The film doesn't well tell an important story and minus the John Abraham performance which is raw and solid, the film is nothing. But the execution by Shoojit Sircar is unmistakably charming and uplifting as an experience. The story of secret agents is true and not hindered by low-key entertainment which cinema usually wants to provide, and that's where 'Madras Cafe' is a true triumph of vision.
Based on the Rajeev Gandhi suicide bombing narrative and its multiple layers, including the connection with the ruthless Sri Lankan civil war which, we are told in the epilogue, lasted twenty-seven long years, the film is solidly written and more than that, gripping in the performance point of view. John Abraham brings filtering in action and more to his expressiveness as Vikram Singh, while Nargis Fakhri makes an easy, well-done improvement to her performance in 'Rockstar'.
But the ultimate strength lies in the telling of the story- not the metaphorical one, the more practical, the more rustic one. With bold one-liners and actual patriotic fervor, the film manages to keep the viewers engrossed.
But what this great film needed much more was heart, emotional contexts. I am going with 6 out of 10 for Madras Cafe and I suggest you go for it. It is indeed one of the most striking films of the year you can't afford to miss.
"Impressive concoction of fact & fiction!!!"
As any avid movie buff would have noticed, our film industry has pretty much dabbled with all sort of genres except for political thrillers which has been far & few. I wouldn't fault the makers for this, coz inevitably most of the time it has courted trouble as in the case of "Vishwaroopam", "Black Friday" etc ; thanks to some whimsical minded individuals & groups. The latest to join this bandwagon is Shoojit Sircar's "Madras Cafe", which has been banned in Tamil Nadu. Hmm... so let's see what's this hungama all about???
Until a couple of years back, Sri Lanka was embroiled in a bitter Civil War between the Government & LTTE (named as LTF in the movie). The film unfolds with the signing of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord to enforce the disarmament of LTF & facilitate the process of regional council. As part of this pact, the Indian Government sent in their Peace Keeping Force but instead of reining in the violence, it gets blown out of proportions. At this juncture, the RAW chief, RD (Siddharth Basu) assigns a covert operation to his trusted military intelligence officer Vikram Singh (John Abraham) which was to weaken the stranglehold of LTF in the region. In the process, Vikram opens a can of worms which eventually culminates in the assassination of our ex-PM.
After having drawn praise from one & all, for his previous venture "Vicky Donor"; Shoojit Sircar has chosen a totally different topic which belongs to the not so oft used genre of political thrillers. There are no two words about it, as he has come up with one of the best ever political thriller made in Bollywood with the filming being kinda reminiscent of the Hollywood style. The best part of the film is that it doesn't take sides & leaves the judgement to the discretion of the audience. The credit also goes to the compelling script & screenplay by Somnath Dey & Shubendu Bhattacharya aided by the crisp editing & visuals by Chadrashekhar Prajapathi and Kamaljeet Negi respectively which keeps the audience hooked throughout.
Frankly speaking, I don't think of John Abraham as much of an actor except for his excellent stunts but over here he was spot on as he gets into the skin of the character quite convincingly. In addition, John also have to be applauded for seeking to produce films which are distinct unlike the usual run of the mill. Siddhartha Basu was quite an interesting choice as the RAW Chief & he has done a good job along with Prakash Belawadi (as Bala). As opposed to her previous venture, Nargis Fakhri has improved which was aided to a certain extent that she had to mouth only English dialogues. The rest of the cast such as Ajay Bhaskaran (as Anna), Kannan Arunachalam (as Shri) etc., has done their parts aptly.
Verdict: With "Chennai Express" bull dozing forward, "Madras Cafe" would find the going tough. It's unlikely to cater to the single screens but thanks to the impressive content & execution it should have a decent run in the multiplexes. In short, delve into this without fail!!!
John Is Gr8 In His Character But The Film Is Uneven & Not That Convincing.But Yet To Tries & Becomes Successful At Times.It Is Overall Good Despite The Flaws & Inconsistency