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This article was first published 10 years ago  » Movies » Madras Cafe: All about John Abraham...

Madras Cafe: All about John Abraham...

By A Ganesh Nadar
August 23, 2013 19:51 IST
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John Abraham in Madras CafeA Ganesh Nadar, who once met V Prabhakaran at the LTTE's press conference in Jaffna, feels Madras Cafe is not about the Tigers.

The film's all about John Abraham, he says.

Much controversy was built around Madras Cafe before its release.

The Naam Tamilar party protested, followed by the BJP in Mumbai.

The BJP's Mumbai president Ashish Shelar told me on Thursday, "We led the protests. Now we expect our Tamil brothers to follow our lead and protest against the movie so that the government bans it."

The Aurora theatre in Matunga, north-central Mumbai, added to the drama. The booking clerk at the cinema hall refused to sell me a ticket on Thursday, telling me, "We will wait to see if there is any danger to the theatre. If not, we will sell tickets."

When I arrive at the Globus theatre in Bandra, north-west Mumbai, I discover there are more women in the audience than men, proving that John Abraham's appeal among that segment is undiminished.

It was made out that the film was about the LTTE and Rajiv Gandhi, and that the Tamilians were portrayed as evil while the Malayalis were the good guys.

Madras Cafe, in fact, is all about John Abraham.

We have the star opening the movie, with his character in a drunken stupor. When he wakes up, he drinks some more and confesses in a church. The movie is his confession.

The fact that the LTTE assassinated Rajiv Gandhi is well known. In the film, John's character claims that someone in London paid the LTTE to assassinate Rajiv Gandhi.

John leaves his sweet wife behind to answer the call of duty, with a swagger. He goes to Sri Lanka and is met by an 'evil' officer, a Malayali. So the theory that this movie makes Malayalis heroes is a canard.

John becomes a reporter from RAW. A character called Mallya (who is inspired from LTTE chief Prabhakaran's former ally, Colonel Karuna) puns while telling him, 'For the first time, a raw reporter wants to interview me.'

In reality, Colonel Karuna broke away from the LTTE and controlled the island's Eastern Province. It was a huge blow to Prabhakaran. In the movie, he is captured and executed.

The government discover that Rajiv Gandhi may be assassinated. Since Rajiv Gandhi is not in power, the cabinet secretary in the film says they are not allowed to protect the former prime minister. And here I thought the government is supposed to protect every citizen in the country!

John decides to protect Rajiv Gandhi himself and reaches the venue...

The movie is entirely about John -- his emotions, his tough guy look, his swagger...

Nargis Fakhri has lovely lips. That's her only recall value in the movie.

Her character seems to think that a good journalist should always smoke and never reveal her sources.

The film is worth a watch for the beautiful locations.

And, of course, if you are in love with John Abraham.

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A Ganesh Nadar