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Mafia: Chapter 1 Movie Review: Mafia begins with an unexpected shoot out that takes place at a posh hotel on a Saturday night. We are then taken back to Wednesday – a small narcotics operation happens headed by Aryan (Arun Vijay), after which a couple of drug users are nabbed. The sudden death of Aryan’s superior officer and activist Mugilan (Thalaivasal Vijay), who were behind a leading drug cartel, leads to further enquiry. Once Aryan finds that it is businessman Diwakar (Prasanna) who rules the drug mafia, an interesting cat-and-mouse game begins. The tiff between protagonist and the antagonist is aided by decent fist fights, gun fights and brain games. When Aryan takes on the mighty Diwakar, we feel that hunting down the latter is close to impossible. But when Aryan almost does it, he understands that Diwakar is just one among the many venomous snakes in the den.
Karthick Naren establishes the narcotics backdrop required for the story from the word go. There is certain slickness to the narration and the proceedings though things move at a slow pace. Arun Vijay aces the role of a smart and brainy narcotics officer, thanks to his convincing body language and Priya Bhavani Shankar, as his assistant, fits the bill. Prasanna, as the menacing villain, who heads the dreaded drug empire, oozes the essential swag in the scenes he appears. Barath Reddy and other artistes, too, are apt in their roles, though more detailing on them could have made it even better. Jakes Bijoy’s music and Gokul Benoy help the narration maintain the mood throughout.
As the title says, this is the first chapter of Mafia, and the way the film ends makes us eagerly wait for the next chapter, thanks to the fabulous twist in the climax, which is one reason why the latter half comes across as quite engaging. The former half doesn’t offer much surprises and takes some time to elaborate the characters and set up. The presentation and narration, at times, remind you of web series format as you feel certain cinematic elements seem to be missing. The number of slow motion shots and spoon-feeding in some scenes could have been avoided. Mafia would appeal to fans of action movies, especially those which have stylish narcotics backdrop. All said and done, here’s waiting for Mafia: Chapter 2.