U/A; Drama
Director: Nishikant Kamat
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Jimmy Sheirgill
Rating: 2.5 stars

Over a decade ago, director Nishikant Kamat made the hard-hitting Marathi film, ‘Dombivili Fast’, which dealt with the trials and tribulations of a common man. In ‘Madaari’, he yet again sets out to highlight societal ills. Though the intention is right, the execution isn’t.

Juxtaposing songs (there is a long-winding track at the end of the first half) with montage shots of crowds in the second half mar the narrative. They pose as hindrance in striking a chord with the protagonist, single parent Nirmal Kumar (Irrfan Khan), who loses his school-going son in a bridge collapse. The mishap is shown to be unfolding in Andheri (east), while the announcer says the victims are being taken to the ‘paas ke’ KEM Hospital. Now, any Mumbaikar would know that KEM is in Parel and nowhere ‘paas’ to Andheri. It is at least an hour’s drive or more, given the city’s infamous situation. Glitches apart, there is that emotional connect with the grieving father. More than remorse and guilt for not dropping him to school that day and allowing him to go alone, Nirmal seethes in anger. Why did his son die in a manmade tragedy? He seeks answers. Devastated, he thinks of ending his life, but then decides to expose the people responsible for the tragedy.

After that point, ‘Madaari’ takes off on a roller-coaster ride as a dishevelled Nirmal kidnaps a minister’s son. The boy is a brat, who, somewhere down the line, gets comfortable with his kidnapper. He wonders if his kidnapper has also warmed up to him as he realises Nirmal means no harm to him but wants to bring his minister-dad to book.

Jimmy Sheirgill as the cop sleepwalks through the role. He has done similar stuff umpteen times. It is sad to see him typecast. Towards the end, when you feel for Nirmal and his loss, comes a pretty dramatic and filmy end — when the protagonist brings everyone associated with the bridge collapse down to their knees begging forgiveness. This is coupled with a lot of dialogue-baazi about corruption, inefficiency, accountability and red tape. Pretty much as expected, the film concludes with victory of the common man’s voice.

Watch it only for Irrfan and to know why he is top of the heap when it comes to histrionics.

Courtesy: Mid Day

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