Madras Cafe Review

John Abraham And Nargis Fakhri in Madras Cafe Review (John Abraham And Nargis Fakhri in Madras Cafe Poster)

John Abraham And Nargis Fakhri in Madras Cafe Poster

Rating: 4/5 stars (Four Stars)

Star cast: John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri and Siddhartha Basu

Director: Shoojit Sircar

What’s Good: An engrossing monologue which excavates one of India’s most overbearing conspiracies left back in the dusty pages of history.

What’s Bad: There is no commercialism, which has been smartly avoided so as to not dilute the subject matter. Music, background score has been kept limited to create any unwanted flavor to the drama than the story already contains. They are not really negatives just slightly deterring for the general public.

Loo break: None

Watch or Not?: Shoojit Sircar and John Abraham have teamed up again to come up with one of India’s most bold and matured political thrillers! Designed with a deep rooted sense of urgency, the film builds an overwhelming tale around the darkest phase of the Lankan Civil War that marshal to conclude with a rushing end which we are all familiar with. In between the flashbacks and conspiracies, Madras Café is a film with a gritty, convincing and engrossing plot that will revel in its ability to leave you with an uneasy and helpless feeling!

User Rating:

Vikram Singh is deployed on a covert oppression to Jaffna. After India and Sri Lanka signed the peace accord in the mid 1980s, India took it as their mission to help its neighbors relieve themselves from the ethnic strife between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Hatching a plot to bring down Anna, a popular Tamil leader in the zone, Vikram begins with trying to team up with Anna’s opponents in the beginning.

Falling prey to a leak, he loses his first shot with Anna and gets kidnapped by his forces! However, now hell bent on getting Anna to bow down, he teams with Anna’s own men and manages to ambush his army. However, Anna manages to survive and returns even more powerful by eradicating Indian forces off Jaffna and Lanka.

Plotting ways to kill the former Indian Prime Minister fearing that he will return to power, the film is a tussle between the war makers to safeguard their interests! And for Vikram, it is the story about how India lost its Prime Minister in an assassination which the nation has still not forgotten!

John Abraham in Madras Cafe Review (John Abraham in Madras Cafe Stills)

John Abraham in Madras Cafe Stills

Madras Cafe Review: Script Analysis

Recreated out of real life instances, Sircar doesn’t cheat us at any level. His story is a dramatized version of realities, with the parallels so apparent that they aren’t very difficult to decipher. There are no false jingoistic traps laid or judgment calls commanded. Luckily for the good of its audiences, the film invokes a strong sense of realism largely as the director doesn’t waste time in creating any ornate sham of filmi-ness. The script itself gives very few problems to hang around as it envelopes a rather clear cut story which is a coalescence of history and drama which is a quasi fictional account of India-Lanka Peace Accord which culminates into the death of Rajiv Gandhi.

Writers Somnath Dey and Subhendu Bhattacharya dynamically build a piquant movie which has a stirring premise. Folding in well the background of ethnic strife in Sri Lanka, the film carefully holds its ground with an antagonist whose motives are beyond power. The film’s forte is how it tells such a volatile story with utmost sensitivity without taking sides. It is pro human and definitely not anti any group, culture or leader.

The unlikely twists and pauses mounts consistently the right aura and mood of the film. Keeping it somber and dull, the film’s pace is rightly packed with thrills. In no part of the film is there a single dull moment which sags or falls loose. It has no allegations or derogatory remarks but a simplistic narration of the course of events. The film’s trajectories don’t foster any shade of righteousness and strictly refrains from evoking any wrong sentiment.

The drama doesn’t take fancy to over the top melodrama thankfully; its pace doesn’t slacken or the momentum of its happenings doesn’t veer away. Our hero is a faltering human who fails to end up saving his wife or the life of the Prime Minister who is slayed eventually. It is this realistic approach that popular cinema misses and Shoojit Sircar, along with his writers, whose toiling at assembling the film’s skeletal groundwork shows in terms of the film’s clarity, have put up a bravura show! 

Madras Cafe Review: Star Performances

John Abraham as Vikram Singh topples all his previous performances. He isn’t a very flattering actor but his clever choice of role and wicked acting surely shows a remarkable improvement. He isn’t the John who couldn’t emote. He is the John who isn’t afraid to take up challenging roles and carry them out gracefully.

Nargis Fakhri with her British accent is confident. She may not be a show stealer but does her bit with élan retaining the correct persona for it.

Siddhartha Basu is quite a natural as he smoothly slips in the role of R.D. His intelligence shows in his eyes, and he manages to command respect in his character! Never stepping a wrong stone, the man should have taken up acting long back!

The supporting actors are all impressive but in the end, this film is more about its intent and plot than about its actors!

Madras Cafe Review: Direction, Editing and Music

Shoojit Sircar is back after a long hiatus since Vicky Donor. He strings into the same plot, the emotional wreckage and physical devastation of war to emphatically put forth the futility of it all. In the climax, Shoojit concludes with, “One man’s revolutionary is another one’s villain!” followed by a few stellar lines of Tagore! Truly, in the clashes of mindsets the only people who suffer are commoners who seek only peace and happiness from their lives.

As Lankan leader Anna strives to garner power and Indian Government attempts to achieve their political motive of maintaining monopoly in the subcontinent by maintaining friendly relations with Lanka to obtain access into the South East Asia, Sircar wonderfully relates the story of anarchy, bloodshed and meaningless war which continued for 27 long years killing thousands. In the end, he does squeeze out a potent message about the nugatory nightmare of the wrath of war! Shoojit intelligently executes a crisply written story which is executed breathtakingly. The editing of the film is quite well done, as the docu-drama style doesn’t stir up any boredom. Shantanu Moitra’s music is pristine and haunting as the climax wraps up with Papon crooning Maula Re.

Madras Cafe Review: The Last Word

Madras Café is a hypnotically created masterpiece which thrives in the freshness of its conception. Using history with drama to build a persuasive tapestry of enthralling action, energetic plot and skillful narration of the grim phase of Lankan War, Shoojit Sircar astonishes with this fascinating docu style dramatic movie. I am going flatly with a 4/5 this triumphed work of passionate and compelling cinema.

Madras Cafe Trailer

Madras Cafe releases on 23rd August, 2013.

Share with us your experience of watching Madras Cafe.

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17 Comments

  • Oli
    5 months ago | Reply

    One of the best thrillar movie

  • kapil dev mahato
    10 months ago | Reply

    Hi,
    mujhe bahat bura lagata hain jab mein dekhata hu ke jo film aachhi nahin hai une bhi publicity milti hai , media hamesha kin film ne kitna crore business kiya yehi dikhata hai , lekin kin filmo ko audience ne kitna like kiya yeh nahin batati nahin , filmo ke success ko negative dik se dekha jaata hai , kaun kaun filmo ne 100 crore club me samil hoke ek mukam haasil hua yeh dikhata hai ,jab filmo ki positive dik ki publicity hogi tab film makers aachhi film banane ki koshish karenge. is liye Maine is saal ki filmo ke collection ko research kiya aur janane ki koshish ki kin kin filmo ko audience ( masses and classes ) ne jaada pasand kiya aur rate kiya jaada.

    jis filmo mein jaada dam hai une rank hisab se sajaya

    rank film name percentage
    1.aashiqui 2 221%
    2.fukrey. 200%
    3.bhaag milkha bhaag. 192%
    4.raanjhana. 184%
    5.yeh jawani hai deewani. 176%
    6.kai po che. 170%
    7.jolly l.l.b. 164%
    8.special 26. 159%
    9.mere dad ki maruti. 156%
    10. Chennai express. 145%
    11.the attacks of 26/11. 143%
    12.ABCD. 142&
    13.race 2. 135%
    14.shootout at wadala. 135%
    15.chasme badoor. 133%
    16.madras cafe. 132%
    17.matru ki bijlee ka mandola 126%
    18.go goa gone. 125%
    19.d day. 125%
    20.vishwaroop. 124%
    21.table no. 21. 121%
    22.ramaiya vastavaiya. 119%
    23.once upon a time I dobara 119%
    24.nataunki saala. 117%
    25.policegiri. 116%
    26.commando. 116%
    27.aurangzeb. 115%
    28.ghanachakkar. 112%
    29.i me air hum. 112%
    30.yamla pagla deewana 2. 105%
    31.saheb biwi air gangster. 104%
    32.david. 103%

    murder 3
    jayanta bhai ki love story
    inkaar
    zilla gaziabaad
    b.a. Pass
    bajatey raho
    issaq
    nasha
    gippi
    Bombay talkies
    ek thi daayan
    Himmatwala
    aatma
    rangrezz
    3G
    LAST UNRANK FILM’S PERCENTAGE IS 100%

  • sdd
    11 months ago | Reply

    Indian PM resign if lost majority support in parliament, Cabinet Secretary or any official just cannot ask to resign. Script writer was not careful with this.

  • rajendra
    11 months ago | Reply

    I feel like watching a hollywood movie……

  • chinmaya
    11 months ago | Reply

    u cnnt compare one to one..all r better thn d best in thr area..all r gd..dts why thy r now in that paosition.

  • Aashayein
    11 months ago | Reply

    Trend is changing in bollywood through these type of movies. Now they are making different kind of movies with versatile actor such as N. Siddique, Irrfan and now its time for John.

  • John
    11 months ago | Reply

    Hrithik Roshan, Ranbir Kapoor are in bollywood because of the family background.. they should learn from actor’s like Irfan Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Randeep Hooda, Emraan hashmi, Arjum rampal etc..

    • cools20k
      11 months ago | Reply

      You should learn about films in fact a lot ….. emraan haashmi has a big family background…. he comes from bhatt camp ……. now coming to hrithik and ranbir … they are one lakh times better than john abraham ….. its just that this role suits him /,,,,,,, why do ytou forget the recent movie I ME AUR MAIN ……. he was super pathetic huh!!!!

  • 11 months ago | Reply

    Waaaaat a movie!!!
    Again a hit of John. U reallly rock john in this movie. Having a great script makes this movie different.

  • Zakwan Sada
    11 months ago | Reply

    ranbir kapoor is a big jok..
    i don understand y ppl find him entertaining..
    der is no versatality in his acting..

  • Brian
    11 months ago | Reply

    After experiencing back-to-back idiocy on big screen, it’s refreshing to return to the theatres for a film that expects you to be educated, informed and attentive. Give it a chance, Madras Cafe deserves an audience.

    • pappu_passed
      11 months ago | Reply

      Copied this comment from Sukanya Verma of Rediff!
      Brian you thief! :-P

    • cools20k
      11 months ago | Reply

      Yours is the only unbiased , honest and intelligent comment I see here :)

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