Cast: Arun Vijay, Prasanna, Priya Bhavani Shankar
Director: Karthick Naren
Mafia begins on an ominous note with a shootout at a luxury hotel in the wee hours of a Saturday. Then we are brought back to the present where Aryan (Arun Vijay) is heading an operation to catch a couple of drug users. Along with his team, comprising Sathya (Priya Bhavani Shankar) and Varun (Bala Hassan), he’s on a mission to rid society of drugs. After the sudden demise of his higher-up Muligan (Thalaivasal Vijay,) Aryan is led to drug kingpin Diwakar ‘DK’ Kumar (Prasanna.) Each makes plans to eliminate the other, and a game of chess begins. The ensuing action is a combination of physical and mind games, and what Aryan finds is that the so-called ‘kingpin’ is just one amongst numerous doppelgängers.
Directed by Karthick Naren, Mafia Chapter 1 has the aesthetics in place for a dark and violent tug-of-war between cops and the mafia. Arun Vijay as the narcotics officer looks slick and imposing. Given how the antagonist plays an equal role, Prasanna’s mannerisms are cold and underhanded, but his character needed more substance. Priya Bhavani Shankar and Bala Hassan have been given very limited scope to showcase their talent.
The problem with Mafia is that it makes plenty of noise but has little substance. Your brain has automatically solved the entire puzzle well before the scenes unfold. Some action and stunts in the second half will keep you engaged and the climax is a saving grace to keep the viewers seated. Too many slo-mo sequences make you cringe. Jakes Bijoy’s music and Gokul Benoy’s camera go well with the mood of the film.
Overall, Chapter 1 of Mafia is a flat sequence of nice artwork and choreography. Chapter 2 has much ground to make up....