Mosagallu: This thriller about a gigantic scam is witless

For a self-proclaimed ambitious thriller about a scam that could have shaken the US, the film is criminally lazy.
Mosagallu:  This thriller about a gigantic scam is witless Mosagallu: This thriller about a gigantic scam is witless
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Title: Mosagallu 
Cast: Manchu Vishnu, Kajal Aggarwal, Suniel Shetty and others
Director: Jeffrey Gee Chin
Rating: 2/5

Mosagallu, whose story is by actor Manchu Vishnu (who is also the film's gutsy producer), was supposed to be a nail-biting tale of the "world's biggest income-tax scam" whose value literally runs into thousands of crores. Two siblings had executed the scam from Mumbai, ruining American lives, in real life. Their story has been fictionalized and set in the famous environs of Hyderabad's IT hub. The tragedy is that the film has got neither excitable crooks at the centre nor persuasive investigators at the periphery. For a self-proclaimed ambitious thriller about a scam that could have shaken the US, the film is criminally lazy.

Arjun (Manchu Vishnu) and Anu (Kajal Aggarwal) were born to a lower-middle-class father (Tanikella Bharani). Frustrated with being cheated by random people, they grow up to become Machiavellian scammers. Navdeep, who plays the owner of a loss-making call centre, spots a brilliant fraudster in Arjun, who sells private data to the dark web (the underworld of the Internet, as a character says in the movie). Together, they chalk out a plan to capitalize on the American fear of tax officials and earn millions of rupees in a snap. But their goose could soon be cooked, now that ACP Kumar (Suniel Shetty) is out to chase them.

When two siblings, who are fraternal twins go through a lot of agony in life and become unapologetically unscrupulous, you expect some really disturbing drama. But the emotional arc of the film feels underwhelming and uneven. 

Usually, we see sloppy Indian investigators behaving like clueless nitwits in our movies. Mosgallu goes a step further and gives us a couple of funnily incompetent American investigators. The scammers are using hawala networks to launder money and the investigators behave as if there is no footprint of the scam anywhere. 

In Hyderabad, Suniel Shetty's cop character is flummoxed in one scene and, in the next, he has pieced together the details of the fraudster-in-chief! His boss asks him to drop the case for want of evidence when there is clear proof that Arjun-Anu's IT company has been evading taxes. The villains could well have live-streamed their scam and yet the investigators would have been no more clued-in. 

Kajal's character arc cries for believability. She starts out on an ordinary note and suddenly starts thinking ahead of others. We never understand how she metamorphosed from an emotionally feeble wife of an abusive husband to the sounding board of a gigantic scam.

The scammers end up in a pub whenever the film feels it should overdo flamboyance. The key characters (including those played by Naveen Chandra and Navdeep) are either compulsively over-enthusiastic or too chilled out. When they are not partying, they are busy accidentally figuring out modus operandi. 

While the scam is of international proportions, music director Sam CS's BGM is in a different universe - it befits a local scam. Sheldon Chau's cinematography is unexciting. 

While Mosagallu has got a thrilling premise, it fails to make the audience buy into its central plot. 

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