Madgaon Express Review: A Fun Ride

"Madgaon Express" is about three childhood friends who go on a trip to Goa that takes an unexpected turn.

General Rating

In a nut-shell:

A Fun Ride

Madgaon Express Star Cast/ Actors: Divyenndu as Dodo, Pratik Gandhi as Pinku, Avinash Tiwary as Ayush, Nora Fatehi as Tasha, Upendra Limaye as Mendoza Bhai, Chhaya Kadam as Kanchan Kombdi

Madgaon Express Director: Kunal Khemu

Madgaon Express Release Date: March 22, 2024

Madgaon Express Available On: Theatrical Release and (likely to be released on Amazon Prime Video)

Madgaon Express Released/ Available In Languages: Hindi

Madgaon Express Runtime: 143 Minutes

Madgaon Express Critic Review:

Making people laugh is serious business. And first-time writer-director Kunal Kemmu gets the sur right for tripping on friendship and wackiness.

Dodo (Divyenndu) is in a fix. Living in a photoshopped world created on the computer, he is, in reality, a loser who can barely hold on to a job even as a pizza delivery boy. Childhood friends Pratik Goradia alias Pinky (Pratik Gandhi) and Aayush Gupta (Avinash Tiwary) who left India long ago, have done well in their adult lives and they’re coming to Mumbai for the three old friends to meet and relive fun times.

The ground has been laid for humour in hoodwinking Pinky and Aayush into believing that Dodo’s a millionaire with a penthouse in Mumbai. Dodo’s elaborate plan to take them to Goa to revive memories of good old poor times is comme ci comme ca, sometimes raising a laugh and sometimes bordering more on the incredulous than on being incredibly funny. His spiel on bharatiya rail being the best in the world is tongue-in-cheek while Pinky the hypochondriac ready to break into an allergy doesn’t make you roll in the aisles.  

Three friends on a trip may sound like Dil Chahta Hai or 3 Friends or Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. But when Kunal gets them involved in a cocaine war with a gang led by nine-yard, nauvari-clad fisherwomen, it has moments of mirth.

A few of the refreshing sequences include Pratik suffering from an inadvertent overdose and roaring as the cocaine goes through its phases. The baddies being led by fisherwoman Kanchan Kombdi (Chhaya Kadam) who set up her gang after a fallout with husband Mendonza Bhai (Upendra Limaye) is pleasantly different. Dodo’s computer world that messes his life and those of others is believably contemporary. 

Some of the dialogues land well. ‘Meri Mariam’ becoming ‘Meri Ma’ in a tattoo, Mendonza Bhai in a shirshashan to talk “face to face” with those he’s tied upside-down, and “Gang chala raha hoon ya government office” when half the gang is asleep after lunch, are quick and witty. Timing works in comedy. “Maal leke aa” has a guy bringing forward the girl instead of the consignment – may be improper in today’s times but the timing evokes a smile.

The performances carry the show most of the way. Pratik Gandhi is in good form, especially in the cocaine and cross-dressing scenes with the ‘santra’. Divyenndu with his make-believe world that comes up again at the end is at ease. Remo D’souza as a doctor, Kunal Kemmu in a cameo, Upendra Limaye, and Chhaya Kadam add to the gangster flavour.

On the other hand, there’s little romance, and forcing a Hindu-Muslim angle is a big yawn. Pinky’s hypochondria is forgotten somewhere along the way. Singing while tripping is a waste of footage, numbers like ‘Not funny’ are routine and more effort to create chartbusters would’ve added more energy. Nora Fatehi also springs no surprise, cast as Nora always is.

Madgaon Express – Watch Or Not?: If the mood’s for silly fun, there are chunks of amusement. A non-starcast theatrical release is always risky but Kunal Kemmu is here to stay as a director. Bring him on!

Madgaon Express Review Score Rating:  2.5 out of 5 (i.e. 2.5/5)

Madgaon Express Official Trailer:

Madgaon Express Official Trailer (Credits: Excel Movies)

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A Fun RideMadgaon Express Review: A Fun Ride