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3.5 Star popcorn reviewss

With this weekend being light in terms of new releases, I had the liberty of choosing and watching the content that I had missed out on previously. A couple of months back there was a series out on Zee5 called Mafia, and to be honest its trailer was a sleaze fest which had then prompted me to skip it. But then slowly the word of mouth had crept in of it being a capable thriller but by then I had lost an opportunity to confirm the same. However, this weekend gave me this opportunity again and I decided to strike it off my watchlist. Was it worth my time, lets find out.

Mafia is the story of a group of friends that have a reunion of sorts, six years after a horrific incident that had divided them. What begins as a reunion soon turns out to be a nightmare. The story equates itself to the popular game of mafia(hence its namesake) which is one of the most thrilling and fun games that I have played with my group of friends, also a game of trust, friendship, deceit and murder(virtually). And the story is packed with all these attributes which makes it interesting. The screenplay oscillates between frequent flashbacks and current times. In a way it can be termed as non-linear but here is it effective as well. It starts off slowly with the introduction of characters and an unwanted guest, soon drops pace in the middle but then quickly e gathers momentum and escalates towards the end. The grand reveal is good but if you watch it closely, it may not shock you entirely. Perhaps a different approach might have been better but this one is pretty decent too. What scores is the format – all characters trapped in a single location is a winner already as seen in films like Escape Room, Kaun or even Saw. What binds these films is the sheer nature of what to expect next. Yes the sleaze and a few love making scenes are a part of the screenplay but it all makes sense at the end! And here too Mafia scores likewise. The dialogues are filled with expletives, it may not have been required at all places but it does work in parts. The BGM blows hot and cold, in a few places the BGM is different from the mood of the drama which is a bit of a pity. Director Birsa Dasgupta has done a good job in the direction department to keep things tight for most parts. This in turn amounts to interest and curiosity among the audience.

The performances are all pretty good. All characters are grey here and so you are in for a treat. Tanmay Dhanania as Rishi is fiery and shows alot of flair in the acting department. Ridhima Ghosh as Priyanka has her moments to shine too. Aditya Bakshi as Sam also is totally convincing as a drug addict. Namit Das is a great actor and as Nitin he is excellent, his character will keep you guessing. Madhurima Roy as Tania is fantastic and I hope to see more of her in the future. Anindita Bose(also seen in Forbidden Love) as Neha is confident and such a natural onscreen. Saurabh Saraswat as Ritwik is excellent here and each of his expressions are ones to savour! Ishaa Saha as Ananya is the pick of the lot for me. A layered character and portrayed excellently by her! She is the find of the series for me.

Keeping a few of its flaws aside, Mafia is a pretty good thriller that will keep you guessing till the end. Its trailer in no way justifies the end product, do give it a chance and be prepared for a good thrill ride! Available on Zee5.

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