Directed by Aashiq Abu
Produced by OPM
Written by Ahmed Sidhique, Abhilash Kumar
Starring Mammootty, Nyla Usha, Aparna Gopinathm, T. G. Ravi, Sekhar Menon, Kunchan, Hareesh Peradi, Dileesh Pothan
Music by Deepak Dev
Editing by Saiju Sreedharan
Distributed by Aan Mega Media, Indian Movies UK (UK & Europe), Singapore Coliseum (Singapore)
“I’m gonna make an offer that he cannot refuse”, the iconic dialogue that the ultimate don in movies,Vito Corelone(Marlon Brando) makes in Francis Ford Coppola’s incomparable movie ‘Godfather’. Well director Aashiq Abu was also hoping to make a gangster movie that Mammootty fans and film buffs could not refuse. All the hype that this movie generated was based on the hope that Aashiq had the cinematic weapons in his armoury to deliver a thrilling gangster movie, that would leave film lovers enthralled. Sadly the hopes are belied big time, as ‘Gangster’ proves to be a half baked, shoddily made and unimaginative film. Without a speck of novelty it ends up as a routine revenge drama devoid of thrills. Painfully paced and lacking in an engaging plot the film huffs and puffs into a disappointing end.
The characterisation of megastar Mammootty which should have been its USP proves to be its biggest undoing. His Akbar Ali is so sketchily conceived that the film becomes still born. Akbar is the son of a Mumbai based underworld don who relocates to Mangalapuram after the death of his father. With a treasure of wealth and accomplices to his aid Akbar sets up a kingdom of his own after taking revenge on his father’s murderers. The film begins on an interesting note,as the flashback scenes before the title cards are shown in animation. But there ends the plot unfortunately. Once Akbar’s life shifts to Mangalapuram it becomes a downward spiral. Two reigning but ageing dons of this port city Mani Menon(Kunchan) and Uncle Sam(John Paul) are ruffled by the shifting of power balance to Akbar’s empire. But they decide against a confrontationist course and become foils in the underworld operations.
The uneasy truce proves to be a calm before a storm with the arrival of Uncle Sam’s nephew and Godson Anto(Shekhar Menon). A sexual pervert and drug addict with streaks of a psychopath he disturbs the equilibrium of the Mangalore crime syndicate. His plans of importing contaminated vaccines through the Mangalore port finds no favour with Akbar and there starts their rivalry. It is basically a straight fight with the other gangsters playing second fiddle. Anto wreaks havoc in Akbar’s life and he loses his wife Dr.Sana Mohammed(Nyla Usha) and a whole lot of accomplices. He himself is reduced to a disoriented state while being saved from the jaws of death by his father’s old aide Haji(T.G.Ravi).
A battered and bruised Akbar leaves for Ajmer for a pilgrimage at the behest of Haji. But the festering wounds in his mind are not healed and he returns to take revenge on his evil incarnate adversary. From thereon it is all blood and gore and unrelenting violence. If the first half is tortorous,second half is tame. Surely modelled on those classic gangster movies in Hollywood, this one is not a patch on them. The wafer thin plot and lack of sub plots or intriguing elements or edge of the seat moments make ‘Gangster’ a mighty let down.
Mammootty is largely wasted in a role that he would have made memorable if it was conceived in a better manner. His dialogues can be counted with the hands and his silent mannerisms dont register.Shekhar Menon is the biggest liability of the movie,as he simply proves no match for the protagonist. Kunchan,John Paul,T.G.Ravi etc. just make the numbers. While the female cast including Nyla Usha and Aparna Gopinath have precious little to do. Technically the movie leaves upto the promise, with Aby’s camera capturing the mood of violence and darkness that prevail in the movie. BGM is passable atbest. The principal handicap of the movie is the writing of Abhilash and Ahamed Siddique. They didnt have an engaging plot in the first place, then their inability to create enough moments to cherish or with hair raising oneliners prove a further undoing. Lack of a racy narrative may have been consciously resorted to but it becomes painstaking beyond a point. Aashiq Abu’s sincere efforts and Mammootty’s earnest efforts have gone awry. This deal will most likely be refused by the audience