Producer: John Abraham VIACOM 18 Motion Pictures, Ronnie Lahiri
Director: Shoojit Sircar
Plot: Army Major Vikram Singh (John Abraham) works for RAW as the head of their covert operations. He is sent to Sri Lanka to work with a colleague named Bala to capture Anna Bhaskaran (Rathnam), who is the head of the rebel LTF group a.k.a Tigers – to force a deal of peaceful resolution. Vikram has been given a heads up about the danger Anna Bhaskaran possesses. And then what follows is just a sorrowful tale for Vikram Singh who is targetted along with his team and is impaled from inside thanks to a leak.
Madras Cafe contains that ingredient which most Bollywood filmmakers haven’t used yet. The film is a mastery of research, analysis, courage and no songs. The first half talks about the different problems, leaks, foreign negatives and all the other issues as they come to the notice of Vikram. RAW Boss Robin Duff pulls all the strings from above kept in the loop by Vikram. A foreign journalist friend Jaya (Nargis Fakhri) ( who plays the role of real-life journalist Anita Pratap who first interviewed LTTE chief Prabhakaran) helps Vikram Singh to an extent no one could. But also to that extent where there is still no hope.
The second half of Madras Cafe deserves an applause for the amazing build up towards an agonizing climax. It showcases India’s sensitivity, it’s duty, it’s complexity, it’s victory and it’s loss. Conspiracies and plights kept arising and became crystal clear as Vikram came closer yet two steps far.
Technical-Aspect: Shoojit Sircar is a winner with his spectacular direction and the cinematography is simply superb. It just maintained a sense of horrendous cruelty and mental violence. The shots of warships, helicopters and the gruelling display of the LTF suicide bombers is highly commendable.
Performance: John Abraham has drawn a new line of standard for himself with a movie like this. Sure, he can do comedy, people say.. but this character of his was justified to every fibre. Nargis Fakhri (who only has to speak in English, thankfully!) has also done a brilliant job. Yes, she looks smoking hot but she carries off her stern professional role of a journalist exceptionally well.
The Last Word: The movie deserves mass audience rather than a ban. Go watch it if you want a chill running down your spine towards the end!