Drected by Shoojit Sircar
Starring: John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri, Rashi Khanna
What it's about: This must has to be said about Shoojit Sircar's film. That you cannot draw any parallels with Hindi films made before. It's not as much as a spy thriller. Shot in semi-documentary fashion, and seen through the eyes an Indian army officer Vikram Singh (John Abraham) it is about a covert mission in Sri Lanka. He is send there with the promise of all the help from the government and the army, but reality is quite different. He realises he is fighting multiple enemies. The only person who helps him is the foreign journalist (Nargis Fakhri) The mission changes his life.
What's good: Madras Cafe is not an easy film to make and present. Kudos to producer John Abraham for producing a film, that isn't audience-friendly in concept or genre. The film is about India's role in the civil war in Sri Lanka that lasted for 27 years and resulted in the deaths of thousands of Tamilians and over 1200 soldiers from the Indian army. If you knew nothing about the war in the neighbouring country for over two decades, that will change after you watch Madras Cafe. The film bristles with the raw, unnerving textures of a battlefield documentary. What is impressive is the film's cool restraint. Not once does it attempt to sensationalise, sermonise or take sides. It merely states facts and tackles the subject head-on.The imagery is so effective and powerful that, you are transported back in time when the incidents actually takes pace. Each character in the film is so perfectly cast and they are grimly realistic. Siddhartha Basu should really act more. John, who plays Vikram Singh delivers tightly rendered performance. and minimum of over dramatics.
What's not: The only problem although it is at the crux the story of India's ex-Prime Minister, the film is set outside India. Not many would relate/connect to the story. It is a story that is important but no an war that isn't fresh in international memory, The first half could have been tighter and more engaging.