Auto Shankar Review: A Gritty Crime Thriller Based On A Real-Life Murderer Gowri Shankar

One man, six murders! The ZEE5 Originals Auto Shankar is worth every minute of your time. Director Ranga's talent shines brightly in Auto Shankar

Appani Sarath As Auto Shankar In A Still

Auto Shankar, is a ZEE5 Original Series, based on true events about the terror reign of a gangster named Gowri Shankar in Tamil Nadu. It speaks of Auto Shankar’s life that had elements of lust, revenge and betrayal in it. A cold-blooded murderer as he was known back then, the series is set in Madras, in the 80s. For those of you who don’t know, Auto Shankar is originally a ZEE5 Tamil Original Series that has been adapted in Kannada now. Starring the talented Appani Sarath in the lead, the crime-thriller looks at the rise and fall of the real-life gangster Gowri Shankar (name changed to Auto Shankar in the series).

Director Ranga’s 10-episode series begins with Shankar’s death penalty. What I mean is in the first five minutes of Episode 1, you can see a brief of Shankar’s current situation; already behind bars, waiting to be hanged to death. What follows is a flashback from his past in the remaining episodes. After this intro, Shankar’s life is retraced from the time he was just an auto driver doing small illegal activities under an already influential man. From there the series focuses on how he learns and implements new tactics to change his life’s circumstances. He then gets mixed up with this corrupt police officer by the name of Kathivaran (played by Arjun C), who exploits Shankar for his personal vendetta.

The next few episodes look at how Shankar rises to power along with the people, who help him achieve this status in the society. Once there, his cold-blooded murder spree begins. If you look at the series from a story perspective, it is mostly fictional because the murder show covers the life of Shankar just from the outline. Things like the sex trade he had going on and his womanising qualities with women from the brothel that he owned, hasn’t been covered. The focus has just been on this one woman Chandrika (played by Swayam), whom Shankar loses his heart to apart from his wife. The makers of the series ensured to keep the highlights of Gowri Shankar’s life in a well-stitched biopic.

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Another interesting thing to look at is the way the kept Shankar’s avatar de-glamaourized. Furthermore, the look and feel of the 80s make it a completely worthy-watch. Towards the end of the series, the hints at the fact that Shankar, who climbed up the ladder of success was merely a pawn being used by influential politicians. The Angamaly Diaries actor Appani Sarath has done a smooth job in depicting an exact replica of how the real Gowri Shankar was, according to me. Sarath, who is known for playing varied characters in many of his projects loved playing the role of Auto Shankar, claiming that it brought out his potential in the most enlightening manner. Since biopics have a lot of information to give out, Auto Shankar only proves why it was best as a web-series and not a film.

Have you watched the film yet? Let us know what you thought of it in the space given below.

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