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Madgaon Express – Buddy roller-coaster

27 Mar 2024 madgaon express By HUBERT VAZ

Bollywood movie review: Madgaon Express

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Avinash Tiwary, Pratik Gandhi, Divyendu Sharma

Madgaon Express is a 2024 Hindi-language comedy film written and directed by actor Kunal Khemu in his directorial debut and produced by Farhan Akhtar and Ritesh Sidhwani under the banner of Excel Entertainment

The film stars (oops!) features ‘award winning’ actors like Avinash Tiwary, Pratik Gandhi, Divyendu Sharma, who have been seen in popular films here, though they lack sheer star value, Marathi actors

Upendra Limaye and Chhaya Kadam, and director Kunal Kemu’s lucky charm) Nora Fatehi who he had been fantasising about as the ‘heroine of his debut film’ for quite some time.

If you’ve seen Dil Chahta Hain (2001) and ten years later Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011), you’ve seen it all – the rollercoaster of three friends catching up on old promises – besides more buffoonery, like the Fukrey’s and the Pyar ka Panchnamas’. Madgaon Express is yet another example of old wine in new skins – but enjoy it for its new humour and treatment, to destress yourself.

The story, much like most ‘Goa plans’ begins in the ’90s, when Dhanush (Divyenndu), Ayush (Avinash Tiwary) and Pratik (Pratik Gandhi) dream of a Goa vacation with beaches and ‘bikini babes’ as three outspoken, overzealous school-going losers.

The three remain lifelong friends, but not all of them follow similarly rewarding trajectories. While Ayush and Pratik move abroad for big bucks, Dhanush aka Dodo grows up in penury. Years later, a random plan brings the three together in Mumbai, for one last attempt at doing that unfulfilled Goa trip. A bag gets exchanged aboard a filthy train and all hell breaks loose in a seaside state teeming with drug gangs, undercover officers and colourful gang-lords. So, you got it, didn’t you?

The plot is basic and an extension of the several loose roles Khemu himself has been playing in several masala flicks over the years. It’s like, he wanted to stand aside and view all the on-set fun from a different perspective as ‘director’. If the likes of Prabhu Deva and Remo can be directors overnight, why can’t our little Khemu, who always charmed audiences with his cute screen appeal? After all, this is more than an ‘ABCDEFG…’ class.

As one of the characters of this film declares midway – ‘Pehle Goa aa nahi paa rahe they. Ab jaa nahi paa rahe hain.’ (First, we could not come to Goa, now we simply cannot leave) – it sums up the roller coaster, which could’ve at least changed the number of friends in saddle to seem different from Farhan Akhtars preceding flicks.

While Dil Chahta Hai offered an introspective journey into the off-beat  path of young adult cinema, Madgaon Express feels like a madcap shedding of the reservations, the internet has plastered onto our minds since. The film, besides its silly sequences intended only to evoke humour, is also a pointer to the new-age arrogance which the internet generation has imbibed and made it a way of life. Eid’s round the corner, go get some laughs!

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