Direction: CV Kumar
Cast: Priyanka Ruth, Daniel Balaji, Ashok, Velu Prabhakaran
CV Kumar, known for bankrolling path-breaking films in Tamil cinema who made his directorial debut with a sci-fi thriller Maayavan a few years ago returns with a gritty gangster saga with his second venture Gangs of Madras.
The movie begins with the proverb ‘The axe forgets but the tree remembers’, which sets the right mood of the film. Soon, we are introduced to fearless Jaya and as a child she hits back a boy who bullied her in school. Later as a young woman (Priyanka Ruth) in college, she slaps a cop who slaps her boyfriend Ibrahim (Ashok). When her parents oppose to her love affair, she walks out of her house and marries Ibrahim after converting to Islam. She is rechristened as Raziya Sultana. Ibrahim works as an accountant for Rowther (Velu Prabhakaran) the drug lord who controls the entire city along with his counterpart Lala. They run the drug cartel with the support of a state minister (Thenappan).
Life goes well for the couple until one day when Ibrahim is killed in an encounter by cops. And when Raziya comes to know that Rowther and her two sons Karim and Hussain are behind her husband’s death (and she loses her child in the womb as well in the aftershock), there starts the revenge mode for her. No, she does not become superwoman immediately!
When she learns that there’s no use going to cops, Raziya moves to Mumbai to meet Rowther’s enemy Boxy (Daniel Balaji) to get hands on training including martial arts, shooting, defense mechanism etc. Back to Chennai, the revenge spree begins!
A major draw of GOM is role reversal of the lead protagonist. Usually, gangster revenge dramas are earmarked for a ‘hero’. Here, we see a ‘heroine’ doing everything! Yet another plus is that Kumar steer clears his protagonist from being manipulative or relying on their charms (think of Chandra of Vada Chennai), here she uses her muscle power to brutally attack her enemies.
Priyanka Ruth in a well-written role is spellbinding and carries the entire film on her tender (!) shoulders. She gets ‘massy’ punch lines, ‘mass’ moments – don’t miss the interval block, ‘mass’ action sequences (she does it herself most part of it). No doubt an award winning feat! Daniel Balaji as usual does his part well. Velu Prabhakaran is menacing. The film is full of blood, gore and brutal violence. As the film progresses, it only gets bloodier and induces grisly shivers.
Technically Karthik’s camera settings alternate with red and green, going superbly well with the mood of the film. Shyamalangan’s BGM is terrific and in sync with the proceedings. Though the story is predictable and violent with blood bath, the film keeps you hooked till the end. Worth a watch for its new milieu and alluring performance of Priyanka Ruth!