Cast: Irrfan, Jimmy Shergill, Tushar Dalvi
Direction: Nishikant Kamat
‘Madaari’ is just too preachy for my liking. Nishikant Kamat’s story of vigilante justice is too slow and takes too long to make a very obvious point.
Reminiscent of Neeraj Pandey’s sleeper hit ‘A Wednesday’ (2008); this film brings forth the plight and the angst of the common man. But unlike Pandey’s film it lacks edge-of-the-seat tension, the intrigue and the brilliant payoff.
This story begins like a fast-paced thriller but soon drags on at a languid pace, pausing every now and then to make a comment on the corrupt political system prevalent in the country.
The loss of a child makes for a heart-wrenching story, the tragic circumstances under which a single father loses his son already has your empathy. Yet, it feels like the filmmakers are trying too hard - tugging at your heartstrings and trying to make you weep at the plight of this hapless father who is blinded by grief and wants accountability from a system he believes has failed him.
The system is no doubt flawed and liable but holding a politician’s son hostage is not the answer. Corruption is inherent in this country’s social fabric and it is too simplistic to try and find answers by holding a handful unscrupulous people hostage. Therefore, while as a viewer you understand the agony of a grieving father, you can never really wrap your head around what he is actually trying to accomplish.
Irrfan’s portrayal is convincing for the most part and more than once I had tears in my eyes as he makes his sense of loss seem so real and palpable and yet, sometimes he falters, especially during the conversations with his hostage.
Jimmy Shergill looks credible as the cop in charge but his character is just not given enough agency to seem really effective. I have seen him sparkle brighter in lesser roles but the director seems to have just not done enough for him in this film.
I would have loved this film had the story been taut and the plot a tad bit restrained in its narrative. ‘Madaari’ is engaging but not enough to keep you hooked throughout.