Yes, Aashiq Abu tried really hard in 'Gangster', the most expected movie of the year. With his history as an innovative director, Ashiq thought that whatever he puts out in the table will be swallowed by the audience. Thus we have 'Gangster, 'a mafia movie with a lot of guns, blood, and revenge. But that pretty much sums up the whole film. With an awesome animated prologue, it was a storm kept waiting by the director, which but never happen.
The movie tells about Illyas khan, a powerful mafia leader in Bombay, a man of resilience and grit with a son Akbar Ali khan. Don Philip, Illyas khan's arch enemy, one who covets his fabled gold reserves offers him the good old power struggle .
Don Philip sends in assassins to deal with Illyas, who is killed along with his family except Akbar. He is saved by Hajjikka, Illya's loyal right hand played by TG Ravi. And when Akbar turns 16, he pays a visit to the people who killed his family. With his father's gold reserves and a crime syndicate of Mani Menon (Kunjan) and UncleSam (John Paul), Akbar establishes himself in the city of Mangalore taking control of its port.
Things go well for some time and no shots are fired until the arrival of Anto (ShekharMenon), Uncle Sam's grandson. (err... or is it godson?). well; anyway, things get ugly from here. Anto is a chemist by profession and runs a pharmaceutical company under the façade of which he conducts his crime businesses. Anto's grand plan is to import contaminated vaccines from abroad and sell them at a high price in the Indian market, which Akbar resists citing it as drug business (hey, do we smell a bit of Mario Puzzo's Godfather here?)
And there! You have all the pieces fall in place for a grand mafia war.
Akbar is hard hit at first. His wife Sana (Nyla Usha) is killed in a bomb blast which was intended for Akbar who also gets injured. Then a series of setbacks follow. Akbar's people get killed, Akbar is betrayed by his own men and just as Akbar himself was about to be killed,Hajikka comes to his rescue. He takes Akbar to his home and there he slowly regains his strength. And the rest is that pretty predictable affair now even with Russian mafia kings in the offer.
The problem with the movie is that it doesn't unleash even a dust wind, let alone a 'STORM'!
As for the acting angle, most have done justice to their respective characters. ShekharMenon'sAnto, the drug addict and sexual pervert gives a chill in the spine. The female roles of the movie are handled by NylaUsha and Aparna Gopinath. The former plays Akbar's bride and the latter is a pimp for Anto; a supplier of girls to satisfy Anto'ssaddist pleasures. But they are almost invisible in the movie. Kunjan appears totally different from his previous roles. John Paul has done the role of Uncle Sam with a subtle elegance. Akbar's second in command, Michael is played by HareeshPeradi. Vidhura, the good cop bad cop, is played by DileeshPothan.
One disappointing thing in the movie is the lack of punch dialogues from Akbar's part. We can bet that he shot more bullets than words in this movie! Though there is nothing remotely 'new' in the movie, what sets it apart is the music. The superb BGM by Deepak Dev, beginning from the titles, is a great relief for the audience. There is only one song in the movie and an apt and relaxing one. It is a short respite from the bloody killings and violence that makes up the movie.
The glamour and style of mammootty deserve a word. The German jacket, the specs and ruffled hair with streaks of grey lets him take on the aura of a real gangster. Plus the black Range Rover, Akbar's ride, adds to the spices. Art direction by Ajay Challisery is superb.
The camera angles by Alby are good for a gangster movie. A special word of applause should go to the stunt director. The climax of the film sees some of the best executed fight sequences. The knife fight at the end is unprecedented in Malayalam movie. Abilash and Ahmed Siddiqui who have written the shaky screenplay should have seen to it that they at least shorten the 'Yawning time', if not eradicate it!
Still, this movie could be a great ride only for those who like gangster movies.