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Wednesday, Oct 23, 2019

Gangs of Madras movie review: A poor man’s Kill Bill meets torture porn

Gangs of Madras movie review: A revenge and survival drama, with credible performance by its lead actor Priyanka Ruth, the film’s writing is its biggest drawback.

regional-movies Updated: Apr 12, 2019 13:40 IST
Karthik Kumar
Karthik Kumar
Hindustan Times
Directed by CV Kumar, the film stars Priyanka Ruth and Ashok Kumar in lead roles.
Directed by CV Kumar, the film stars Priyanka Ruth and Ashok Kumar in lead roles.
         

Film: Gangs of Madras
Director: CV Kumar
Cast: Priyanka Ruth, Ashok Kumar, Velu Prabhakaran, Daniel Balaji, Aadukalam Naren
Rating: 2/5

 

Well-known producer CV Kumar, who took the directorial plunge a couple of years ago with the highly ambitious Maayavan, returns with an extremely gritty and violent tale of revenge and survival in his second directorial venture Gangs of Madras, which is centred around a woman (Priyanka) who goes all out to avenge the murder of her husband. As much as the film tries to take itself seriously, one rarely gets invested in the story of Rasia, despite Priyanka’s earnest efforts to sell her character.

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The plot revolves around Ibrahim (Ashok Kumar) and Rasia (Priyanka) who meet in college, fall in love and get married. Fresh out of college, Ibrahim lands a job to handle the accounts of Rawther (Velu Prabhakaran), one of the city’s most-wanted gangsters. Everything is going well for Ibrahim and Rasia, who are madly in love and dream of living a life filled with promise.

 

But life takes a detour when Ibrahim is killed in a shootout, and Rasia learns through a close friend that he was killed for a reason. The incident leaves Rasia filled with vengeance and whether or not she takes revenge on all those responsible for her husband’s death forms the crux of the story.

For a story about gangsters and shootouts, Gangs of Madras never succeeds in creating the right mood to get us invested. Unlike most gangster films, the fact that this tale of revenge is headlined by a woman makes it interesting but not stand-out, and this is precisely why the film falls flat even before it can take off. Priyanka gives it all to her character and she is really convincing as the woman who is consumed by vengeance, and won’t stop at anything till she makes those pay for her husband’s death. Unfortunately, the writing is a big a let-down and no other character other than Rasia is fully developed.

Gangs of Madras stars Priyanka Ruth in the lead role.
Gangs of Madras stars Priyanka Ruth in the lead role.

For instance, Rawther is introduced as the most-dreaded gangster but there’s no back story to his rise and how he built his empire. Everything is so conveniently written, we’re forced to believe whatever gets showcased on screen. After her husband’s death, Rasia leaves to Mumbai where she takes someone’s help to get herself trained. The training process lasts a song and upon her return to Chennai, she goes on a killing spree. Is it really so easy to lay a finger on ruthless gangster? Rasia kills two policemen in cold blood in public and there’s no investigation into the killings.

The film is graphically violent. After a point, the violence turns into torture and it’s excruciatingly painful to watch. Kumar’s influence of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill is evident through the lead character Rasia, but she’s no Uma Thurman. Gangs of Madras can be best described as a poor man’s Kill Bill that meets torture porn.

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First Published: Apr 12, 2019 13:39 IST

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