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The film proves that the idea of the worm-turning kind of vigilantism has its limitations


Starring:  Irrfan Khan, Vishesh Bansal, Jimmy Shergill and others.
Dir by Nishikant Kamat
Rating: **

The ‘common man’ had his moment in the sun in the indie hit, A Wednesday, when an ordinary, middle-­aged man took on a bunch of terrorists by using their tactics. But the idea of the worm-turning kind of vigilantism has its limitations, as Nishikant Kamat’s Madaari proves.

Irrfan Khan pulls out all stops in his performance as techie Nirmal Kumar, whose son dies in a bridge collapse blamed on substandard material and construction. He wants those responsible to be punished, and kidnaps Rohan, the eight-year-old son (Vishesh Bansal) of the home minister (Tushar Dalvi). The film then turns into a slugging road movie, with Nirmal dragging the brat all over north India, dressed in local costumes, with grim-looking cop Nachiket (Jimmy Shergill) pursuing him. You can’t catch me, taunts Nirmal, because I look so common. At first Rohan is quiet, but as he learns the story of the the dead child, he gets afflicted by Stockholm syndrome, and makes no attempt to escape. That politicians are corrupt is no secret, neither is Nirmal’s method effective, nor is Kamat’s narrative style. Irr­fan’s performance is what holds the pieces together, and the actor is as sincere as can be, right from the helpless father to the man venting against the system.


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