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Movie Review: Gangster Macha

 | November 8, 2012

Gangster Macha: The Rise of Muthusammy is a locally-made, low-budget gangster movie that will make you laugh every step of the way.


Starring: Umesh Logandran, Oliver Johanan, Phoon Chi Ho, Tung Jit Yang, Omar Ali, Santosh Logandran, Marina Tan

Screenplay/Director: Yusuf Amin

There are some movies that will challenge us, force us to think in ways we have never thought before, made in a style so amazing that it will change the way we look at things forever.

‘Gangster Macha: The Rise of Muthusammy’, is not one of those movies. Though a crime movie in every aspect, it will not provoke the innermost recesses of your mind, nor will it force you to engage in a deep political discussion.

But it does what many movie makers fail to do. It will entertain, and it will make you laugh. Out loud. Literally. If it doesn’t, then you’re taking it way too seriously.

Set in present-day Malaysia, Yusuf Amin’s debut film Gangster Macha: The Rise of Muthusammy takes place in the fictional and aptly-named Kampung Bedebush (it never gets old).

Like our world, the general election is coming soon, and the local Member of Parliament YB (Tung Jit Yang) wants to show the rakyat that he has cleaned his constituency of gangsterism.

Unknown to many, he has created and supported the fearsome Gang Ular, led by the absolutely sinister warlord Snake Raja (Oliver Johanan), a man whose moustache (tries to, at least) comes close to Rajinikanth’s.

YB tells Snake to keep a low-profile until after the elections; an idea that does not rest well with the latter. A gang has many mouths to feed, but YB is beilligerent. He must win the polls by any means, though he balks at buying votes.

Snake then turns against his creator, leaving YB with no other option but to create another gangster to solve his problem, finding it in Muthusammy (Umesh Logandran).

YB has little trouble in recruiting his new protege by offering the young Muthusammy a lot of money, which the latter desperately needs. Presumably neglected by his father, his mother (Marina Tan) is dying of some unknown disease.

He then creates a gang, and fills it with the overly-innocent James (Phoon Chi Ho) and his cowardly cousin (Santosh Logandran), though not without earning Snake and his right-hand-man Babu’s (Omar Ali) wrath.

From a bird’s eye view, Gangster Macha plays with things that most filmmakers would rather not have: long inner monologues, over-the-top acting, huge explosions, corny special effects and giant moustaches.


However, coupled with a grainy film effect, all these factors give the movie a very grindhouse feel, reminiscent of Robert Rodriguez’s Planet Terror and Jason Eisener’s Hobo With a Shotgun.

The film is simply made, with enough motivation and sub-plots to further the story. It also carries its fair share of Malaysian cultural references.

But the movie is not without criticism however. Though it is centred around Muthusammy, Johanan’s portrayal as the diabolical-yet-charismatic Snake Raja steals the show, so much so that everyone else pales around him.

It also felt that it could have come with a little more action, and more complete fight scenes.

There are also times when you might feel the movie was a little bit short (42 minutes in length), leaving you wanting for more. It’s six-part-division might also come as an annoyance for some, especially if you want to watch everything in one go.

Though quite comical, the film also presents itself as in insight into local gangsterism, and why some budding youths join in the first place.

Gangster Macha: The Rise of Muthusammy is in every respect an Indian gangster movie, though it takes these limits and throws them out the window. It knows that its corny, but it makes no apologies in doing so and keeps on punching.

All in all, its a decent and hilarious watch, especially if you’re high on something. Also, do keep an eye for its Bahasa Malaysia version, which may or may not come out in the near future.

Gangster Macha: The Rise of Muthusammy can be viewed for FREE on its YouTube page.

For more information, check out its Facebook page.

Or, you can also watch the first part of the movie here.


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