Madaari - Review

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
quick review:

As an intelligent thriller, it works. As a poke to social conscience, can movies do more than poke?



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Wogma Review

Madaari has just the right amount of “thriller” moments that make you wonder what will happen next – will the kidnapper's plan work out? What is the investigation team going to do next? However, that is not Madaari's sole aim. While holding your interest, Madaari clearly has another agenda. The trailer, the promotional material, the tag line, “shhh...desh so raha hai” (quiet, the country is sleeping) all couldn't be more obvious in telling you about its motive – to talk about the state of corruption in the country. It fumbles here, it falters there, but it works.

As a message film, Madaari works as much as a movie can work as a nudge to collective social conscience. No action is really expected from you after you are out of the theater. It will take something much stronger than a movie for that to happen.

Meanwhile though, Madaari makes you smirk at the rot in the society because it is uncommon to see on screen what we have gotten used to seeing off it. It makes you nod your head in agreement at situations that characters find themselves in.

It even makes us clap at some wonderfully written lines. Lines that are witty, insightful and unexpected all at once – yet they are not “filmy”. They are lines that real-life smart alecs, sharp people, sarcastic people, frustrated people would say when caught in the said situation.

The writing shines in the story too. Madaari stays engaging, despite its slow pace, mainly because it is not a one-sided game. Both sides – the kidnapper (Irrfan Khan) and the task force head (Jimmy Sheirgill) are using their wits to make the next move. To that, you add the dilemma – isn't the kidnapper making sense? Isn't his agenda our agenda (in real life)? But is it right to kidnap, whatever your reason? Not to mention that the politician whose son has been abducted is not necessarily all black, even though a lot of his real life choices are politically motivated. Of course, you couldn't be so involved if it were not for actors like Irrfan Khan and Jimmy Sheirgill leading the affair. While we expect nothing less from Irrfan Khan, Jimmy Sheirgill has subtle reactions to what he hears/sees that are not to be missed. There is no dilemma in his mind, and yet you can see the surprise in his eyes and body language that says, “touché”. It is good to see that variation, when he seems to be the go to person to play a task force head for impossible tasks. Vishesh Bansal, the kidnapped kid, is rather functional, but that too had its charm. It is always tiring to see a child actor speaking like an adult.

In fact, there are times in movies with a social message make you wish even adults didn't speak like adults. Madaari doesn't have too much of it but it does fall into the preachy category towards the end, in a very, “you can't handle the truth” manner.

That aside, use of daydreams is another element that was quiet annoying. It's alright for the first couple of times because they are small sections. But playing with the audience using longer sequences of such gimmickry is almost like cheating, like saying it out loud that they aren't confident of the real drama, the real story. Also, it breaks the rhythm of the film. Though the pace of the film slackens because there is nothing new happening in one section of the film, it had a tone. This tone becomes uneven and distracting.

However, these aren't bad enough to take away from the slick editing, the slight non-linearity in the timeline. Along with the camerawork and the music, the flow of the film add to the thriller element of the film.

These bits alone are enough for me to watch the film again. Yes, despite the things that are disappointing. For the social angle, I just might have the kids watch it with me.

- meeta, a part of the audience

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: A few slaps.
  • Language: Clean
  • Nudity & Sexual content: None
  • Concept: The home minister's eight-year old son is kidnapped.
  • General Look and Feel: A real atmosphere with some slick editing

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3.5
  • Story: 4
  • Lead Actors: 4
  • Character Artists: 3.5
  • Dialogues: 5
  • Screenplay: 4
  • Music Director: 2
  • Lyrics: 2.5

Madaari - Movie Details

Madaari - Trailer

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Comments (6)

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Aparna Mudi:

Wonderfully written. movies often portray sentiments in a subtle way. maybe it will help in waking the conscience of someone somewhere.


Direction: 0.5
Story: 2
Lead Actors: 3
Character Artists: 1.5

Dialogues: 2
Screenplay: 0.5
Music Director: 0.5
Lyrics: 0.25


Despite the lack of novelty and a plot that appears to be heavily borrowed from 'A Wednesday', Madaari is watchable because of the on screen brilliance of one of the finest actors of our times, the one and only IRRFAN.

Abhinav Yadav:

Madari is a wonderfull movie by Mr. Khan. He is a great actor with perfect timing. a must watch for all his fans. overall Entertaining


For me, even the presence of Irrfan could not salvage this thoroughly boring film. Dialogue was mind-numbingly bad.


Very long and disappointing film. Barring the last 15 minutes the film has nothing special to offer.

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