Madgaon Express Movie Review Rating:

Star Cast: Divyenndu Sharma, Pratik Gandhi, Avinash Tiwary, Upendra Limaye, Chhaya Kadam, Remo D’Souza, Raviraj Kande, Kunal Kemmu (cameo)

Director: Kunal Kemmu

Madgaon Express Movie Review: Mad mix of mirth & mayhem
Madgaon Express Movie Review(Photo Credit –IMDb)

What’s Good: Intentionally crazy caper with kickass humour

What’s Bad: The second half needed to be trimmed a whit

Loo Break: Not really

Watch or Not?: Of course! Who does not want to let his hair down after spending on an admission ticket?

Language: Hindi

Available On: Theatrical release

Runtime: 143 Minutes

User Rating:

It’s all about a repressed ‘ambition’ of three teenage kids who have to wait for years (and adulthood) to visit Goa, which they always imagined as a dream destination. But it turns out to be a nightmare port instead.

Madgaon Express Movie Review: Mad mix of mirth & mayhem
Madgaon Express Movie Review(Photo Credit –YouTube)

Madgaon Express Movie Review: Script Analysis

Kunal Kemmu has written the story, screenplay and dialogues and even a song on friendship. The first half succinctly shows how three ‘normal’ teenagers of diverse backgrounds all pitch for the same destination for a holiday. As ‘newbie’ adults, Dodo, the lower middle-class Maharashtrian from an ultra-conservative family, Pinku, the enterprising Gujarati, and Ayush all try to first reach Goa one parents-defying night, only to crash their car (and desires) in minutes. Life takes its course and Pinku and Ayush go abroad, while Dodo is stuck, frustrated, in his chawl, lonely, depressed and mostly jobless.

Cashing in on his access to a laptop, Dodo creates a virtual universe in which he shows his buddies that he is a big man with oodles of money. The three soon decide to have a reunion and head for their old fancy haven, Goa. Pinku and Ayush cannot understand why their rich friend has organized everything (like travelling in Madgaon Express instead of taking a flight and so on) like a middle-class Indian, but he gives them a ‘credible’ reason.

Luck takes a hand when the hypochondriac Pinku’s bag of medicines gets exchanged with that of an unknown man’s handbag that contains a gun, lots of cash and so on. Initially, the buddies panic (Pinku more because of the loss of his ‘allergy’ medicines!) but soon, they decide on a course of action.

But as soon as they step onto the beach, check in at their first hotel and have their first drink, the fun and games begin—for the audience!

Yes, Goa means booze, babes and drugs, and the script packs in a maelstrom of misadventures in which weird characters abound, like a quirky doctor, two rival gangsters and their acolytes out for each other’s blood, a cop, a girl who helps them but seems to have an agenda, and a mysterious man who roams around like a lost soul. And then there is the man with the wrong bag.

The script gets you hooked on the crazy goings-on and takes its own sweet but enjoyable time unravelling the knots it gets into. And just in case you thought that Madgaon Express as a title was irrelevant, as most of the happenings are after the trio alights from this train at Goa, you have a delectable reason that vindicates the name. And crisp as well as funny post-climaxes!

Madgaon Express Movie Review: Star Performance

Divyenndu Sharma as Dodo is in many ways the pivot of the plot and excels as the have-not techno-geek friend dominated by his father who craves for his friends. Pratik Gandhi breaks into his mother-tongue Gujarati (reel and real) frequently and is fantastic in the sequence in which he consumes drugs by accident. Avinash Tiwary as the sober, intense and comparatively shrewd brain of the three is very good in an understated role. Nora Fatehi as Tasha does basically what she is best at—look dishy and dance well. She has precious little to do as actress.

But apart from the three friends, the finest performances come from Chhaya Kadam as Kanchan Kombdi, the ‘wronged’ gangster (!) and Upendra Limaye (in another sterling turn after Animal) as Mendonca. As for Kunal Kemmu’s cameo, it ranks among the funniest in movie history, akin to Asrani’s in Seeta Aur Geeta, Om Puri’s in Awara Pagal Deewana and Abhishek Bachchan’s in Salaam Namaste.

Madgaon Express Movie Review: Mad mix of mirth & mayhem
Madgaon Express Movie Review(Photo Credit –YouTube)

Madgaon Express Movie Review: Direction, Music

Kunal Kemmu stood out among the kids in his debut film, Hum Hain Raahi Pyar Ke, apart from the TV serial, Gul Gulshan Gulfam earlier, as well as in his lead debut, Kalyug. The actor now makes an entry as story and screenplay writer (he had written the dialogues of Go Goa Gone that had immortal one-liners) and director and excels in all departments, especially as this is his debut.

Clearly, inspiration must have struck from that 2013 masterpiece in which he also featured (which also had three friends landing in Goa). But Kunal gives a fresh, original and juicy spin here to the same world of India’s beach paradise wherein psychotropic drugs loom tall.

Paying attention to sketching out both believable and over-the-top characters, Kunal keeps Goa in the relevant background and yet we realize that this kind of intentionally nutcase caper could not have been filmed or based anywhere else. Wherever needed, he uses technology and VFX well, otherwise it is all fun-laden storytelling, even when bullets are fired!

The music is another point where the director scores a relevant point: he uses it in such a manner that we get the all-too-sadly-forgotten lip-sync songs instead of scattered background notes and item numbers by actors and rappers!

Madgaon Express Movie Review: The Last Word

I, for one, thoroughly enjoyed this voyage into a vacation that was an anti-climax for the heroes but goofily entertaining for viewers.

Three and a half stars!

Madgaon Express Trailer

Madgaon Express releases on 22nd March 2024.

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