Irrfan Khan Wades Through Contrived Cinema to Rescue Madaari
Irrfan Khan is gradually turning out into yet another Amitabh Bachchan in his own way. Just like in the heyday of Big B the heroine was redundant to the film, Irrfan manages to carry a film on his own shoulders without the prop of a dancing,singing heroine in clinging rain soaked clothes.
Madaari the latest release starring Irrfan does not even pretend to name a heroine in the star cast.
It's a simple and moving story of a single parent (father in this case) taking on the entire system symbolised by no less than the Home Minister of the country (Tushar Dalvi) to remind the politicians what it feels to lose a child.
Casually dressed,softly speaking this common man Nirmal Kumar decides to kidnap the son of the Home Minister to force the government machinery to find out his missing seven year old son crushed under the debris of a bridge that had crashed due to the sub standard material used in it.
As he dodges the usual traps set by the police to hunt him down the viewers are given touching glimpses of the bonding with his son in years flashing in memories that haunt and scare him.
The best part of the film is not the heroics of the tech savvy common man which we had seen in more dramatic format in 'A Wednesday' played by Naseeruddin Shah.
The most memorable part of Madaari will remain the growing attachment between Irrfan and his victim, the child he had kidnapped. It is a pleasant co-incidence that both happen to belong to the same age group.
And yet this is not a sentimental or tear jerker kind of alliance.The memories of his missing son are too sacrosanct for the distraught father to share even with a sweet hapless child who has become his victim only because he happens to be the son of the Home Minister.There is nothing common between the two children no common story no resemblances.
And yet they grudgingly start filling up a vacant space in their lives as they travel together in buses, trucks,trains and eat at roadside dhabas.
This is not a new phenomenon and as Irrfan explains to the boy the attraction of the victim towards his kidnapper is known as Stockholm Syndrome. But when the boy asks him if this can be the other way round, the kidnapper falling in love with his victim there is a pregnant silence. As if the father is resisting very hard not to give that space to anyone else.
However the last 15 minutes of the film by Director Nishikant Kamat seem very contrived and takes away from the brilliance of the story and his emotional break-down in the hospital scene where a broken Irrfan is left holding a school bag of his missing son about whom no one has a clue.
Getting a confession on TV of the growing nexus of corruption in day to day life by the Home Minister, builders and contractors in the 'Nation wants to know style' weakens the ending as it is too unreal and over dramatic.
But judging by the reaction of the viewers in the first show of the film in the morning show it appears it would grip the attention of families even without the flourishes of songs and dances, car chases and shoot-outs.
Jimmy Shergill as the tough talking policeman who secretly spares the promised encounter of the common man who has become a legend impresses once again.