassination. Rockstar Nargis Fakhri is perfect as a war correspondent and the move to make her talk in English may prove as a downer other than Metros. Prakash Belawadi is impressive as foxy mole working against government and Sidhartha Basu leaves a good impression as media expert. Ajay Ratnam and Rashi Khana doesn’t get much to do as John’s wife and powerful Anna.
Madras Café is not an easy film to make. Thanks to Somnath Dey and Shubendu Bhattacharya for well researched and formulated script that turns out be as veritable and real as it gets. Shoojit Sircar proves once again that he is an effectual storyteller and tight film maker. What’s more impressive is that Shoojit not using conventional Bollywood formula of throwing in love making angle, Adding the songs and spoon feeding the regular audience. Shoojit is nicely supported by Shantanu Moitra’s Music and Cinematography. Cinematography by Kamaljeet Negi is fantastic and his contribution in making movie real is HUGE. Music blends well with the script. Action scenes are good keeping in mind the mood of the film.
On the flipside, Madras Café has not got the pace and shocking twists that essential for a spy thriller. Narration of the film in docu-dramatic style without taking any sides as a product. Film takes too much time to explain the basic premise of Sri Laknkan conflict. There is no powerful impact from Anna, the excitement is missing and audience fails to get involved in chase or attack sequences. Post Interval clouds are cleared about the big historical assassination the film is heading towards and suspense is lost as they already knew what is going to happen in the end. As the climax ends like expected way one walks out of the theatre with an impression of seeing something well attempted flick nothing exceptional in the end.
To conclude Madras Café is one of the finest thrillers in Bollywood. Thanks to Intelligent screenplay, direction and cinematography, Bollywood takes a step forward in ESPIONAGE THRILLERS with Madras Café.
Survi Review: 3.5/5