The film is set in the early 1990s, around the time of Rajiv Gandhi's assassination. It was insinuated that the LTTE had a hand in the slaying of the Indian Prime Minister on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu and the film is based against this backdrop. What has really become the talking point is the likeness of the actor who plays Rajiv Gandhi in the film. One can clearly see the resemblance the actor bears to the political leader. In waiving the crowd, the dress with a tri-colour shawl around the neck, the type of watch worn – all have got tremendous similarity with Rajiv Gandhi. Further the character who plays the main villain character is almost look like V Prabhakaran – the killed LTTE chief.
LTTE has been under scanner behind the killing of Rajiv Gandhi. Madras Café recreates the history by touching upon Rajiv Gandhi’s subject. John said, “Madras Café is a revision for those who know what had happened, through our eyes but most importantly, it is for our youth who is unaware of the Indian politics of early 90s. This film aims at enlightening their knowledge in an entertaining way.” “Though I am apolitical, I've been there and seen it all. The story of the assassination (of Rajiv Gandhi) stayed with me. When Shoojit (director) offered Madras Cafe to me 7 years ago I said, 'Wow! Someone actually wants to do this. So let's do it” he added.
"Moving to see "Madras Cafe" on Rajiv Gandhi's birthday. Strong second half, fast-paced film. Outstanding direction & acting, especially by John Abraham” said Union Minister Shashi Tharoor.
Sircar, the director of the movie said: "This is not a biopic on Rajiv Gandhi this is not a story based on him. Yes, you can say that there is a similarity to that incident. There is a similarity in the facial structure (of the actor who plays the said role)." However, the director clarified, "We have taken that incident which we read in the paper. Rest, whatever is around it, has been fictionalised in the scripting. But somewhere you may find some historical references in the fictionalised bit too”.
Madras Café also stars Nargis Fakhri in the lead role as an International journalist. The film directed by Shoojit Sircar is released on Friday, August 23.