The names are different. Prabhakaran is Bhaskaran (played by Ajay Ratnam) in the film. Rajiv Gandhi is referred to as the young former prime minister. And the LTTE is LTF. Though the producers of Madras Cafe have insisted the film has nothing to do with the Tamil Tigers, the connections are unmistakable. Six months after some Muslim groups protested against the release of Kamal Hassan’s Viswaroopam, members of some Tamil nationalist organisations – who watched a special screening here on Sunday – are gearing up to challenge the release of the film, dubbed in Tamil.
“I am not against freedom of expression. But that freedom is selectively used to denigrate Tamils and their struggle for independence,” said Seeman, leader of Naam Tamizhar party.
Seeman says in the past films such as “Kaatrukenna Veli” and “Aaniver,” espousing the Tamil cause, were not granted permission by the Censor Board.
Narrated by Vikram Singh (John Abraham), who plays an officer of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), the film is a fictionalised – and selective – rendering of events suggesting that Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated since he was keen on restoring peace in Sri Lanka and he wanted India to be economically empowered – international financiers are shown not taking kindly to that. Madras Cafe – the fictional London restaurant where the conspiracy was supposedly hatched – says the financiers assigned the LTF with the task. And Bhaskaran (Prabakharan) ordered and executed the assassination.
The Jain Commission, which was ordered to probe the conspiracy angles of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, affirmed Prabhakaran’s role but also suggested that there may be an international conspiracy that needed to be investigated.
Madras Café, made as a political thriller, portrays the countdown leading up to the assassination by a group of indoctrinated LTF cadres, the internecine rivalry among Tamil militant groups and the successful emergence of the LTTE as a formidable force.
The film meticulously portrays the prep work that went into the assassination.