Posts Tagged ‘john abraham


Film Review: Madras Cafe

Shoojit Sircar’s film is a political thriller that takes itself seriously and allows you to take it seriously. This movie review doesn’t contain spoilers

bollywood-madras-cafe-posterMadras Cafe is a Hindi movie that has nothing to do with Eid, Diwali, Ganpati, star power. It is a political thriller that isn’t adulterated with romance, and it doesn’t have songs for the masses to hum. Madras Cafe is that rare Hindi film which has nothing in common with the Bollywood fare that is thrown at you every week.

Madras Cafe is about the LTTE (LTF in the movie), why they plotted the assassination of Indian ex-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, how they executed their plan, and how a few men unsuccessfully tried to stop it.

A peace force is dispatched from India to Sri Lanka to restore calm before the upcoming elections, but the Senalese, who have been wiping out ethnic Tamils, are now constantly being attacked by the LTF – a Tamilian militant outfit created by Anna Bhaskaran (remember LTTE chief Prabhakaran?), and John Abraham, RAW’s most efficient agent, finds himself in Jaffna.

nargis-fakhri-in-madras-cafe-movieIt’s hard to get over how unlike everything else in Bollywood this film is. Shoojit Sircar is an excellent director, and I came out of my hiatus to watch Madras Cafe only because I loved Vicky Donor (read my review of that movie here), and I’m happy to tell you Madras Cafe has no songs, no heroes flexing their biceps and thrashing twenty goons at a time, no flying cars… you get it, but let me go on… nobody’s trying to be witty or macho, and there isn’t even a hint of the possibility of a love angle. Nargis Fakhri (read my review of her film Rockstar here) is a journalist, and nothing happens between her and John Abraham… they don’t even seem remotely interested in flirting or even smiling at each other. Madras Cafe is all about the story, and because of the way it has been told, written, edited and directed, is what you should watch if you’re interested in seeing a Hindi movie that doesn’t embarrass you in any way. It’s a fictional story that takes place in a dark chapter of Indian history.

john-abraham-madras-cafeI tip my hat to John Abraham for, despite being very much a part of Bollywood, having the balls to not make Madras Cafe “salable” at the box office. This is his second triumph as a producer and perhaps his first as an actor (read my review of his action flick Force here). Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Cafe is a film that takes itself seriously and allows you to take it seriously.

RATING: 3.5/5

READ: An update about my band Solar Deity’s new album Devil Worship on Eight Octaves


Movie Review – Force (2011)

Genelia D’Souza is the prettiest girl in the Hindi film industry but she has wrecked John Abraham’s chances of giving his career a boost. Genelia is so cute and delicate and girly that she wins big points with me instantly, but she’s in every other scene in Force, looking pretty and making John Abraham fall in love with her. Nobody in the audience will fall for it, though.

You go to watch an action movie feeling good that it doesn’t have that idiot Salman Khan or that bore Ajay Devgan, you think it’ll be a fun movie because it won’t have movie stars mouthing stupid lines for people who have come determined to clap and whistle till the movie’s over, you think you’ll actually be able to take the movie seriously because the story won’t be an attempt to make the superstar larger than cinema. Force is the movie you came to watch, but unfortunately, Force has no depth or substance. Force has John Abraham being stoic, Genelia D’Souza being childlike, a bunch of familiar faces hamming away, new villain Vidyut Jammwal making a mess of the shot he got, and badly shot action scenes.

The story? A police informer gives away the whereabouts of everyone who deals in drugs, causing the narcotics department (John Abraham and a few others) to wipe their businesses out. Turns out the informer had been asked to do that by Vishnu (Vidyut Jammwal), who wanted the narco team to eliminate his rivals so that his gang could become the only one around.

Vishnu jumps and runs like a strong animal, and this we see after his brother has been shot dead by the undercover cops during a drug bust. Vishnu wants revenge, and he wants the narcotics team and their loved ones dead. Vishnu’s one-dimensional performance would have been interesting had he not been stiff. Vishnu walks in and out of scenes with the same look and the same mood, occasionally putting up a fight with ACP Yashvardhan (John Abraham), who has fallen for Genelia’s beauty and has even danced in the desert with her. In a suit. And in strange clothing. Next to a piano. In the fucking desert.

Not that much is required from John Abraham. He’s in an action movie; all he needs to do is be dour and flex his muscles, because the chick will handle his dick. But John looks like he’s in great pain when he smiles. It’s a struggle for him. I really feel for the guy; he’s got this pumped up body and deserves a break. Force, which is a remake of a hit movie from the south, would’ve done it for him if director Nishikant Kamat had not had a female voice humming every time John looks at Genelia, and if there hadn’t been a song for every occasion, every 15 minutes. And the dialogues… Lord Satan, if you heard the banter exchange between John and Genelia you’d wish they’d just shut up and have sex. But I don’t think they get to fuck; Genelia falls in slow motion while dying and that stupid humming comes back on.

Something’s very wrong when an action movie doesn’t have you rooting for the hero or the villain, and something’s very wrong when an action movie doesn’t make us guys want to work out or learn a martial art.

With Genelia playing cushion, and all its other flaws, Force is impossible to get into.


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