Madgaon Express (2024) Review: Kunal Khemu wins hearts with a brilliant storytelling on his directorial debut

The comedy-drama Madgaon Express, starring Pratik Gandhi, Divyenndu, Avinash Tiwary, Nora Fatehi, Upendra Limaye, and Chhaya Kadam, marks Kunal Khemu’s directorial debut. It was released in theatres on 22nd March 2024.

The story revolves around three friends: Dhanush aka Dodo (Divyenndu); Pratik aka Pinku (Pratik Gandhi); and Ayush (Avinash Tiwary). They have dreamt of going to Goa since their childhood days. Although their parents didn't allow them to go during their childhood, they planned again during their college farewell. However, due to an accident, they failed to fulfill their dream once more.

Now, Ayush is settled in New York, and Pratik is settled in Cape Town. Meanwhile, Dhanush, belonging to a middle-class family, has failed to leave Mumbai. Feeling lonely and wanting to fulfill his dream of going to Goa, he builds his social media presence by faking celebrity meetups with his Photoshop skills. He finally convinces Pinku and Ayush to go to Goa, which changes their lives forever. What happens to them after reaching Goa and how they come out of that situation will be unveiled in this film.

Pratik Gandhi delivers a top-notch performance, standing close to his performance in Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story. The real fun starts after Pratik Gandhi’s cocaine bath scene. His body language and expressions are hilariously on point; the second half of this film belongs to him.

Divyenndu delivers another brilliant performance. His dialogue delivery and comic timing are praiseworthy, especially during the first half. Avinash Tiwary as Ayush also delivers a convincing performance. The chemistry between Dodo, Pinku, and Ayush is another major highlight of this film, well-developed and given sufficient focus.

Writer-Director Kunal Khemu deserves a lot of appreciation for his brilliant and engaging writing, focusing on developing the characters and their relationships. Even the characters of Upendra Limaye as Mendoza Bhai and Chhaya Kadam as Kanchan Kombdi were written with utmost care. Upendra Limaye, known for his strong performance in Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Animal, strengthens the comic elements along with Chhaya Kadam, and the chemistry between them works well too.

Nora Fatehi as Tasha delivers a decent performance. Remo D'Souza shines with a brilliant cameo. Sameer Uddin’s background score is impressive, but the music composition by Sameer Uddin, Sharib-Toshi, Ankur Tewari, Sagar Desai, and Kunal Khemu fails to leave a lasting impact.

Over the past 2-3 decades, Bollywood directors like Priyadarshan, David Dhawan, Anees Bazmee, Rajkumar Santoshi, Rajkumar Hirani, and Rohit Shetty have shown their magic by delivering some of the all-time blockbuster films. Kunal Khemu shows promise with his directorial debut in Madgaon Express. While it might be too early to say, one has to admit that we haven't seen a well-executed comedy film with a good and convincing story for quite some time, and Kunal Khemu deserves full credit for it. If you have 2-3 hours to spare this weekend, I strongly recommend watching this film.

Madgaon Express 2024 Movie

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