“Yeh banda kamaal ka actor hai. NSD se hai”, dad said. I couldn’t help but agree as we saw Debu struggle to keep his relationship afloat. It was the late 90’s, and the TV series was Sparsh. The unconventional young man was yet to become the Irrfan Khan we know today. Over the years, Irrfan has steadily built a repertoire that spans global cinema. And so, when his latest film Madaari hit the theatres, it piqued my interest.

The other name that caught my attention was Nishikant Kamat. His last directorial venture, Dhrishyam had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t help but notice this film also dealt with a ‘kidnapping’ premise. The challenge to keep the treatment of a similar storyline was herculean. Would he, won’t he? That was a question only Madaari would answer on Friday, July 22, 2016.

Madaari Irrfan

And it did. Inspired by actual events, Madaari is the story of Nirmal Kumar (Irrfan Khan in one of his best performances). A law-abiding citizen and an ideal voter, he is just like you and me. He is content to live in his space as the middle class ought to. As a single parent, his world is limited, but he is happy. And one day, all that is taken away from him. That’s when a father crosses all boundaries.  As a rebellion, the home minister’s eight-year-old son is kidnapped. The story then moves across terrains, and murkier secrets tumble one after the other.

Madaari takes you through a corrupt system that we all have become immune to, till it reaches our backyard.

Performance wise, Irrfan is sheer brilliance. His pain and anguish get translated on the big screen such that you can’t help but empathise. Jimmy Shergill, another stupendous performer, provides able support as the investigating police officer. Nishikant Kamat’s direction has managed to keep the story racy, yet it touches all the right chords. I particularly liked the lyrics of the song Dama Dama Dum by Irshad Kamil that talks of our democracy that has degenerated. The tagline ‘Ssshh Desh so raha hai’ sums it all.  Masoom sa is heart wrenching and is sure to melt the most hardened hearts.

As a parent, I live in fear day in and day out. Not a single day goes by when the atrocities across the globe don’t send a chill down my spine. I am left wondering what sort of world are we leaving behind? Madaari has only amplified it on the celluloid. And the message is loud and clear – The threshold of the common man’s capacity has been reached. Power when it changes hands, the pupil becomes the master. And the new master then pulls the strings to his liking.

Madaari is one movie that should be on your must-watch list.

Watch it for Irrfan.

Watch it as a parent.

Watch it because Madaari could be anybody’s story.

Watch it because Madaari is somebody’s truth.

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