Madgaon Express Review | Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara Meets The Hangover in This Passable Comedy

Madgaon Express, the directorial debut film of actor Kunal Khemu, can be summarized as Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara meets The Hangover. The final act of the movie is where the movie is getting into its zone, and there is a lot of witty stuff happening on screen largely through the staging and dialogues. After the initial bumpiness in the narrative that is desperately looking for humor, Khemu manages to add that pinch of hilariousness to the content in the final showdown bits, making it an easy and enjoyable watch.

Three friends, Dodo, Pinku, and Ayush, are our main characters. While Pinku and Ayush managed to do well in their lives, Dodo was stuck at his house with no major progress in life. In order to feel equal among his NRI best friends, Dodo even created a fake rich guy image through his social media profile. What we see in Madgaon Express is the events that happen in the lives of these three when Pinku and Ayush decide to come to India for a vacation to meet Dodo. How these friends decide to go to Goa and how Dodo tries to cover the fake image he had created is what we witness in this Kunal Khemu directorial.

Go Goa Gone is one movie where Kunal Khemu has contributed to the film as a dialogue writer. So, the kind of humor Khemu wants to have in Madgaon Express is similar to that. But as I said, the first half of the movie speeds through the friendship, and this very slapsticky phase of jokes will make you a bit pessimistic because we have seen a lot of comedy films that start off like this and then just go on and on with tacky ideas. But the good thing for Madgaon Express is that it never tries to make the emotional track of the film too much of a sentimental character study. And when that climax, which spoofs a lot of the gangster stereotypes happens, you, as an audience, get some genuine moments of laughter.

Divyendu Sharma, as Dodo, is actually doing the heavy lifting here as his character is the most active one in the script. Even in those broad-stroke bits in the film’s first half, Divyendu has this comedy timing that makes those scenes look enjoyable on screen. Pratik Gandhi, as Pinku, actually gets to play a variety of shades of his character in this movie. From being this nerdy, party pooper, the script offers him a chance to play a diametrically opposite character, and those shifts were quite hilarious. Avinash Tiwary as Ayush is the ZNMD Hrithik Roshan equivalent in the story, and in terms of performance also, he is mostly playing this handsome hunk while the other two are making the major contribution. Upendra Limaye and Chhaya Kadam as the gangster duo was exceptional, and the last scene featuring the whole cast, along with Raviraj Kande as Ganpat, was hilarious.

There is this line in the final showdown where Chhaya Kadam says that the stuff belongs to the ones who found it, to which Divyendu says, by that logic, the stuff belongs to him and his friends. After that, there is this spoofy shoe reference to ridicule both gangsters and police about their common sense. What really saves the film and makes it an easy watch is these kinds of quirks in the writing that sort of address certain flaws from the perspective of the audience. And the end portions of Madgaon Express have a series of such loud madcap humor that you won’t even try to analyze it logically. Many scripting elements that looked odd in the first half, like the social media fake life of Dodo, get a smoother closure towards the end of the film. I must say that the loud placement of a possible part two is making me a bit skeptical.

A gang of friends going to a place to have some extreme fun and ending up in a mess is not a story idea we have not seen in films. From the Saif Ali Khan track in Dil Chahta Hai, Go Goa Gone, and the iconic Hangover films, this idea has been made into films a number of times. Madgaon Express is just another iteration of this theme, and with less overdoing and a funny climax, Kunal Khemu manages to make it a passable enjoyable entertainer.

Final Thoughts

After the initial bumpiness in the narrative that is desperately looking for humor, Khemu manages to add that pinch of hilariousness to the content in the final showdown bits, making it an easy watch


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.