Terror attacks or even its mention send shivers down people's spine. It's a very sensitive subject that requires a lot of tact to showcase on celluloid. Nishikant Kamat's MUMBAI MERI JAAN (2008), instantly comes to mind in this context. It was a film that sympathetically touched the subject of 7/11 Mumbai blasts.
Jai Tank's MADHOLAL KEEP WALKING has its heart in the right place. It's an earnest attempt for sure, but is made from a script that is very loose.
Madholal Dubey is a common man with common dreams. He drinks because his wife watches TV serials and urges he'll stop when his wife stops watching them. He's a watchman with doting daughters Sudha (Swara Bhaskar) and Summi (Varnita Aglawe). Sudha is in her final year in college and Madholal is troubled about organising dahej to get her married to a 'suitable' guy.
His train friends are pivotal in his life. All's well until the day a bomb blast tatters him, bringing his life to a deplorable halt. Will he overcome his trauma and get back on his feet is what the film is about.
MADHOLAL KEEP WALKING enunciates the fickleness of life. Without being preachy, it tells that one has to keep moving ahead no matter what the circumstances are.
Jay Tank consumes the first half to establish the characters and the bond that Madholal shares with his train mates. That's fine. But the issue is, it's not engaging enough. The camaraderie between the train friends lacks liveliness and the train sequences become hackneyed.
However, it picks up in the second half post the blast with some poignant moments. The sequence in which Madholal is petrified of the steam from a cooker is moving. It also takes a dig at the media for mercilessly using victims for its own benefit.
Kudos to Subrat Dutta who plays a common man conscientiously. He's the saving grace of the film. Swara Bhaskar is decent and so is Neela Gokhale. Child actor Varnita Aglawe is good. Pranay Narayan plays his part well.
MADHOLAL KEEP WALKING is a heartfelt film with excellent performances, which salutes the spirit of life. Nevertheless, it lacks direction. Madholal keeps walking but gets nowhere.