“Madgaon Express: Is This Supposed To Be funny?!” – A Subhash K Jha Review

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Our Rating

When those indulging in what some folks picturesquely refer to in ‘backchodi’ insist they are having fun, who are we to complain? The three protagonists(it is time we stopped looking at our screen heroes as heroes, as they are not) of Madgaon Express , Dodo (Divyenndu), Pinku (Pratik Gandhi) and Ayush (Avinash Tiwary) are incontrovertibly convinced that they are a fun-filled trio.

You can call them Three Idiots, and be ‘dumb’ with it. Except that the irony of calling out idiots as idiots, would be completely lost.

A dismaying dumbness runs through the gags and pranks of Madgaon Express. This is the kind of cluttered comedy that Rohit Shetty would make if Golmaal was a celluloid torture chamber designed to confuse and stump war prisoners during World War 2: “Now which of the above jokes do you find funny?” None? Flog him! All? Flog him more! Some? Make him watch the film in a loop all night.”

If the truth be told, this is one of the most humourless comedies ever seen on the screen. The situational humour is cretinous. Sample this: the three boys in their 20s (all played by actors who are well in their 30s, but that’s okay since the boys in the inspirational film Dil Chahta Hai were even older) end up in a hotel room in Goa where the bed bottom is filled with, gulp, snort, cocaine.

Pratik falls into the drug puddle and overdoses . For sometime he behaves like a zombie. It is hard to tell when he stops.

Why do actors like Pratik , Diyenndu and Atul have to be part of something so incurably brainless? Is it to let their hair down, or to let themselves down? Something like a diet freak going on an extended period of cheat days just to prove he can be a pig?

Madgaon Express pigs on precocity and binges on bakwas. We are supposed to find the antics of the threesome entertaining. Why? Because they say so! Producer Farhan Akhtar says so! He has recently said that when he heard writer-director Kunal Khemu’s script he fell of his chair laughing and immediately greenlighted the project.

Makes you think: is Pratik the only person associated with this film to be high on drugs? This the kind of comedy that revels in its own ostensible witticism. It is the kind of heaving lurching mess that occurs when the architects of the alleged fun feast, lose track of what they had set out to do and end up on the wrong side of lane , none the wiser.

This is the kind of home-trained humour overload where the sound of a gun going off is heard on the soundtrack when a gun is mentioned. This is the sort of ho-ho-ho humouride where a road sign reads, ‘Caution: Porn(side) to Accidents’

The camera lingers on the signboard in case we, the thick-skinned humourless Hindustanis miss the point. This is the kind of new-age comedy that is meant to take us, kicking and dragging, into the 22nd century.

All the actors give uniformly awful performances. Atul Tiwary manages a modicum of dignity . But Pratik Gandhi and Divyenndu scrape the bottom of the barrel blending buffoonery with precocity in a bland brew . Divyenndu actually asks Nora Fatehi, “Are you a prostitute?”

Out of the 17 people in the theatre the majority laughed.

Chhaya Kadam so monumentally persuasive in Laapata Ladies lately, is here reduced to playing a overblown gangster in a saree named Kanchan Komdi. Another fine Marathi actor Upendra Limaye plays another gangster who ties some of his goons upside down and then converses with them on his head, “to talk face to face.”

This is a universe meant to be acutely funny. But the script tries too hard and ends up flat on its face. Ironically the reference point for this fatuous tragic comedy is Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai.

All I can say is, you’ve come a long way, Farhan.

As for director Kunal Khemu, you’ve nothing to fear, now that Kareena Kapoor Khan has declared you a “brilliant” director.

Cocaine seems to be in high consumption nowadays.

Our Rating

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