With his last noticeable outing being 'Drishyam' in 2015, Nishikant Kamat is back to stun the audience with his new offering, Madaari. The film is an emotional journey of a father, who loses his young, 7-year-old son in a mishap and his subsequent saga of extracting revenge from the rotten political system.
Nirmal Kumar (Irrfan Khan) is a techie, who starts life afresh after he’s disowned by his father for marrying a Muslim girl. The happy couple is soon blessed with a baby boy, and life seems picture perfect with the family. That is, until his wife leaves him and their child, going away to the West. Nirmal tries hard to prove his skills as a single parent, but sadly, his son meets with an accident and succumbs to his injuries. Soon after, Nirmal starts his journey against the political system to unveil the dark side of corruption. He kidnaps the son of Home Minister Prashant (Tushar Dalvi) from his boarding school in Dehradun, and demands that the minister surrender with his team. On the other hand, the ministry approaches Nachiket (Jimmy Shergill) to investigate the kidnapping.
It seems like Nishikant Kamat has a special affinity to kids being a huge part of his movies. His previous two outings had emotional trips with the kids along with the protagonists of his movies. The director has managed to encapsulate beautifully the father-son relationship throughout the film. While the backdrop of the film bears striking resemblance to Neeraj Pandey’s 'A Wednesday', 'Madaari' has an emotional journey attached to it apart form the critical take on the political system. The movie clocks in at about two and a half hours and will keep you glued to the screen till the very last frame. The film also showcases shades of Stockholm Syndrome, which will remind you heavily of Imtiaz Ali’s 'Highway'. The director, however, manages to make 'Madaari' stand out in every possible manner.
Irrfan is an absolute master of his craft, and 'Madaari' proves it. The ease with which he makes you cry in 'Madaari' is astonishing. A scene that stands out in the movie is where he narrates his sad past to the Home Minister’s son during his escape; it is flawless. Towards the climax too, Irrfan shows his prowess as an actor when he calls a bunch of politicians for an answer to the existing corruption. The master actor’s scenes as a grieving father will leave you moist-eyed.
The movie is also a blank canvas for Jimmy Shergill, another superb actor, who carries the role of a disciplined cop with such ease, that you just can’t take your eyes off him. The film’s supporting cast — Tushar playing the helpless father, Nitish Pandey playing the boisterous news show anchor and child actor Vishesh Bansal — do a splendid job and justice to their roles. Vishesh especially does a great job, going from an aggressive captive to softening towards his kidnapper is soothing to watch.
While high on the emotional value, the film does have certain loopholes. How Irrfan manages to get a WiFi connection in Rajasthan’s deserts or how shifts his place abruptly while he is calling the ministry from the bus stuck out like a sore thumb. Overall, the film would do well with those who like movies based on the message of anti-corruption. And yes, Nishikant has even more to do this time around. Madaari is certainly an eye-opener for those who want to be a part of social awakening in our society. The movie is a great watch for the weekend.