Gambler is a regular two-and-half-hour thrill ride but for some reason it appears a lengthy watch. Venkat Prabhu crams the romantic scenes in the first half hour and keeps the adrenaline pumping with gun fights and the anti-hero's bleeped cuss words in the last one hour.

This isn't the first time that Ajith had played a baddie and the plot also isn't something off beat but the heist which involves Rs 500 crores pulls in a number of interesting characters in a story line that has been cleverly woven by the director. Gambler is worth checking out if you've been missing action movies for sometime, it has an interesting start, an engaging middle and a thrilling finish. Ajith drinks like a fish, womanises, feigns love, backstabs and takes pride in calling himself a mad man.

Suspended cop Vinayak (Ajith) is dating Sanjana (Trisha), daughter of Sambasiva Reddy (Jaya Prakash), who allows the betting dons to collect and distribute the booty from IPL matches in his theatre that has been converted into a gambling den. Reddy's men divert a gigantic amount that is supposed to reach the former and plan to divide it amongst themselves. Vinayak joins them and as the money is stolen, misunderstandings between them crop up and each one seeks to own the money.

The plot thickens as Prithviraj (Arjun), an Assistant Commisioner of Police is assigned the job of nabbing the bookies and all those involved in betting, he is out to get Vinayak and the rest.

There is a lot of glamour in the form of Trisha, Andrea, Anjali, Lakshmi Rai but Lakshmi Rai outshines all of them. Trisha's drunken scene is totally unnecessary, except for her colourful costumes, there isn't much substance to her role. Telugu actor Vaibhav hasn't clicked here big time in lead roles but is making himself noticeable in Tamil movies and is strangely not averse to playing supporting characters there. Ajith looks awesome as a man in his forties, as the ruthless and self-centred burglar. The film goes slow initially but picks up pace post interval. Yet ten minutes of the run time could have still been chopped for a slick look. A song shot indoors on Trisha and Ajith has been picturised in an interesting manner, the sets change in seconds as the tunes change track. Finally, Arjun's no-nonsense and blunt attitude pulls the film through the second half of the film and gives it an element of credibility.

Cast: Ajith, Arjun, Trisha

Direction: Venkat Prabhu

Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja

Genre: Thriller

Plot: On betting, money and the men behind it

Bottomline: An Ajith bonanza

Keywords: Tollywood