Madaari: The Hawkish Chick!
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Reviewer’s Thumb Mark
Madaari is high on delivering social and political awareness to the public and it is a gentle reminder to many in the society to pull their socks because they cannot remain silent against a corrupt system for long. Madaari is definitely successful in conveying a strong message to the power centers of our country not to underestimate a common man because he/she can play a major role to organize and channelize public anger against a decaying and corruption-ridden so-called democratic system. Its opening lines: “Baaz chuze pe chapta, utta le gaya! Kahani sacchi lagthi hai lekin acchi nahin lagthi! Baaz pe pallatwaar hua! Kahani sacchi nahin lagthi lekin khuda kassam bahuth acchi lagthi hai!” conveys what is in store for the viewers. Having said this, Nishikant Kamat’s Madaari is nowhere near the brilliance of Neeraj Pandey’s ‘A Wednesday’.
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Though, Madaari has a similar theme of a common man raising cudgels against the system; Irrfan falls short to the creativity and acting nuances (except for some scenes here and there) Nazeeruddin Shah displayed in ‘A Wednesday’ maybe because Nishikant Kamat’s script is loosely knit with not so strong situations and dialogues that shall keep one glued to the seat for long and help Irrfan to display his acting prowess as he has done in many films in the past.
The story telling is too slow, there are characters and relationships introduced and not explored further, for instance, Nirmal Kumar’s (Irrfan Khan) relationship with his wife, his father, other siblings and what and how his intercaste marriage rocks his family relationship. These are fleetingly mentioned and not explored fully. One reason could be that it is not the theme of the movie but then when it is mentioned it needs a kind of substantial depiction and evidence to satiate the viewer’s curiosity to know what happened in his personal life apart from the tragedy he is dealing with. The audience is left to assume about Nirmal Kumar’s profession. Is he an IT professional? Is he an employee of any company? Is he into any kind of IT related business? Or is he a small time freelancer who visits residences and offices to fix their wifi connection and solve IT related glitches (he is shown fixing the wifi connection of a client once)?
Nirmal Kumar is shown disoriented, depressed, suicidal and low on personal hygiene after the tragedy that befell on his son. What is that moment that propels him to come out of such a mental state and help him decide to challenge the system is not clearly depicted rather it is left to the audience assumption. Nirmal Kumar’s conversations with his kidnapee Rohan (Vishesh Bansal) an eight-year-old elite school hosteller are so poorly written that it doesn’t generate (Except for a few situations) any kind of kidnapper-kidnapee thrills and twists emotionally.
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The climax of Madaari is laughable because of the illogical depiction of a kangaroo court set-up in the middle of a city and that too at Nirmal Kumar’s residence which is already under police surveillance. Jimmy Shergill (Nachiket Verma) as the cop in charge of nabbing Nirmal Kumar is low on energy and lack clever dialogues. The whole army, military and other investigative agencies are shown as passive onlookers in this whole melodrama, whereas the cop mentions somewhere in his dialogues that decisions of choosing his team lies with him but then how to nab the kidnapper will be a team effort including all the top agencies. What happens to Nirmal Kumar at the end is shown but what about the real culprits who take the nation for granted? Nishikant has asked a range of questions from corruption to sky rocketing prices of vegetables but most of them are left unanswered or probably left to the viewers to ponder.
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Nevertheless, Nishikant Kamat’s Madaari is a onetime watch not because of the story telling but definitely because of its powerful message. It continues its journey in theatres with mixed responses from the audience. Irrfan Khan and Jimmy Shergill’s presence salvage the film to some extent. There are certain scenes that are noteworthy like 1. the hospital scene is heart wrenching when Nirmal Kumar breaks down, 2. the scene where Nirmal Kumar reveals his intentions of what he is going to do with the cheque he has received as a compensation to his personal tragedy, and 3. the last scene of the kidnaper and the kidnapee. Madaari is a film which could have been a very powerful and far better film if the filmmaker and his team had done their homework seriously. Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s lines at the end credits definitely depict the good intentions of the filmmaker:
‘Bol, ke lab azaad hai teri: (Speak, for your lips are free:)
Bol, Zabaan ab tak teri hai, (Speak, your tongue is still yours,)
Tera sutwan jism hai tera – (Your upright body is yours -)
Bol, ke jaan ab tak teri hai. (Speak, your life is still yours.)
Go and watch for its politically unbiased message which is loud and clear: “ It’s not right to say that the government is corrupt rather it would be right to say that it is for corruption the government is formed”.
Life Connoisseur Movie Rating: 2.5/5
Cast: Irrfan Khan (Nirmal Kumar), Jimmy Shergill (Nachiket Verma), Vishesh Bansal (Rohan), Tushar Dalvi (Prashant Goswami), Uday Tikeker (Nimbalkar)
Genre: Social-political thriller
Director: Nishikant Kamat
Producers: Irrfan Khan, Shailesh Singh, Madan Paliwal, Sutapa Sikdar, Shailaja Kejriwal
Written by: Ritesh Shah (Dialogues)
Screenplay by: Ritesh Shah
Story by: Shailaja Kejriwal
Music by: Vishal Bhardwaj, sunny-Inder Bawra
Background Score: Sameer Phaterpekar
Cinematography: Avinash Arun
Edited by: Arif Shaikh
Production Company: Paramhans Creations & Saptarishi Cinevision
Distributor: Pooja Entertainment & Films
Release Date: 22nd July, 2016
Duration: 134 Minutes