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'Gaddam Gang' Review: Soul-less Remake

Movie: Gaddam Gang
Rating: 2/5
Banner:
Sivani Sivathmika Movies
Cast: Raja Shekar, Sheena, Naresh, Seetha, Satyam Rajesh, Naga Babu and Others
Music: Atchu
Editor: Richard Kevin
Cinematography: Demil
Producers: Sivani, Sivathmika
Director: Santosh Peter Jayakumar
Release Date: Feb 6th, 2015

Yesteryear’s angry cop of Tollywood, Rajasekhar returns after a long time with Gaddam Gang. Out of scene for a few years now, he has produced the remake of hit Tamil film Soodukavvum in Telugu as his comeback film. Let’s see if he is successful…

Story:
Gaddam Das (Rajasekhar) is a petty extortionist who kidnaps people for small amounts of money. He plans elaborately not to go wrong, but his philosophy is not to hurt or harass people. One day, Gaddam and his gang get to know that they can make Rs 2 crores, if they kidnap the son of a minister. Though the amount is against Gaddam’s principles, he agrees to pull off the kidnapping. And since then trouble begins for Gaddam gang.

Artistes' Performances:
Rajaseskhar who is seen on screen after a very long time tries his best to put in a convincing performance. Unfortunately though, he fails. While Vijay Sethupathi underplays his part brilliantly in the original, Rajasekhar misses the subtlety altogether. Since the director also misses out on the essence of the main character, Rajasekhar fails to lead the ‘Gaddam gang’ properly.

Sheena plays the dream girl of Gaddam. But some scenes look too artificial and vulgar as she gets to do nothing more than showing off her glamour.

Achchu and Rajesh who are part of Gaddam Gang put in decent performances. While the roles of Naga Babu and Naresh don’t provide any value addition to the movie.

On the other hand, Sita does not suit her role where she is required to show sentiment and do comedy.

Noel as the criminal-minded minister’s son is good. Yog Jappe as the cop makes no impression with his no-dialogue role. Surprisingly, while his performance was rather good in the original, it barely makes an impression in the remake.

Technical Excellence:
None of the songs are situational and the overall music by Achchu is pretty below average. On the other hand, background score is too loud. Dialogues are okay while cinematography is good. Editing is decent, though it could have been much better in the second half.

Though the film has been remade scene to scene, director Santosh could not give the same feel as the original. He should not have stretched the climax so much. In fact, it would have been best if the film was wrapped up on a simple note.

Since the story is ordinary, situational comedy and screenplay are the main strengths. Though the director followed the screenplay just like in the original, he failed to bring in the fun element that was the main highlight of the original.

In the original version, the other gang members perfectly complement the lead character. However, in Gaddam Gang, this coordination is totally lacking.

Highlights:

  • Concept
  • Few comedy scenes

Drawbacks:

  • Weak direction
  • Lead actors’ performances

Analysis:
While it is pretty easy to remake commercial formula films, making a concept based story in a different language is no easy task.

Despite copying the story, dialogues and scenes without any changes, if the director fails to capture the spirit of the original film, then the film will not be a success. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happens to Gaddam Gang. Though the director simply copied 99 per cent of the script, still he fails to capture the original flavour.

The highlight of Soodukavvum was the natural approach of the director and the way the lead actors totally merge into their characters. No where does one feel that they had acted. In fact, they appear to be totally spontaneous and merely responding to situations. And it is this natural approach that made the film a big success in Tamil. Though spontaneity is necessary for all kinds of comedies, they are a must have for dark comedies. One cannot help but wonder if the original director would have been given the task of remaking the film, he would have done a better job.

Meanwhile, the film does manage to be different in terms of the story and its characters. It is also sparingly sprinkled with situational comedy scenes. But since the film which is supposed to feel natural ends up looking artificial, it negatively impacts the final result.

Gaddam Gang starts off well in the first half, but loses steam as it enters second half. In the climax, the entry of the policeman should have heightened the suspense. Instead, it stretches the story wishing you were out.

The audiences fail to relate to any of the characters. As it is obvious that whatever is happening on screen is drama, the film neither surprises nor entertains. And Gaddam Gang totally misfires.

Bottomline: Off the track

(Venkat can be reached venkat@greatandhra.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)    

Click here for Telugu review

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