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Banner: Sri Sai Ganesh Productions
Cast:  Ajith, Arjun, Trisha, Lakshmi Rai, Jayaprakash, Vaibhav, Ashwin, Mahanth, Premgi Amaran, Andrea, Anjali and Others
Music Director: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Producer: Bellamkonda Suresh
Director: Venkat Prabhu
It’s raining currency for the makers of Ajit’s Mankatha, now released in Telugu as Gambler. Apart from the fact that it’s the golden flick of Ajit, what’s drawing interest of the public is director Venkat Prabhu, who earlier made Chennai 000006 and Saroja, both distinctive in their own aspects. And now, set on the backdrop of mafia gambling during the IPL Cricket Season, Ajit is coming up in and as Gambler, much to our pleasure. The Tamil version already grossed Rs 34 crore in first week of its release (August 31) and Rs 2.72 crore in Chennai alone in its first five days of week. Would it retain the magic in Tollywood too? Let’s see!
The film has Ajit all the way. Sporting his real grey strands and unveiling his dark sides, the actor was so different and irreplaceable. He leaves the onlookers speechless with his histrionics that varied from portraying an unscrupulous gambler and a grisly killer to an amorous lover and a wicked schemer. This certainly is one his best performances. Trisha is stunningly gorgeous reminding us of her youthful days. She is at her regular best in delivering what she is supposed to with ease.
Arjun did splendidly well as a sincere cop. He provided a visual treat to the viewers through some inimitable action scenes that were as powerful and energetic. Vaibhav perfectly fitted in his role and meets our expectations provided he needs to work on his body fat. Premji is amazing and offers much scope for the director to make use of him, which the latter fails to do. Laxmi Rai appears in the second-hour and brings in the glamour quotient. The other actors are decent enough.
Lighting and settings suited too well for the theme, which in turn contributed to make cinematography first-rate. The richness in every frame is writ large all over the screen. Yuvan Shankar Raja’s tunes are lovely and joyful, but some are found to be force-fitted. The background music is irksome here and there, however is good. The art department deserves praises for the hard work. Screenplay is uncommon and one of its kind. Most of the scenes have lengthy shots and the flick appears more like an art film and not commercial one. The plot has similarities with Super and Dhoom. Venkate Prabhu’s direction wears fresh look. Unusual narration made a brilliant contribution in making a regular story noticeable.
Premji’s comedy
Picturization of a couple of songs
Climax twist
Confused script
Complicated narration
Predictable scenes
Myriad unimpressive twists
Too many length gun fights
Yet another robbery story
After smashing Kollywood BO records, Mankatha entered the Telugu market as Gambler to join the club of dubbing films that are sending shivers to the Tollywood producers. It has twists and turns aplenty and is way too guessable in most of the occasions. Rather groping for a realistic approach, it is best watched like a film since certain things really don’t go with the storyline. Moreover, most of the situations depended on the background to survive and get elevated. The innumerable gun fights are exhausting. Songs are forcibly placed in the flick, but then a couple of them are artistically canned.
Premji tried his best to provide humor in the second-half. He really is the saving grace. Almost all the scenes are shot interminably. The entire film is about chasing, cheating and killing friends that we have seen in quite a few works based on burglary. The story treatment nonetheless makes it dissimilar. ‘Strictly no rules’ that the film would ring the cash registers at the box-office!
The Tamil edition might have been a hit, probably because of the fan-following that Ajit has in Tamil Nadu. His valor and heroism, scattered in every scene, and shot in ultra slow motion by ornamenting with deafening background score might appeal to the Kollywood audience. But it’s not the case in Tollywood. The never-ending gun combats and countless twists and turns in presentation play the spoilsport. Confused narrative and complex plot only add to the woes of the public. It’s another story on calculated robbery inspired from certain Bollywood and Hollywood flicks. The trade pundits in Andhra Pradesh may not get impressed with Ajit’s pompous show. Watch it if you’re a die-hard fan of Ajit.
Gambleris a roll-over prize for Ajit fans and not meant for others.
Gambler Movie Rating: 2.25/5
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