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MADRAS CAFE - A well shot, focused attempt to make a fine political thriller which strictly lacks a lot for the common man. (Review By Bobby Sing)
23 Aug, 2013 | Movie Reviews / 2013 Releases

Post a decent YAHAAN (2005) and a stalled project with Amitabh Bachchan called SHOEBITE, director Shoojit Sircar came up with a brilliant VICKY DONOR made on an unexpectedly bold yet highly entertaining subject widely acclaimed all over in the year 2012. So after such a confident success, planning his next movie as an intense spy thriller was indeed a very bold and daring step, for the kind of audience who are not really known to appreciate this particular genre in a big way since decades.
So at one end, MADRAS CAFE has some notable merits to its credit worth praising. It fairly adds to the bright welcome change ignited by the recent success of D-DAY exploring the rarely attempted genre of spy thrillers. It is no doubt a courageous (as well as risky) choice of subject for John Abraham as one of the producers. The film talks about an important, shattering assassination of an ex-Indian Prime Minister never depicted on the screen before. It has been written and directed with a completely focused vision without inserting any thrown in love angle, an untimely song (it’s a song less movie as it should be) or spoon feeding as normally seen in the routine Hindi films. It very aptly points towards the money lobby working behind all the major drastic events of the world. The performances don’t care about their short or long lengths and try to do full justice to their respective roles. It has a splendid cinematography (great civil war sequences) and a fine background score reminding you of many foreign spy movies made in the realistic style. And with a sharp, intelligent editing it never gives you any dragging moment in its more than 2 hours of duration and has an engaging climax conceived well.
However on the other hand, MADRAS CAFE hasn’t got that pace, thrills and shocking twists essentially required as the key features of such political thrillers. It keeps progressing in a documentary style without taking any sides like a well researched feature. But the facts incorporated in its script are sure going to face some hard criticism from different section of viewers as it seems. The film begins impressively and keeps explaining its basic premise of the Sri Lankan conflict for too long. As a result the viewers sitting in the theater expecting some high paced action-adventure from John Abraham start getting disappointed. Moreover with no deliberate build up for the main wanted man authorities are looking for, the excitement is missing and one doesn’t find himself pulled in any chase or attack sequences quite frankly.
Post intermission when it all become clear about the big historical assassination the film is heading towards, suddenly the suspense is all lost since we already know what is going to happen next and there is no guessing left for the viewers. And further when it all happens exactly like it is expected too, one walks out of the theater with an impression of having seen something good & well attempted but nothing exceptional in terms of return for the ticket bought. Hence its pretty obvious that MADRAS CAFE is strictly not for the smaller centers and is going to struggle at the single screens theaters for sure. Plus it may also get a mixed kind of response at the multiplexes too as there are not many who would be willing to buy a costly ticket for a political thriller made on the Sri Lankan conflict. So where a particular section of viewers may find themselves praising the movie a lot, many others are not going to consider it worth their time and money spent. And that’s exactly why I would like to call it as a film not really for ‘the common man’, a phrase used by Shahrukh in his latest money grosser.
Regarding performances, MADRAS CAFE has John Abraham honestly putting all his efforts to fulfill the director’s requirements but I seriously found his confession in the get up of a lost (retarded kind of) bearded man quite weird and unexplainable since there was no fault of his in all those tragic incidents. Nargis Fakhri perfectly plays the role of a foreign war correspondent and the move of using her complete dialogues in English (with Hindi subtitles) is sure going to prove as a big downer in the centers other than the metros. Sidhhartha Basu plays the media expert superbly and Prakash Belawadi is impressive as the cunning mole working against the government. Rashi Khanna doesn’t get much to do as John’s wife and Ajay Ratnam fails to make any solid terrifying impact as Anna.
In all, MADRAS CAFE is a good watch if you are really fed up with the usual Bollywood stuff repetitively being served by the big names. Its unarguably one of the better attempts to make an enlightening political thriller, but could have been a lot more with some high paced, engaging and unpredictable twists used in its basic structure. At times a little dramatization of the real life happenings add to the overall impact hugely and completely refraining from them makes the end product quite raw and tasteless. And I personally missed that delightful taste sitting in Shoojit’s MADRAS CAFE this Friday but still would like to recommend it to all thoughtful viewers strongly.
Ratings : 3 / 5

Tags : Madras Cafe Review By Bobby Sing, Madras Cafe Film Review by Bobby Sing, Shoojit Sircars MADRAS CAFE, Nargis Fakhri, Johan Abraham, New Hindi Films Reviews By Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bollywood Movies Reviews at bobbytalkscinema.com, Bobby Sing Bollywood Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Reviews, New Bollywood Movies Released, New Hindi Films Reviews, New Hindi Movies Reviews, New Hindi Movies Released, New Bollywood Reviews, Bobby Talks Cinema Review, Reviews By Bobby Sing, New Hindi Fil
23 Aug 2013 / Comment ( 2 )
Prakash Bhatia

Hi Bobbyji,
Wating to read your review since yesterday after watching Madras Cafe first day first show. A very well made film no doubt about it. Everyone acted convincingly and SiddharthBasu was a pleasant surprise. I fully agree with you that film is not for commons but there are some commons like us (born and brought up in metros) who love watching D Day and Madras Cafe.

You have rightly said that John and sarkar have taken a very bold step by making such film. Can create controversies. Good Luck and Best Wishes to John,Sarkar and Madras Cafe. \'It is not a stupid Bollywood film\' (quote from Dibang\'s interview).

Prakash Bhatia

Bobby Sing

Hi Prakash Bhatia,
Thanks for writing in and yes it is one of the better political thrillers rarely made in this country. Though I was personally expecting something more from director Shoojit, but still I am extremely glad to know that the film has done well breaking some new grounds in Hindi Cinema after a long time.
Its timely success will not only benefit many new film-makers waiting to make films on their fresh ideas but would also work in favour of the viewers too who are eager to watch such films more often.

Cheers!

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