Chennai, 13 Sep 2019 21:00 IST
The film is predictable in parts, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining, though it could have had some its flab trimmed in the editing suite.
Vikram Kumar’s Gang Leader is a revenge comedy that has been headlined by a terrific Nani who leads a group of bereaved women on a mission to avenge the death of their loved ones.
What makes the film tick is its casting and overall treatment. Nani plays crime novelist ‘Pencil’ Parthasarthy, who is known to copy from popular English movies. He gets to write something original for the first time when four women and a girl seek his help in their mission for revenge.
As a revenge story, Gang Leader is impressive with some smart writing and twists that are complemented well by the lead performances. Vikram Kumar, who is also the film’s writer, understands Nani’s strength, which is comedy, and uses it effectively to make the film largely entertaining.
The women are equally effective. Newcomer Priyanka Arul Mohan is a revelation. Veteran Lakshmi, in yet another memorable role after Oh! Baby (2019), steals the show whenever she is in the frame. Tamil actor Saranya Ponvannan is equally good in a role that only she could portray so effortlessly.
Gang Leader struggles to stay afloat in the second half, trying to sanitize the crime angle by taking an emotional detour. The emotional subplot is needless, but if it appeals to the family audience, one can understand why it was used. Another major grouse with the film is a comic stretch involving a homosexual character and it only goes to show the filmmaker’s insensitivity towards the community. Wish Vikram Kumar were more serious when it came to depicting a homosexual character instead of making a joke of someone’s sexual orientation.
Gang Leader is predictable in parts, but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. It definitely needed to be shorter and some of its flab ought to have been trimmed in the editing suite.
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