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Review; Madras Cafe

#LSD Review : The movie starts with a note that this is a work of fiction. But, anyone with a little knowledge of political happenings would be aware of one of the biggest political and social setbacks of times – The Rajiv Gandhi assassination. If you judge the movie as a fictional thriller it is ‘okay’. If you judge it on the real facts you will be amazed.

John Abraham and Shoojit Sircar, the people behind the exceptional and surprisingly hit ‘Vicky Donor’ have teamed up yet again to bring to you, what possibly could be one of the boldest political thrillers in a long time.

The film starts with the political satire of the 1980’s – the signing of the peace accord between India and Sri Lanka. The Sinhalese and the Tamils are in a state of war due to ethnic differences. India makes it a mission to stop the killings of Tamils in the island nation and stop the heavy flow of refugees to Tamil Nadu. Starting a dispute between the LTTE and the RAW/Indian Government.

The film is shown from the eyes of the protagonist Vikram Singh who is deployed on a covert operation to Jaffna to deal with the various Tamil fronts and the LTTE bringing them to agree with each other. The film details every aspect that led to the final assassination of the herein notified ‘Ex PM’ .

Everyone out is saying its an engrossing film – it is not. The movie has its ups and downs. The film is not just a political drama/thriller that tells about a incident. It deals with and tells us about one of the biggest setbacks in Indian political history. It tell us about everything that went wrong with the forces which dealt with the incident, every loophole in the planning and execution of the mission that failed to save one of the biggest political figures.

Sircar brings us the naked truth here. He excels at not overly dramatizing it. He presents a fictional account of India-Lanka Peace Accord which later somehow led to the death of Rajiv Gandhi. This man has done his homework.

The film reaches a high at the point where it tells us such a volatile story without trivialising it. The protagonist is shown as a human who fails to save his wife or the life of the Prime Minister. It is the realism of the treatment that is so dearly missed in Indian cinema, and something the multiplex audiences have begun to like.

Talking about the performances John Abraham is not an amazing actor, we are quite aware of it. But, he is clever in choosing roles. His acting skills surely show a remarkable improvement here. I thank the makers that they did not force a Hindi accent to Nargis Fakhri, she has not spoken a single Hindi word. She is quite confident in her small role. Siddharth Basu is exceptional, he delivers. Others are good as well. But the performances are raised by the story and the execution. That makes all the difference. Shantanu Moitra’s score is haunting and carries the film around well. There is no song sequence in the film and am glad there wasn’t.
Though the film is not bad in any respect, I would have loved if it had a tighter screenplay.

Final Verdict :
Madras Cafe is no masterpiece. But it’s about the story of an event that was necessary to be told. And I don’t think there could be anyone who could have presented it better.

Rating : 3.5/5

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