I would call the Malayalam movie The Gambler a badly executed cunningly planned scam. The film aspires to (or makes us feel that it has such aspirations) tell a story about a young man who is constantly facing setbacks in his life. But at the end of a lot of random number of events, what we get is an endorsement for an actual android iOS app that is supposed to help kids in learning English spellings.
Anson is the central protagonist of this movie. He runs an advertising firm which has not been in a good financial position. And the problems in the professional terrain affected his personal life too. A totally devastated Anson finally gets the chance to do an ad for a big company. What happens after that is what we get to see in The Gambler.
There was a promotion bit saying this is a superhero movie. Is it a superhero movie? Absolutely not! The maximum you will see Anson Paul in that Blue (Green) Lantern costume is for 2 minutes. And the villain in that 2 minutes superhero story is CID (Doctor) Strange played by Roopesh Peethambaran. The very basic story of this movie is the fall and rise of an aspiring ad agency owner. But this movie is so bizarre that people will struggle to find a story in this film. Tom Emmatty who made Oru Mexican Aparatha is the writer and director of the film. The writing is so lazy. He is just throwing random hazards in front of the hero, simply to make it look messed up. At one point, the recent floods that hit us also make an appearance in the movie and the way they have included it in the movie looks super lame. The second half is absolute chaos and Tom Emmatty somehow ends the move on that previously mentioned spelling bee app.
Anson Paul plays Anson on screen and his idea of being angry is weirdly funny. The kind of shouting he does in the film wasn’t really creating any sort of empathy towards the character he was playing. Vishnu Govindan’s character’s name is Jomi; Tom Emmatty cinematic universe I guess. Sijoy Varghese, Innocent, Jayaraj Warrier, etc are there in the movie with zero impact. Dyanna is the heroine who doesn’t have much to do in the film. Producer Thankachan Emmanuel has tried acting in the film as the heroine’s father. Internet sensation Vinod Narayan is there in a pointless role. Joseph Annamkutty wants to be funny but he is nowhere near that. I don’t know the name of the kid, but he was okay in his most important role for which the whole movie was made. Salim Kumar also makes a brief appearance in this movie that has so many pointless characters.
Looking back at this movie, I could kind of sense the real cheating. Anson Paul plays Anson, Dayyana plays Dayyana, Joseph Annamkutty plays Joseph, a producer with no acting experience decides to do a character, an internet sensation like Vinod Narayan getting cast in an unwanted role; all these sounds so fishy when you think about the movie after watching it. There is evident laziness in both writing and direction as it never showed any sense to be sensible. The film actually ends like an advertisement showing us the logo of a particular app. The audacity to create such a crap film and then place an ad like that needs some guts. The songs are popping out of nowhere and you won’t come out of the theater thinking about the highs and lows in the technical aspects of this film.
Mediocrity is something audiences have experienced in the past. The Gambler is not just mediocre. It makes a fool out of the audience who decided to invest their money and time for a movie and got a trashy advertisement. Calling it a marketing strategy will be an insult to those who know how to market things.
The Gambler is not just mediocre. It makes a fool out of the audience who decided to invest their money and time for a movie and got a trashy advertisement.