The Gambinos

Remember the expression of Mohanlal when Kuthiravattam Pappu says that classic “Thaan aaranennu thanikkariyan paadillel….” dialogue from Thenmavin Kombathu? Seeing the way the characters talk in the movie The Gambinos directed by Girish Panicker, I was also experiencing the same dilemma of Manikyan. At the end of the movie, I felt like asking the scriptwriter Sakkir Madathil about his opinion on the classic The Godfather and my guess is that he would say Godfather is just gangsters talking intellectual stuff and killing each other.

So our hero Musthafa goes to his family of mafia goons after the demise of his mother. The expressionless Musthafa soon becomes a part of the gang whose main business is selling drugs. The police are constantly monitoring the brothers and at one juncture, the family suffers big time due to certain police actions against them. How Musthafa’s life becomes problematic because of this legal mess and how he comes out of it is what the movie The Gambinos talking about.

Wow! Well done me. I never thought I could write the above paragraph when I came out of the cinema hall. The movie begins with Vishnu Vinay giving us a Sancharam like video essay about the peculiar underworld dons of Calicut city. And after a point, an encounter happens and then there is a counter-attack from the side of gangsters. Not Mumbai, not Delhi and not even Kochi, Girish Panicker chose Kozhikode as the home turf of the most laughable dons in the history. As a citizen of this lovely district, the whole movie and its absurdity were frequently hurting my sentiments. When these dons get high taking drugs they become the most idiotic bunch of psychos. And this is one script where your mind will be constantly like “But why is he here?”, “Why can’t they arrest him?”, “What is this lady talking about?”, “Why can’t he say that in simple Malayalam?”. Try to watch this film with a bunch of friends, I promise you the experience will be LMAO.

Vishnu Vinay’s idea of portraying an innocent guy is acting like you just woke up after a deep sleep. Throughout the entire film, he has only one expression and there is one single moment where he cries and that looked really awkward on screen. And the money shot is the one in the climax where he springs from the bed after shooting someone and still maintains that one expression he was maintaining in the entire movie; consistency I guess. Sampath Raj is way too eccentric. Actor Musthafa is trying his best to make some sense. Radhika Sarathkumar through the voice of Bhagyalakshmi is saying profound gangster stuff which makes no sense. Sijoy Varghese is giving advice to Musthafa in the second half and I must say that the movie was pretty much competing with Santosh Pandit films at those areas. Poor Sreejith Ravi is a wasted talent here.

Girish Panicker seems to be a director who thinks that single take handheld long shots and sophisticated dialogues are enough to make a unique movie. Lijo Jose Pellissery shot the climax of Angamaly Diaries in a single shot so that when the final punch comes the audience will be shell shocked. But Panicker applies the same filming technique to show Sreejith Ravi’s character walking around his home. In Sakkir Madathil’s world, criminals don’t speak normal Malayalam and intellectualizing even the simplest of sentences is a must. Troll video makers are going to get a pile of material once the DVD of this movie gets released. The cinematography is mediocre. The background score by Jakes Bejoy is perhaps the only good thing here, but that too seemed like pointless as we don’t have a clue on what’s happening on the screen.

At the beginning of the film, the filmmakers claim that the American Gambino family still exists and they have massive influence in the illegal business that’s happening around the world. I just hope they won’t find out about this film as I can’t predict what they will do after facing such a humiliation.

Rating: 0.5/5 (It’s for the curry Sijoy Varghese cooked for Vishnu Vinay)

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Final Thoughts

I just hope the actual Gambinos won’t find out about this film as I can’t predict what they will do after facing such a humiliation.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.