Madari is testament to the fact that Irrfan can turn a okay script into a piece of art by his sheer screen presence and ability to see into your soul. One in the mould of A Wednesday, Madari rests purely on his and Jimmy shergill’s acting abilities and manages to scrape through with an otherwise flat plot and screenplay.
Nirmal Kumar played by Irrfan is a common man, suppressed by processed and the system like any other Indian. When the system snatches his son from him though, the proverbial camel’s back breaks and he decides to hit back at the system. He kidnaps a minister’s son, and does everything to the minister that the system did to him. Jimmy plays the cop who is hounding him for the kidnapping. An interesting proposition no doubt, but sadly wasted.
Irrfan and Nirmal his character accurately bring out the suffocation every Indian faces as a citizen living in a system that is decidedly against him. Frustration, resignation, jugaad and compromise all beautifully depicted in everyday man’s life who has to negotiate a million hurdles to just make ends meet. So far so good. Where the film fails is when this common man decides not to remain silent anymore. This grey-area mine field is dealt with a black and white good and bad, right and wrong attitude that mars the chances of this film being more than just a thriller. The second half especially ends up becoming a game of one upmanship between the madari and the the system. Isnt the madari, the one is now making the system dance to his tunes, doing the exact same wrongs that the system did to him and hence is he not blurring the difference between him and the system he so hates? What does revenge make you? How is a wrong good enough to right another wrong? All these are questions the film at best only hints at- and that too because Irrfan is such a consummate actor.
Like Naseeruddin in Wednesday, Irrfan leads the film on his shoulders. Like Anupam in the former, Jimmy provides the correct foil. Watch Madari just for their sake. They make it worth the effort and money.