Madaari is a Hindi word which means juggler, magician, puppet master or in the crudest of senses, a street performer. Somebody who controls the act and what will happen next. In this movie, Irrfan Khan as Nirmal Kumar is the Madaari. He kidnaps Rohan (Vishesh Bansal), the son of the Home Minister of India, Prashant Goswami (Tushar Dalvi) and makes the world, the minister, his wife and a CBI Team act on his whim. He is the string master who holds the nerves of all these people.
With the above mentioned brief synopsis, the actors in the film, especially Irrfan Khan and Jimmy Shergill as Nachiket Verma (the CBI investigator for the kidnapping), the movie seems to have it all. It feels incredulous to even believe that a movie with these two in the leads will be anything but a massive and roaring commercial and critical success and Madaari being one of the top movies of this year, alongside Nil Battey Sanata, Neerja, Civil War, Finding Dory and the rest. But that’s the thing about belief. It’s like an investment. It can be ill placed or miscalculated.
Madaari is a movie that promises a lot but fails to deliver. Madaari’s hamartia, its fatal flaw is its script. Madaari tries to tell a story from so many angles at one, it becomes too dragged, too slow and too convoluting. What with so many perspectives to take care of. With Nirmal Kumar’s, with the CBI Team, the Home Minister himself, his wife and so on and so forth. The characters then again feel stupid. Madaari is a socio-political thriller, as said in its description but rarely feels like one. It doesn’t feel tense, or fast or thrilling. It plays out more like a drama movie, but one that tries to be a thriller. Instead of focusing on the characters, their motivations, and their travails, I honestly don’t know what it focused on. Jimmy Shergill is wasted away with such a one dimensional character. Tushar Dalvi is the archetypical politician. The mother (I regret I didn’t catch the actress’ name and it’s not available anywhere on the net) has only small scenes where she fights with her husband for the return of her son. Nitesh Pandey as well is given awkward lines and forgetful jokes and awful parodies in his role as a TV Reporter.
It feels as though Irrfan Khan is the only one who was given any material that was performace worthy and three dimensional.
Madaari picks up pace in the second half. Because of the cutting of so many angles and many super side characters (who only blabbered on and on about opposition, the emdia and stupid bullshit that was tiring) being done away with. The movie then begins to build up to the gritty third act of the film which hits some of the right chords in people but fails to hit all the chords to make it feel powerful or grand or even worthy of a good climax. Irrfan Khan’s intensity and Tushar Dalvi’s awkward acting (which I don’t know was on purpose or that’s how he was supposed to do it) in the third act were the only two salvaging factors of the climax. Even though I saw Madaari last Sunday, i.e. 24th of July, we were joking about how it’s been almost two weeks since we entered the hall, because the movie itself took a week to finish.
There are so many missed opportunities that could’ve been taken with the words, the characters, the situations to strike a chord with the people and hit the beat. But Madaari’s writers miss every one for the build up to the finale. They could have done so much, if they cut out on the nonsensical political chit chat (which did serve a purpose, but in a movie deemed a thriller have no place. They just slow the movie down), the parts of the CBI Team talking to each other and some scenes involving the police. Honestly, the writers really needed to get their shit together regarding the main parties in the movie. Everyone, from Irrfan Khan to the CBI Team to the Home Minister to the crappy politicians felt like a main character. And like they say, if everyone is a main character, nobody is the main character. This isn’t FRIENDS guys, come on. We can only have one or two main characters, not six!
Though the movie does hit a few emotional chords with Irrfan Khan’s tragedy and pulling the strings and the angst he has against the system. The issues the movie tackles, one of the premier being that when the child of a normal man is lost, nobody is catalysed into action, because it is just another kid. But when the son of the Home Minister if kidnapped, everyone goes crazy, because it’s the Home Minister’s kid, and the Home Minister is a god, not a human. And then the Home Minster must feel the pain he and his party have caused to so many people. Had the writers taken this as the central theme with branching sub plots, the movie would have worked perfectly as a thriller. But with the vision the writers had, a thriller was too fast a style and a drama would have served the purpose.
Do you find the review and rating on point or is it way off? All the people who have seen the movie, how did you like the movie and what are your feelings about it? DO sound off in the comments below!