Madras Cafe (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes

Madras Cafe (2013)

TOMATOMETER

——

——

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

This film is a political spy thriller, set against the backdrop of Sri Lankan Civil War of 1990's. An Indian Intelligence agent is deputed into a war torn coastal island, to conduct covert operations and break a resolute rebel group. He deftly manoeuvres his resources to make significant breakthroughs, amidst a scenario where the enemy has no face and the only counsel is 'Don't get caught.' At various junctures, he meets a charismatic and passionate international journalist who is following her will to reflect the truth behind the civil war. The story unfolds as their quest for the truth reveals a deeper conspiracy, by a faceless enemy, united to seize a common nemesis.

Watch it now

Cast

Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Madras Cafe

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

The most shocking thing about it is how dull it is.

Full Review… | August 27, 2013
RogerEbert.com
Top Critic

Director Shoojit Sircar's Madras Café embraces the same vivid, political thriller stylings of Ben Affleck's Oscar winner Argo, albeit in the service of a fictional but no less compelling narrative.

Full Review… | August 27, 2013
sbs.com.au

Audience Reviews for Madras Cafe

½

Madras Café review Subject & Main asset: Indian Film industry has not had a shortage of films about intense subjects pertaining to national, international and internal security matters. In past we have seen Indian films related to encounters, national and international controversies/scams, military operations, police and corporate syndicates, political establishments. So what is different about madras Café? Madras Café truly cuts the crap and delivers an honest point of view upon a very sensitive and deeply important issue in Indian history. It does not seem to 'Advocate' to the viewer about what is right or wrong at all. Nonetheless the film treats its subject more seriously than many of us would in our daily lives would. This sincerity makes the film indulging and throws the viewer at the edge of seat with excellent direction from Shoojit Sircar who chisels the subject with timely twists truly cloaking the film with art of direction in a way that the viewer can focus on the subject. The film's beauty lies in only the matter that it treats everyone in the film, less important than the subject itself. And it makes sure the viewer's get the point that patriotism, struggle for freedom, war and politics crisis are above any particular side. Like the invisible art behind the great thriller, Madras Café's main asset is the invisible director - Shoojit Sircar (and the story for sure). After excellent films like Aparajita Tumi, Yahaan, Vicky Donor and now Madras Café, Shoojit has certainly proved to be a matured Bengali gem of our modern film industry. The good: There are several winning aspects of the film. Surprisingly this time, it is not some big actor nor one element that is the highlight of the film. It is the integration of several subtle elements that make the film great to watch. - Fast Paced The movie begins with its main story up and running right from start credits without wasting a single dialogue. Exposing viewers to this fast pacing poses a challenge to the film to keep up with this pacing and even deliver a better punch at the end of the film. The film does all of that with a mix of subtle surprises in the plot, and taking time to constantly deliver a lot of details to the viewer. Shoojit Sircar brilliantly chooses which sub-plots and details to focus on, making it fast paced, but to-the-point movie. - The subject is greater than any individual Main leads, Abraham and Fakhri (Who resembles an actual journalist at that time who interviewed LTTE) as well as the supporting cast are very well cast and do what is enough to convey the plot. They do not try to grow more than required. The relationships, sub-plots, consequences of events to follow are all tied to one plot making the viewer ever more interested in anticipation of how things will affect the final outcome. The viewer is made aware that every small detail revealed can and probably will affect the climax. It is surprising that for the first time, the viewers are made to feel deeply sorry, angry, agitated and sad for a cause and events rather than for particular character. This rare quality of the film makes it special in the genre of Indian war films. It clearly instates how its philosophy and subject is greater than any individuals, may it be one civilian, RAW agent, soldier, militant, freedom fighter or politicians. - Details everywhere yet new factors emerge: The film is fun to watch because there are clear details about everything going on in the film. The viewer is made to see the detailed facts upon which some action is being done. The film does not act as an advocate for certain point of view. It is merely an observer and hence it does best at pointing out details and new factors. The film exposes the viewer fearlessly to layers of complications, some of which require the viewer to look at everything from a high-level situation perspective, yet in another consecutive moment deluging themselves in pool of organized details. Moreover, the film puts together a picture of co-existing and competing stakeholders including international interests and alliances to the on-going conflict which suddenly expands the intensity of possible outcome and makes it interestingly tense for the viewer more than ever to see the end. - No Songs. No unnecessary humor. The film does not take a break. - Supporting Cast The supporting actors seem authentic, from LTF leaders, politicians to raw agents, the supporting cast does great job. The not so good: - Clichés : Yes, the film is unlike most other military action thrillers made in Indian cinema till now. However it does suffer from Clichés. The whole premise of why the RAW agent wants to reveal his story to the viewers is trite and certainly could have done something more interesting than what this film has done. It does what every other film does, confess/cry/moan/sob about past in front of a strange priest/psychologist/confidant and writing a book about it or an accord of the experience. Given the creativity used in the rest of the film, this was disappointing. However, there are some other Clichéd moments used in the film to let the viewer connect to the film 'emotionally' and it can be argued if they were necessary. Hence it's not bad, but not so good either. Conclusion: Sharp as a piercing emotion, the light-speed plot which shortly takes pauses to let viewers absorb details and feel the intense risks and depth of the subject, Shoojit Sircar's brilliant direction is a must watch. Although, it does come with minor Cliché moments throughout the film, it is certainly one of the few films which truly respect the art of film making and use it to convey a deeply felt situation without being pompous about production quality or individuals, creating a vortex which transports the viewer into a situation which does not preach, is not overly arty, just an honest and bold expression of a sensitive situation which is suspense and action laden from start till the end.

Hasan M
Hasan M

One line summary: Well-directed political thriller concerning the turmoil in 1990s Sri Lanka. ---------------------------------------------------- The setting is the turmoil of the 1990s in Sri Lanka. Vikram Singh is the point man for Army Intelligence (RAW, or Research and Analysis Wing) in the matter. He is drawn in when there are clear signs that an assassination attempt will be made on the former Indian PM, who seems likely to regain his seat of power. The enemy is faceless, well-organised, and quite good at segmenting what any individual or small group needs to know. Vikram and his entire organisation work very hard at this, and arrest several groups of perpetrators, only to find that there are many small, highly effective bands with the same goal. At one point, when Vikram gets close to a piece of the truth, he is kidnapped and tortured. He is rescued from this, and goes on the do more exceptional investigatory work. By the end of the story, though, Vikram has paid many high prices. Through the course of the investigations, Vikram interacts, guardedly, with war correspondent Jaya. Their careful sharing of information was a well-written part of the plot. Vikram's whole-hearted pursuit of the case had more than one bad effect on his relationship with his wife Ruby. The movie opens to Vikram in later life, alone, alcoholic, limping, and plagued with guilt over failures. Told in flashback style, the years spent pursuing the terrorists is gripping. The long effort at stopping the plot of Anna and the LFT was bulk of the film. -----Scores----- Cinematography: 8/10 Usually great, with a few moments of hand-held nonsense. Sound: 6/10 I liked the music over the closing credits. Sound was not done in the traditional Bollywood fashion, but then this is a more serious work than the more common musicals. Still, some instrumental music for accenting mood might have been nice. Acting: 8/10 The acting by the principals is outstanding. Screenplay: 10/10 The many threads are woven together rather well. The depiction of violence was difficult to watch at times, but trenchant and central to the overall story. Much more screen time goes to political intrigue and efforts at stopping a determined terrorist group from achieving its goals.

Ed Collins
Ed Collins

Indian Film industry has not had a shortage of films about intense subjects pertaining to national, international and internal security matters. In past we have seen Indian films related to encounters, national and international controversies/scams, military operations, police and corporate syndicates, political establishments. So what is different about madras Café? Madras Café truly cuts the crap and delivers an honest point of view upon a very sensitive and deeply important issue in Indian history. It does not seem to 'Advocate' to the viewer about what is right or wrong at all. Nonetheless the film treats its subject more seriously than many of us would in our daily lives would. This sincerity makes the film indulging and throws the viewer at the edge of seat with excellent direction from Shoojit Sircar who chisels the subject with timely twists truly cloaking the film with art of direction in a way that the viewer can focus on the subject. The film's beauty lies in only the matter that it treats everyone in the film, less important than the subject itself. And it makes sure the viewer's get the point that patriotism, struggle for freedom, war and politics crisis are above any particular side. Like the invisible art behind the great thriller, Madras Café's main asset is the invisible director - Shoojit Sircar (and the story for sure). After excellent films like Aparajita Tumi, Yahaan, Vicky Donor and now Madras Café, Shoojit has certainly proved to be a matured Bengali gem of our modern film industry. The good: There are several winning aspects of the film. Surprisingly this time, it is not some big actor nor one element that is the highlight of the film. It is the integration of several subtle elements that make the film great to watch. - Fast Paced The movie begins with its main story up and running right from start credits without wasting a single dialogue. Exposing viewers to this fast pacing poses a challenge to the film to keep up with this pacing and even deliver a better punch at the end of the film. The film does all of that with a mix of subtle surprises in the plot, and taking time to constantly deliver a lot of details to the viewer. Shoojit Sircar brilliantly chooses which sub-plots and details to focus on, making it fast paced, but to-the-point movie. - The subject is greater than any individual Main leads, Abraham and Fakhri (Who resembles an actual journalist at that time who interviewed LTTE) as well as the supporting cast are very well cast and do what is enough to convey the plot. They do not try to grow more than required. The relationships, sub-plots, consequences of events to follow are all tied to one plot making the viewer ever more interested in anticipation of how things will affect the final outcome. The viewer is made aware that every small detail revealed can and probably will affect the climax. It is surprising that for the first time, the viewers are made to feel deeply sorry, angry, agitated and sad for a cause and events rather than for particular character. This rare quality of the film makes it special in the genre of Indian war films. It clearly instates how its philosophy and subject is greater than any individuals, may it be one civilian, RAW agent, soldier, militant, freedom fighter or politicians. - Details everywhere yet new factors emerge: The film is fun to watch because there are clear details about everything going on in the film. The viewer is made to see the detailed facts upon which some action is being done. The film does not act as an advocate for certain point of view. It is merely an observer and hence it does best at pointing out details and new factors. The film exposes the viewer fearlessly to layers of complications, some of which require the viewer to look at everything from a high-level situation perspective, yet in another consecutive moment deluging themselves in pool of organized details. Moreover, the film puts together a picture of co-existing and competing stakeholders including international interests and alliances to the on-going conflict which suddenly expands the intensity of possible outcome and makes it interestingly tense for the viewer more than ever to see the end. - No Songs. No unnecessary humor. The film does not take a break. - Supporting Cast The supporting actors seem authentic, from LTF leaders, politicians to raw agents, the supporting cast does great job. The not so good: - Clichés : Yes, the film is unlike most other military action thrillers made in Indian cinema till now. However it does suffer from Clichés. The whole premise of why the RAW agent wants to reveal his story to the viewers is trite and certainly could have done something more interesting than what this film has done. It does what every other film does, confess/cry/moan/sob about past in front of a strange priest/psychologist/confidant and writing a book about it or an accord of the experience. Given the creativity used in the rest of the film, this was disappointing. However, there are some other Clichéd moments used in the film to let the viewer connect to the film 'emotionally' and it can be argued if they were necessary. Hence it's not bad, but not so good either. Conclusion: Sharp as a piercing emotion, the light-speed plot which shortly takes pauses to let viewers absorb details and feel the intense risks and depth of the subject, Shoojit Sircar's brilliant direction is a must watch. Although, it does come with minor Cliché moments throughout the film, it is certainly one of the few films which truly respect the art of film making and use it to convey a deeply felt situation without being pompous about production quality or individuals, creating a vortex which transports the viewer into a situation which does not preach, is not overly arty, just an honest and bold expression of a sensitive situation which is suspense and action laden from start till the end.

Hasan  Mithiborwala
Hasan Mithiborwala

Madras Cafe Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Madras Cafe on our Movie forum!

News & Features