The last time that Irrfan Khan and Nishikant Kamat had teamed up for Mumbai Meri Jaan, we had been thoroughly impressed, This had created hopes that their latest film Madaari too would win our hearts. However, unfortunately, Madhuri doesn’t even come close despite a powerful lead actor and a story, which had immense potential.
Nirmal Kumar (Irrfan) is an average Joe, who kidnaps the son of the Home Minister to demand accountability after his own son gets killed in a mishap, which is the result of bureaucratic apathy and corruption.
Nirmal’s crime sends the government and the law enforcement machinery on a wild goose chase to apprehend the kidnapper and rescue the Home Minister’s son, who is clueless about why he has been kidnapped. Nachiket Verma (Jimmy Sheirgill), a crack CBI officer is unleashed by the Home Minister to solve the case at any cost and what follows later forms the rest of the plot.
Years back, Neeraj Pandey had come up with A Wednesday, a vigilante thriller about a common man, who takes the law into his own hands to vent out his frustration and indeed, in the past, Nishikant Kamat too had made a hard-hitting Marathi film named Dombivali Fast, which delved into the anguish and frustration of a commoner crushed by the system. Though both the aforementioned films struck a chord with the masses, Madaari fails miserably in that department. Irrfan has done a good job, though this is not his best effort at all while Jimmy is dependable as always.
However, the film itself is so poorly executed that you cannot help but feel bad for the actors, who can be usually relied upon to make an impact. In his desire to drive home the protagonist’s anguish, Kamat goes overboard with melodrama, which is bound to make you lose interest in the plot. If nothing else, Kamat could have served up a crisp thriller with a cat-and-mouse chase, but the director fails to even do that. There is zero thrill factor and the filmmaker seems confused about whether he wants to show a thriller or an emotional drama because the movie keeps fluctuating between the two genres.
Irrfan’s chemistry with the child actor is non-existent and it is tough to swallow the ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ theory that the kid prattles on about simply because there are no such moments between the kidnapper and his victim, which could have justified a bond between the two. The second half of the film drags on and on, making you wonder when the film will end.