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Friday, April 23, 2021

Mosagallu review: This Vishnu Manchu, Kajal Aggarwal film is superficial, half-baked

Mosagallu review: The Vishnu Manchu, Kajal Agarwal film wastes a good plot with half-baked treatment.

Rating: 1 out of 5
Written by Manoj Kumar R | Bengaluru |
Updated: March 21, 2021 9:42:42 am
Mosagallu movie reviewA poster of Mosagallu movie, starring Vishnu Manchu, Kajal Aggarwal, and Suniel Shetty. (Photo: PR Handout)

Mosagallu movie cast: Vishnu Manchu, Kajal Aggarwal, Navdeep
Mosagallu movie director: Jeffrey Gee Chin
Mosagallu movie rating: 1 star

Telugu film Mosagallu is based on one of the biggest scams in the history of modern India, the IRS call centre scam. It is a story about a fake call centre racket that duped Americans of roughly 300 million dollars.

Arjun, played by Vishnu Manchu, who has also written this film, works at a call centre. He gathers personal details of his callers and sells it on the dark web for money. His twin sister Anu (played by Kajal Aggarwal), is elder to him by just 10 seconds. She is separated from her abusive husband and living with her brother.

Arjun and his boss Vijay (Navdeep) hatch a plan that utilises their call centre experience. The plan is simple — call up Americans impersonating as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) collection officers, allege tax violations and threaten arrest until they settle the dispute by wiring money to them.

To pull off a scam like this, one has to be extremely smart and well prepared as one wrong move can send them to jail. Arjun and his company, however, straight-up begin dialing the numbers of Americans from a dingy garage in Hyderabad, hoping for quick money. It seems Arjun believes in on-the-job training. And it takes his dim-witted team an entire day of failed attempts to realise that they need a script to tackle the counter questions of their unsuspecting victims. In fact, the way the characters conduct their business is so silly that it becomes hard to believe a scam like this could ever happen. Yes, this film squeezes out all the ingenuity and cleverness of the masterminds behind the Mumbai IRS scam 2016.

Mosagallu has an interesting premise, with a scope to make a film about excess and greed, say, like The Wolf of Wall Street. Instead, this film chooses to take the melodramatic route, and makes it about children who crave their parents’ approval and parents who are sort of perpetually disappointed with their offspring.

The film is betrayed by Vishnu’s lack of thorough understanding of the scam and details of the operations that tricked hundreds of Americans into buying iTunes gift cards to settle their tax disputes. Instead of getting real, Vishnu gets melodramatic as the protagonist broods over existential questions and the meaninglessness of excessive wealth. Adding to our woes is non-stop justification from Anu as to why she and her brother should not feel guilty about making money illegally. The film is neither philosophical, nor smart.

Hollywood filmmaker Jeffrey Gee Chin has directed Mosagallu. He holds quite an impressive resume. According to IMDb, he seems to have worked with some well-known international filmmakers and associated with the productions of hit television shows like Billions and Snowfall. And, the trailer of his award-winning short film Lil Tokyo Reporter gives us an impression of a director, who has a unique taste and understanding of cinema.

However, his first feature film, Mosagallu, is a far cry from everything that Jeffrey’s CV promises. The film is devoid of an intelligent script, sophisticated narrative techniques and a unique visual style, which are elementary expectations from a filmmaker brought all the way from Hollywood.

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