Madgaon Express

Madgaon Express: A ‘Dil Chahta Hai’ Gone Awry With Uproar!

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When we look back at the cultural impact the 2001 film ‘Dil Chahta Hai‘ created among the masses, it would be safe to say that every friend group from all sorts of households wished to have a successful and carefree Goa trip. From the constant nagging of getting your friends to agree to the trip to seeking permission from your parents, the film cemented its position as a cultural phenomenon and is considered to be a game changer for Bollywood.

Taking this same premise of 3 friends finally making this college plan of theirs true in their adulthood, actor Kunal Kemmu sits on the director’s chair for the first time for his first film, Madgaon Express, which is Dil Chahta Hai gone entirely wrong. And we are not complaining!


Synopsis and the Relatability


Madgaon Express Trio


Dodo (played by Divyenndu), Pinku (played by Pratik Gandhi), and Ayush (played by Avinash Tiwary), longtime pals from childhood, share this dream of packing their bags for the compulsory test of friendship we have in India- a trip to Goa. How their journey takes an unexpected turn when a series of misguided choices lead them into a whirlwind of chaos that makes them unable to depart from the very city, they had eagerly anticipated exploring forms the basic storyline of Madgaon Express.

Why this movie will work for the audience is the very fact that a Goa trip is considered to be the ultimate test of friendship in our country. Madgaon Express focuses on how friends drift apart after college and the childlike urge to live once again that collective dream you all shared when times were simpler. When you reconnect with them, you are still under the illusion that everything will be the same with them, and you refuse to accept that life has changed. Kunal has aced this relatability factor in his writing, and a comedy buddy film with this aspect has become a rarity in the recent years of Hindi cinema.


Bollywood Comedy Done Right


Madgaon Express Trio


Speaking of rarity, it has been a very long time since we got a comedy film from Bollywood that does not fall back on repeated and lazy jokes in its screenplay. Movies like Cirkus and Fukrey 3 are recent examples of how the outdated nature with which this genre is being treated nowadays. Back in the 2000s, we had films like Golmaal, Dhamaal, and all of Priyadarshan’s comedy ventures that found their audiences during their releases and over the years. We could also take the Raj and DK comedy film Go Goa Gone into account.

All these films either had immense slapstick elements that were viewed with a suspension of disbelief or had smart comic timing in their screenplay and the actors’ performances. Kunal Kemmu has been an actor who has had moderately successful stints in his comic roles with Golmaal 3, Dhol, Go Goa Gone and the recent Lootcase. It seems that his experience with those films served him well in his directorial debut where he smartly balances the aspect of slapstick comedy and situational comedy.

There are jokes in Madgaon Express that may be cheesy when you read it on paper, but the best thing is that they land at the right moment in the story and are convincingly executed by the performances of the actors.


The Quirky Tribute to Excel Entertainment


The cast of Madgaon Express with Farhan Akhtar


As mentioned earlier, the wave caused by Dil Chahta Hai not only led to the incessant planning of a Goa trip among friends but also launched the career of Farhan Akhtar as a director and his production house, Excel Entertainment. Madgaon Express, being produced under the same banner, leaves no stone unturned by providing every possible tribute to the legacy of the production house.

The very premise of Madgaon Express serves as a tribute to Dil Chahta Hai in the starting moments of the film, playing the iconic title track when the trio hilariously gets into a car accident. The makers even incorporated the iconic background theme of Lakshya, where Dodo hilariously tried to convince his friends to travel by train for the Goa trip to the railway station. Keep that aside, even The Godfather hasn’t been spared!


Mid Music and Abrupt Placement


Nora Fatehi


Madgaon Express‘s music is quite mid-quality, but what may stick out like a sore thumb (only momentarily, though) is the placement of it in the screenplay. This one song, picturized on Nora Fatehi’s character twice in the film, might make you squint your eyes as to why this was needed to be put in the story. But it is done away quickly so you can be back in the world of the film.


The Trio and Supporting Actors


Madgaon Express Trio


Upendra Limaye as Mendoza Bhai and Chhaya Kadam as Kanchan Kombdi share some of the most laugh-out-loud moments from the film when they share the screen. I personally would want to a complete spin-off on their characters and their relation with each other, especially for Kanchan Kombdi and her girl gang. It is honestly glad to see Nora Fatehi not being treated as mere eye candy but actually having role to play in the story.

Her dynamic with Ayush and Dodo, which leads to jealousy and animosity between them, was a treat to watch. Avinash Tiwary, as Ayush, has the reactionary moments in which he, as Ayush, is a victim of the hilarious and wild circumstances the trio have gotten themselves into. It is effectively done, but his practical and straight-headed nature finds the perfect catalyst to elevate the madness of Madgaon Express, which is the craziness brought in by Divyenndu and Pratik Gandhi. Divyenndu, as Dodo, has been given most of the gags in the film, and the actor delivers them with perfect comedy timing.

Some of them may be too cheesy or low-hanging, but his performance and the screenplay make the most of it. However, Pratik Gandhi is the hypochondriac and scared mamma’s boy Pinkie, who absolutely steals the show in this film. As shown in the trailer, the scenes where he is coked up and gets a lisp because of it will hurt your stomach with laughter. He clenches his jaw and gets this overconfidence due to high that makes his other two friends shocked by this transformation.


Madgaon Express: Comedy Done Right


Kunal Kemmu


Kunal Kemmu’s stint as an actor in comedy movies has paid off, as he brings us this mad comedy film, which could be considered the dark horse of this year in Bollywood and deserves more love than it’s currently receiving. After a long time, we have got a film that can be watched with your peers and family if you want to have a good laugh and a rollercoaster of whacky moments!

Also Read: Ranbir Kapoor: Rockstar and Animal

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