Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 11 April 2014
Mammootty, Nyla Usha
Was director Aashiq Abu thinking that he could get away with a damp squib like Gangster, with no credible storyline or script and a hero walking in slow motion maintaining a poker face?
Akbar Ali (Mammootty) is the son of a Mumbai based don with Malayali origins, who ruled the underworld there and has left behind a huge fortune in Mangalore. Akbar lives his life on the edge during his youth and fights his way to the top, as a gangster.
When the story begins, after all these details in animation and through a narrator?s voice, he is ruling the city?s underworld. Mani Menon (Kunjan) and Uncle Sam (John Paul), his rivals in the world of crime, are content living under the shadow of the mighty Akbar. But things go horribly wrong with the entry of the young and ruthless Anto Pandhare (Sekhar Menon).
It?s not clear why these uncrowned rulers, who kill people at will and deals with huge wealth, have only a handful of goons to take care of them and not enough weapons as well. Let?s leave it at that and to cut the story short, Anto wreaks havoc in Akbar?s life.
With tacky production values and gimmicks to cut down the costs, this film is a complete mess. As it is imperative in Aashiq?s recent movies, the baddies smoke grass as if having another scoop of their favourite flavor of ice cream. Most of the characters have no real relevance and the heroines end up as just art pieces to pep up a few scenes.
With a shaky script, endless close-ups and boring one-liners that are at times unintentionally funny, Aashiq Abu tests the patience of the viewer no less. The script by Abhilash Kumar and Ahmad Siddique lacks any merit. Alby?s camera and Deepak Dev?s music are okay at best.
As it is seen in most films, the entire effort is to eulogize Mammootty and it is doing no real good for the hero, in the absence of good writing. He maintains a single pose for the entire movie. The hero?s strides in slow motion could remind one of Mohanlal?s never ending strolls in the ill-fated Sagar Alias Jacky Reloaded. Worse still, his character barely looks like a gangster, who owns a mighty empire.
In a ?blink and you could miss? kind of a role, Nyla Usha has nothing much to do. She is playing the role of Sana, who is married to Mammootty for a brief period. Aparna Gopinath?s Lilly supplies women for Anto?s cruel perversions and her role has no real importance in the story.
Yesteryear scenarist John Paul and comedian Kunjan looks uneasy playing dons. The main villain, played by Sekhar Menon of Da Thadiya fame, is perhaps the only good thing about this painful misadventure. He looks convincing though it is his obese figure and chubby face that does the talking mostly.
Malayalam had anointed Aashiq Abu right at the top of the promising directors? list after his Salt N? Pepper but it has been a disappointing journey for the filmmaker ever since. Gangster is perhaps an act of impudence, with scant regard for the time and money of the viewer. It?s not easy to sit through this boring film even for a hardcore Mammootty fan.