Gambler: He’s not GREY, he’s BLACK

There was a time in Indian cinema when the hero was the epitome of all things good. He often was portrayed as whiter than white and there was not even a grey shade in his character. With passage of time, grey shades started emerging in the hero and continued to grow darker by the day. With the present “Gambler/Mankatha” we can safely say Hero is as good as the black Villain. Present day villain is none other than the Hero himself.
Ajith’s portrayal of Vinayak Mahadev, a police officer who stoops to the lowest for the sake of money sends a chill down the spine and tells us the degeneration that has set in the society. The degeneration of the hero’s character has stooped such a low that a side character poses a straight question to Ajith, “are you a hero or else a villain?”. Ajith’s character Vinayak has no answer to this and he laughs it away.

There is not much to discuss about the story in this Gambler rather than talk about the portrayal of Ajith’s character. He is above 40, smokes, drinks, womanizes, schemes, kills people. He is a man of no morals and he has power on his side for being a policeman in the big and bad city of Mumbai. His sole intention is to capture the 500 crores rupees collected by the betting mafia in the IPL season. Whether he is able to succeed in his plans or not forms the crux of the story. Vinayak is such a dark character that only thing white about him is his hair.

The story and screenplay by Venkat Prabhu who also directed it has so many loose ends that it is easy to penetrate the end suspense and conclude it to your satisfaction. For this kind of story, the screenplay should have been racy and pulsating but Prabhu goes for some loose comedy through the character of Prem (Premgi) which does not bring the comic relief et al. The character of Trisha is another put off as the actress is neither pretty on the eyes nor does she create any impact on the viewers.

The movie is salvaged by the explosive performance by Ajith and understated performance by “Action King” Arjun. Lakshmi Rai sizzles while the rest of the cast do their act to complete the movie. One major disappointment is the music by Yuvan Shankar Raja which is banal and an earsore. Cinematography was good and the stunts mindblowing.

“Gambler/Mankatha” is a path-breaking movie in a sense for it breaks all stereotypes and makes a villain to be a hero. Watch it for the performance of Ajith who makes the grey hair on his pate and the paunch on his tummy look dashing. But other than that, this movie is a waste of time.

Krishna Chaitanya.


About krshychait

A working individual who has a great passion towards arts of India. The literary and cinema field have captured my imagination like no other.

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