Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review of Madras Cafe

Immediately after writing a detail article( Lanka Dahanam ) on the Sri Lankan conflict, I find it very difficult to write something far less important, which is a movie review.
But I owe this movie a bit. It was while watching it that I was convinced that I should write about the genocide and now that I am finally through it I should just write the review.

The movie revolves around the basic plots surrounding the civil war in Sri Lanka and how India got entangled into it. Being the 4th largest military in the world and propelling towards being a regional power, India in those days was proactively monitoring and involved in the dynamics of Sri Lankan politics.

Through the eyes of an ex-RAW agent and paratrooper(never mentioned, but supposed to be so from the Red Beret), played by John Abraham, the story unfolds of how things went from bad to worse for India and Sri Lanka. Scripted as a commercial movie with some action scenes, suspense and romance this movie doesn't seem to hold back on the depth of research done on the topic. I was personally interested in the political involvements that were depicted.

The role played by Nargis seemed too cliche and badly written, and felt like forcibly added to keep the charm of beautiful models who speak British English in a war torn country of Tamils and Sinhalese and get prompt responses in .. Hindi! Speaking of which, the language was a major disappointment with the movie. Probably to keep the majority of Hindi speaking community in mind, the use of subtitles and local language has been limited and almost all characters speak Hindi, though broken. And the goof-ups showing the poster of Aashiqui-2 in a theatre scene which was supposed to happen in the 80s, and the shoots in Kochi where the modern container terminal too appears on frame shows that the camera department didn't do much homework to recreate the times when the story unfolded.

 Even John's attire and looks were largely metro-sexual, which wasn't the norm in those days. It looked like and old story remodeled to suit the sensibilities of the new crowd. But to give credit where it is due, the equipments used and some of the guns too were taken care to be those that were really available in those days.

Though there were some goof-ups and inaccurate facts, the story moves at a good pace through the solid lines keeping the balance between the story of the individual and the larger political and social aspect of the conflict.

Overall a entertaining political thriller that makes you think. 7.4/10

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