Saturday, August 24, 2013

Madras Cafe (2013) - Review

If Madras Cafe was a book, it would've been unputdownable. This political thriller rolls faster than you can imagine, packed with so much information, barely leaving time for distractions. 

Unlike film-makers today who spend time glorifying characters, Shoojit Sircar (who also gave us Yahaan and Vicky Donor) focuses on telling a story. Madras Cafe is a thrilling account of
events, fact and fictitious, that lead up to the assassination of our ex Prime Minister. Despite the knowingly inevitable climax, the film has you enrapt. Picking a politically sensitive subject needs guts and to be able to make it so well is in itself an accomplishment.

The film is engagingly narrated, crisply edited and well-performed. The cinematography is striking. The war scenes are adeptly shot. John puts a strong-foot forward, restoring my belief in him as a performer. (The only put-off was his peskily overdone tousled look). Nargis Fakri looks comfortable speaking in her native tongue, rendering her dialogues less clumsier than in Rockstar.

It isn't every now and then that there comes along a film that is entertaining as much as it is thought-provoking. This is one such film. It must be seen not just because it is well made but because its an important film. An unforgettable chapter of our history.

If your grouse is with Bollywood producing more senseless than sensible cinema, Madras Cafe should provide a temporary fix. And with so much time and effort visibly having gone into it, it's a must watch!