Madgaon Express Review: Hindi Cinema’s Answer to ‘The Hangover’ Finally Emerges

Divyenndu Sharma, Pratik Gandhi, and Avinash Tiwary deliver standout performances in a uproarious buddy comedy that brilliantly executes the long-awaited ‘Goa plan’.

Midway through the uproarious journey of Madgaon Express, a character vents frustration, declaring, “We couldn’t make it to Goa before, and now we can’t even leave.” This moment encapsulates a cinematic evolution spanning decades, marking the culmination of the buddy road movie genre from Dil Chahta Hai to a frenzy of comedic escapades. It’s a reflection on the myriad ‘Goa plans’ we’ve made, the adventures envisioned but unrealized. While Dil Chahta Hai delved into introspective young adult narratives, Madgaon Express unleashes a whirlwind of uninhibited silliness, shedding the constraints imposed by the internet.

The narrative unfolds in the 1990s, where Dhanush (played by Divyenndu), Ayush (Avinash Tiwary), and Pratik (Pratik Gandhi) dream of a Goa getaway filled with beaches and bikini-clad babes. Despite their bond as outspoken schoolmates, their paths diverge drastically. Ayush and Pratik pursue lucrative careers abroad, while Dhanush, nicknamed Dodo, remains trapped in poverty, yearning for material wealth and fabricating an online persona to fill the void. Years later, a chance encounter reunites them in Mumbai, igniting a final attempt at their long-delayed Goa trip. However, a mix-up on a filthy train sparks chaos in Goa, involving drug cartels, undercover agents, and colorful gangsters.

Madgaon Express essentially blends elements of The Hangover with Saif Ali Khan’s ill-fated Goa escapade from Dil Chahta Hai, stretching it into a full-fledged comedic saga. While the plot may seem basic, it’s the intricate characterization and chemistry among the trio that carry the film through weaker segments and indulgent moments. The banter between the characters transcends the chaos, injecting depth into a narrative teetering on the edge of gimmickry.

Supporting performances from Chhaya Kadam and the remarkable Upendra Limaye add layers to the story, while Norah Fatehi’s subplot and a cameo by Remo D’Souza make fleeting impressions. Directed by Kunal Kemmu, Madgaon Express meticulously deconstructs cinematic tropes while delivering a barrage of campy yet delightful gags. Each character brings a distinct flavor, infusing sensitivity into sequences laden with frivolity.

Divyenndu shines as the wisecracking joker, effortlessly navigating through bad decisions with witty retorts. His portrayal anchors the film, offering a blend of audacity and vulnerability. Excel Entertainment’s expertise in the road movie genre shines through, adding gloss and relevance to the narrative. Social media obsession and generational detachment serve as underlying themes, portrayed with nuance rather than judgment.


Kemmu’s assured direction and stunning cinematography elevate Madgaon Express, redefining Goa as more than just a backdrop for self-discovery. While not as profound as Excel’s previous ventures, it’s a refreshing departure from the somber narratives associated with Goa. Madgaon Express invites audiences to embrace the chaos, celebrating the youthful spirit of adventure and the friendships that endure.

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