Mafia: Chapter 1

Mafia: Chapter 1, known simply as Mafia,[1] is a 2020 Indian Tamil-language action crime film directed and Written by Karthick Naren and produced by Allirajah Subaskaran under the banner of Lyca Productions. The film starring Arun Vijay and Priya Bhavani Shankar in leading roles with Prasanna playing the antagonist.[2][3] The film's music composed by Jakes Bejoy, while cinematography and editing are handled by Gokul Benoy and Sreejith Sarang respectively.[4] Filming was completed on 29 August 2019, and the film was released on 21 February 2020.

Mafia: Chapter 1
Mafia Chapter 1 poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byKarthick Naren
Written byKarthik Naren
Produced byAllirajah Subaskaran
StarringArun Vijay
Priya Bhavani Shankar
CinematographyGokul Benoy
Edited bySreejith Sarang
Music byJakes Bejoy
Release date
  • 21 February 2020 (2020-02-21)
Running time
114 minutes


Aryan is a Narcotics Control Bureau Officer who works alongside his batchmates Sathya and Varun. Aryan lost his twin Brother, Dillip, who is addicted to drugs, therefore he became a Narcotics Officer and his main aim is to eradicate all drug groups and drug lords, known as the ‘Snake’s Den’. Alongside his team are Selvam, his team supervisor and Mugilan, a social activist who is also Aryan's neighbour. Whilst Aryan arrives home after catching two culprits that were into drugs, he receives news that Selvam has died due to a gunshot at the head. Previously, Selvam had concluded the guy behind this, but did not reveal so the culprit wouldn't know about this. Aryan and Sathya investigate around the house, and Aryan concludes that there is a big drug lord behind the murder, and they must find evidence of that. Mugilan is also targeted by the drug lord and his bodyguard and is killed. Before his death, he puts information about the drug lord in a USB stick, attached to his dog, Pogo's collar and sends Aryan a message. Aryan tracks Pogo down with the tracking chip installed in his collar and sees the information. The drug baron is apparently Diwakar Kumaran (DK), a big philanthropic drug trafficker. Mugilan suspects his early source of income was with links of international drug cartels. DK and his brother/bodyguard Rudra have links with politicians, so their business cannot be derailed. Knowing this Mugilan and Selvam decides to investigate a place thought to be Diwakar's secret hideout. Through this they were both caught.

Aryan later moved on to start a shootout at the place, and finally concludes Diwakar's role in drug dealing. DK, knowing what will happen, abducts Aryan's family and asks Aryan to meet his doom at a warehouse. With a plan, Aryan and his team, tries foiling all of DK's plan in one night. After an interesting cat-and-mouse chase, Aryan finally manages to catch DK, who kills himself to prevent going into custody. This is where the start of the movie comes in. Before his death, DK tells Aryan that he is not the main drug lord. Then later it is followed by a twist that his own twin brother Dilip aka Dexter is the main drug Lord, who swears revenge on Aryan, since Diwakar and Dilip escaped a police Attack and found a bounty to start their drug businesses and Dilip was thought to be dead. The story then leads to Mafia: Chapter 2.


  • Arun Vijay as :
    • Aryan, Narcotics Control Bureau Officer
    • Dilip aka Dexter, Aryan's twin brother, whist his code name being Cobra.
  • Prasanna as Diwakar Kumaran aka DK, Dexter's assistant, whist his codename being Viper.
  • Priya Bhavani Shankar as Sathya, Narcotic Control Bureau Officer and Aryan's teammate and love interest
  • Thalaivasal Vijay as Mugilan, Aryan's neighbor and social activist
  • Bharath Reddy as Inspector Naveen
  • Bala Hassan as Varun, Narcotic Control Bureau Officer, and Aryan's teammate
  • Aroul D. Shankar as Selvam, Narcotic Control Bureau and head of Aryan's team
  • Mathew Varghese as Aryan's father
  • Rekha Suresh as Aryan's mother
  • Inder Kumar as Rudra, DK's brother
  • Dipshi Blessy as Sowmya


After the success of Dhuruvangal Pathinaaru, Karrthick Naren started work on his second project Naragasooran, which remained unreleased due to financial constraints, despite production completed in 2017.[5] Also Naren's third film Naadaga Medai, starring Kalidas Jayaram, Rahman, Parthiban and Gautham Karthik also put on hold.[6] In June 2018, Naren narrated a script to Silambarasan, for which he agreed to do the film. However, the project was not being confirmed.[7] In March 2019, the production house Lyca Productions signed Naren for his upcoming project, which stars Arun Vijay in the leading role.[8] Prasanna was reported to play the antagonist and Nivetha Pethuraj was signed in for a pivotal role, whom she was replaced by Priya Bhavani Shankar.[9] In May 2019, the makers announced the film's title as Mafia.[10]

Principal photography began on 31 May 2019 in Chennai.[11] The shooting of the film's first schedule undergone a brisk pace and was completed on 2 July 2019.[12] The makers started the second schedule of the film on 5 July 2019, soon after the completion of the first schedule.[13] It was touted to be shot in eleven days, thus the film's shoot is scheduled to be completed within 37 days.[13] On 18 August, Priya Bhavani Shankar tweeted that she had completed shooting her portions for the film.[14] Within few days, Arun Vijay and Prasanna headed to Thailand to shoot some crucial action sequences.[15] On 26 August, it was announced that the makers had completed shooting for the film.[16]


The film's music is composed by Jakes Bejoy with lyrics written by Vivek and Travis A. King. The soundtrack album featuring three tracks was released on 7 February 2020.[17]

1."Vedan Vendaacho"VivekVijay Prakash, Sathya Prakash, ST TFC3:58
2."Beast In The House"Vivek, Travis A. KingSunitha Sarathy, Travis A. King4:00
3."Dexter Theme" Instrumental1:40


The film received mixed reviews from audience as well as critics.[18] Giving the film a 3/5 rating, Thinkal Menon from The Times of India praised the performances and wrote "Mafia would appeal to fans of action movies, especially those which have stylish narcotics backdrop."[19] Behindwoods gave it 2.75 stars out of 5, calling it "an action flick that is majorly uplifted by the stylish treatment and a smart climax for the sequel."[20] Indiaglitz similarly gave it 2.75/5 and praised the lead actors, action sequences and technical aspects while criticizing the predictability of several scenes. Nevertheless, the reviewer felt the film was "an interesting start for an action franchise."[21]Firstpost rated 3 out of 5 stars stating "On the whole Mafia: Chapter I is stylishly cut but has very little substance. But the climax has kindled the expectation meter for Chapter II. In fact, just for the seven minute climax surprise twist we are going with a higher rating than it would have deserved."[22]The Hindu stated "Arun Vijay and Prasanna struggle hard to keep the tension alive in an adequate thriller that abuses its own substance".[23]Deccan Chronicle rated 2.5 out of 5 stars stating "The problem with 'Mafia' is that it makes plenty of noise but has little substance".[24]The Indian Express rated 2 out of 5 stars stating "The biggest problem is that Mafia: Chapter 1 is so randomly written".[25]The News Minute rated 2 out of 5 stars stating "Karthick falls back on voiceovers and an excessive use of English in the dialogues to keep up the sophisticated tone, but the writing falls flat".[26]Hindustan Times stated "Mafia may come across as slightly over stylised for a story set in Chennai and involving officers of the Narcotics Control Bureau, but once you get used to the world, you’re in for a surprise".[27]Sify rated 2.5 out of 5 stars stating "All style and no substance".[28] Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion South wrote "The single-minded pursuit of surface style kills the movie. The rhythms are flat. The scenes play like summaries that nobody bothered to shape into… a “scene”. There's a lot of dead air."[29]


  1. ^ Arun Vijay is thrilled about Mafia | Tamil Movie News - Times of India
  2. ^ Lakshmi, V. "Mafia will be a high-octane gangster drama: Karthick Naren". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  3. ^ Subramanian, Anupama (3 July 2019). "Mafia not usual North Chennai story". Deccan Chronicle. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Mafia first look: Arun Vijay looks dapper in Karthick Naren's next". The Indian Express. 2 July 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Karthick Naren opens up on 'Naragasooran' controversy - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Director Karthick Naren's next titled 'Naadaga Medai' - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  7. ^ "Simbu and Karthick Naren to join hands? - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Arun Vijay to do a film with Karthick Naren? - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  9. ^ "It's Arun Vijay versus Prasanna - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  10. ^ "Karthick Naren's next film with Arun Vijay is titled Mafia". India Today. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  11. ^ "Arun Vijay and Karthick Naren's Mafia kicks off today". The Times of India. 6 July 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Mafia shoot is progressing at a brisk pace - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  13. ^ a b "'Mafia': Second schedule of the Arun Vijay starrer begins - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  14. ^ "Priya Bhavani Shankar wraps up shoot for Mafia - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  15. ^ "Arun Vijay and Prasanna off to Thailand for Mafia shoot - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  16. ^ "Karthick Naren wraps up shoot of Mafia - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  17. ^ "Birthday Special: Arun Vijay's upcoming movies which will leave you spellbound - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 7 February 2020.
  18. ^ Johnson, David (21 February 2020). "Mafia movie review and ratings by audience: Live update". International Business Times, India Edition. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  19. ^ "Mafia: Chapter 1 Movie Review : The way the film ends makes us eagerly wait for the next chapter". The Times of India. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Mafia (aka) Maafia review". Behindwoods. 21 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Mafia Chapter 1 - An interesting start for an action franchise!". Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  22. ^ "Mafia: Chapter I movie review — Arun Vijay's thriller is an uber-stylish film with a wafer-thin plot". Firstpost. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  23. ^ S, Srivatsan (21 February 2020). "'Mafia: Chapter 1' movie review: A wonderfully ordinary movie with a great presentation". The Hindu. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  24. ^ "Mafia Chapter 1 review: Game of chess between cop and drug kingpin". Deccan Chronicle. 22 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  25. ^ "Mafia movie review: Stylish but hollow gangster drama". The Indian Express. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  26. ^ "'Mafia: Chapter 1' review: Style, swag and no substance". The News Minute. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  27. ^ "Mafia movie review: Karthick Naren's film is a smart, ultra-stylized gangster drama". Hindustan Times. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  28. ^ "Mafia review: All style and no substance". Sify. 21 February 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  29. ^ "Karthick Naren's Mafia: Chapter 1, Starring Arun Vijay, Mistakes Slo-Mo For Style". FilmCompanion. 4 March 2020.

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