If a talented director roams with a script that he is dying to tell from 5 years, it definitely implies, he has something deep and intriguing stuff to tell. Shoojit Sircar finally gets his opportunity to make his favorite script ‘Madras Café under the production of John Abraham who earlier produced ‘Vicky Donor’ which made Shoojit a star director. ‘Madras Café’ like any other movie starts with a disclaimer, that its fiction. But, at the end of the movie, you come out as if you have witnessed all the events with your naked eyes. Yes, such is the brilliance of ‘Madras Café.
Vikram Singh (John Abraham) is a RAW agent, sent to Jaffna in Sri Lanka, on a mission. He slowly comes to know that the facts, and the conspiracies, that one would not expect. The movie takes a much unbiased approach, to not portray anyone on a stereotyped manner. Kudos to the writing team, for doing tremendous homework and research.
‘Madras Café’ has some brilliant visuals, but definitely not recommended for kids, for having shown quite a lot of raw moments. There are many sequences where you see pools of blood, tones of bullets and heart-wrenching trauma. Though, the moments seem real and are greatly executed, the audience might feel it as a documentary experience rather than a cinematic one. However, the last 30 minutes is a fantastic piece, which is a brilliant example of how skillfully a director can translate a real incident perfectly into a cinema.
Coming to performances, it’s a mixed bag. John no doubt is a wonderful producer for being gutsy and has a great taste for putting his money into ‘Vicky Donor’ and ‘Madras Café’. However, he being the lead as Vikram Singh doesn’t create sufficient empathy. Rathnam who plays Anna, a very important character in the story is also not so effective. On the contrary, the supporting cast does a brilliant job.
The screenplay is tight, and good. Cinematography by Kamaljeet Negi is top-notch. Background score by Shantanu Moitra was great and creates the required feel.
Madras Café is definitely worth a watch, for its intriguing moments and extra-ordinary visuals. Spare the documentary feel and a good product is in front of you.
Reviewed by Rag Mayur