Adding fiction to real events is a risky business and to make the audience satisfied with the way of conceiving is indeed a tough task. Director Shoojit Sircar’s third film Madras Cafe is one brilliantly made film that will surely engage you from the very first moment to its last credit. With a less compromised making and a good amount of research, this film from the director of Vicky Donor is indeed worth watching.
The story here narrates in a flash back style where our central character Vikram Singh, who was a part of the Indian Peace Keeping Forces which was sent to Sri Lanka to settle the civil war there. Vikram’s entry to Jaffna is on that worst time where the activities of LTF were really terrifying. The plot actually goes through that phase were the RAW chiefs assigns Vikram Singh the task of making arrangements for peaceful elections in Sri Lanka. Vikram’s tactics to confront the LTF and how all this leads to some terrorizing incidents are what the movie talking about.
Well it is based on the famous Rajiv Gandhi assassination and also on India’s intervention in the Sri Lankan civil war which provoked the LTTE to do such an act. And the makers have mixed the facts and fiction in a sensible way. From the possible leakage to the ultimate disaster, everything has been included in the movie without many errors. Interestingly Vikram Singh is not portrayed as a James Bond/ Mission Impossible type character. And that really helps the movie in giving that sensibility edge. He is getting kidnapped, he is facing personal loses and also the poor guy was unable to face the reality for a long time. Much like the Oscar winning Argo, they were successful in setting up the investigation mode of those times.
On screen, John Abraham is really good as Vikram Singh and the actor has carried out his portions very well. Nargis Fakhri as Jaya was comfortable in her English speaking journalist avatar. Rashi Khanna was pleasing. Surprise star is our quiz master Siddharth Basu who did a commendable job as the RAW head RD. Rest of the cast was also perfect.
In the making, the direction is really top notch and Shoojit Sircar has managed to keep the intensity of the situations perfectly intact. Screenplay never really decelerates with any misfits and they have embedded the events that happened during the particular period very smartly. The cinematography is excellent and the slices are done aggressively keeping us glued to the screen. The only lapse I could find was in the art direction that occasionally failed in setting up those 90’s time period. The background score is also really fitting.
Overall, it’s a film that has everything required to be called as memorable. My rating for Madras Cafe is a 4/5. Hats off to the entire team for making such a bold attempt without any compromises for the commercial success. Big thumbs up for this walk in the past.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended