For Quick Alerts
For Daily Alerts

Madholal…Keep Walking - Review

By Raymond Ronamai

The 'chawl" culture of Mumbai has never been too far from Hindi cinema. From Basu Chatterjee"s Piya Ka Ghar to Sanjay Jha"s Pran Jaye Par Chawl Na Jaye to Mahesh Manjrekar"s City Of Gold and Chandan Arora"s Striker, many gripping tales of resilience and kinship have been put on screen with no trace of self pity or anger in the underprivileged characters who go about their lives with dignity, optimism and humour even after queuing up for an hour to get into the dingy public toilet.

Madholal…Keep Walking is a well intended look at people we know from the chawls even if we"ve never been to one. The conversation among the characters is authentic. But the sad part is, these characters don"t seem to be saying anything that interests anyone apart from the characters who speak mundane matters acquires a certain engaging quality on screen only when ordinariness is treated with extraordinary empathy. This was the case recently with Irfan Kamal"s Thanks, Maa where one slum kid"s quest for a mother made all the routine characters assume a life beyond their appointed ennui.

In Madholal… The plot and dialogues create no interest in the characters. For half the film we grow familiar with the hand to mouth world of the the protagonist Madholal (Subrat Dutta) his family of loving wife and two daughters and his circle of friends with whom he commutes by train every day. The conversation among the friends is essentially about sex or the lack of it.

One can"t but recall with pleasure and warmth the middle class ladies traveling to and fro in the local trains of Mumbai in the soap 'Ladies Special". Not one of the characters traveling with Madholal in these crowded trains appears interesting enough to meet, let alone take home.

Midway through the flat narration there"s a bomb blast on a train. The lives of the people who populate the film are turned around. Madholal, we are happy to know, keeps walking. There are some purposely poignant and emotional highpoints in the story that touch you with their sincerity in the second half. Actor Purba Dutta who plays Madholal conveys a profound anguish and helplessness in the second half. His train journey at the end when he comes to terms with his changed circumstances in life is a measure of the resilience that Mumbai"s middleclass epitomizes.

Sadly the film never quite takes off. The plot is too blunt about its noble intentions to convey the grief of common people caught in the downside of terrorism. This look at Mumbai"s undying spirit is like a Village Mela after closing time. If Slumdog Millionaire was Mumbai on steroids, Madholal …Keep Walking takes the lives from a chawl on a lifeless journey.

Director: Jai Tank

Cast: Subrat Dutta, Neela Gokhale, Pranay Narayan and Swara Bhaskara

Get Instant News Updates
Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Filmibeat sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Filmibeat website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more