The Gambinos is influenced by American crime films: Vishnu Vinay
The actor talks about his character in the film and what audiences can expect from the gangster drama, which has Radhika Sarathkumar playing the matriarch of a crime family
After his debut two years ago in History of Joy, actor Vinay Vishnu returns with Gireesh Panicker Mattada’s The Gambinos, which is hitting theatres this Friday. Vishnu is the son of director Vinayan, who happens to be Gireesh’s mentor.
In the film, Radhika Sarathkumar plays the matriarch of a Christian crime family that earned the nickname The Gambinos — after the infamous, once-prominent New York crime family — and Vishnu plays her grandson, Musthafa. According to the plot, the Musthafa's mother had married a Muslim man which got the couple banished from the family. But years later, after their demise, the family accepts their young son Musthafa and the film tracks the events that occur once he becomes a member.
Aaranya Kaandam-fame Sampath Raj plays the eldest of the matriarch’s five sons, with actors Sreejith Ravi and Musthafa, who won a national award for his performance in Ain, playing Sampath’s younger brothers.
Vishnu says the film’s story has been influenced by American crime films such as The Godfather. “Since Gireesh loves the American gangster classics, he had a lot of those references in mind while narrating the script to me. Scriptwriter Sakkir Madathil basically envisioned a similar crime family in a Malayali setting.”
Despite being a gangster film, the focus is more on the emotional conflict than the action sequences or gun violence, adds Vishnu. “The gangster films usually made in Kerala are about quotation gangs with the exception of a few stylish ones like Big B. Our film, however, has adopted a more realistic approach — the majority of the drama is confined to the interiors, and the characters don’t possess godlike powers. That’s not to say it is completely devoid of thriller moments; you will be seeing that more in the second half. I think a film like this has a good chance of clicking with today’s Malayali audiences.”