The young director Karthick Naren gave an unexpected hit thriller with his debut film Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru (2016). It was unfortunate that the release of his second film Naragasooran has remained stuck for more than two years. Despite that, he has managed to make (t)his third film – Mafia: Chapter 1 (2020), best wishes to him.
Starring Arun Vijay and Prasanna, Mafia: Chapter 1 is a familiar action story of a Police Investigator vs Drug leader. The screenplay didn’t have anything innovative, yet it manages to keep us from getting tired due to an engaging background score by Jakes Bejoy and a fast-paced narration by the director. Giving the audience credit for their familiarity with similar plots and not testing their intelligence, the screenplay doesn’t delve giving explanations, or lengthy character introductions of the hero (Arun Vijay) or the villain (Prasanna), or with how each side deduces the other’s moves and so on. Everything has been kept simple, for example, the hero identifies the villain by using the CCTV footage for reaching his hideout.
Though Arun Vijay has done more than justice to his role, it is Prasanna who steals the show with his onscreen presence. Priya Bhavani Shankar has been given a role involving action and shootouts, which she has performed well – unfortunately beyond being a sidekick to the hero, there was nothing else for her to do – not even a full-fledged duet-song.
Had the movie ended with the climax, it would’ve been good, but unexpectedly continues to place a comma. I am not sure I will be interested to watch a sequel.