Direction: Nishikant Kamat
Actors: Irrfan, Jimmy Sheirgill, Vishesh Bansal
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Madaari is a testament to the talent of Irrfan – the Khan has been dropped. This predictable, inconsistent and implausible story would have collapsed completely with a lesser actor. But Irrfan glues it together with a potent blend of skill and screen presence. His sorrow is palpable and raw, like an open wound. When he cries, it’s so piercing that it almost makes you uncomfortable. And yet, he compels you to keep watching.
Here Irrfan breathes life into a cliché – the common man who suffers a gross injustice and then rises up against the system. You’ve seen this guy before – Akshay Kumar in Gabbar is Back, the gang of youngsters in Ungli and Rang de Basanti, and most memorably Naseeruddin Shah in A Wednesday.
Watch the trailer here:
Irrfan is Nirmal Kumar, a nondescript middle-class everyman. He describes himself as ‘the ideal voter’ because he is so embroiled in ‘roti, kapda aur makan’ that he never pays attention to the mess outside. His most unique trait is that he’s a single parent. Suddenly one day, his happy home is torn apart. He decides that he won’t rest until the criminals are found.
The script, by Ritesh Shah, is alternately gripping and limp. The first hour is essentially a police procedural with the determined-looking cop, played by Jimmy Sheirgill, hunting for the kidnapped son of the home minister. Director Nishikant Kamat keeps the narrative tight and fast. But the carefully built-up tension fizzles as soon as we hit a flashback.
As the story unravels, the direction becomes more heavy-handed too. Each beat is underlined – there is a lot of talk about system pe gussa, corruption and aam aadmi. The scenes – several in roads, trains and buses – become repetitive. And the dialogue spells out exactly what you are seeing – so a character says about Nirmal that he is a vigilante who is trying to prove a point.