“Ganglands” is the kind of show that’s easy to watch, but not necessarily easy to like. It has a lot of flaws, but it does have an undeniable charm.
The gangland 2021 is a TV series that tells the story of a family who, in order to survive, must work together and fight against gangs.
‘Ganglands,’ also known as ‘Braqueuers: La Serie,’ is a small-screen extension of the criminal universe explored by French filmmaker Julien Leclercq in his 2015 film ‘Braqueuers.’ On September 24, Netflix released this French-language criminal thriller series. Hamid Hlioua and Lecleqcq collaborated on the project, with the latter overseeing the six-episode collection.
Sami Bouajila, Sophia Lesaffre, Tracy Gotoas, Samuel Jouy, Nabiha Akkari, Sofia Lesaffre, Salim Kechiouche, Noureddine Farihi, Geert Van Ramperberg, and Bakary Diombera are among the cast members of this program.
‘Ganglands’ is a film about criminals battling one other, with the primary concept of family coming first, where one is willing to go to any length to keep their loved ones safe, no matter how lethal or hazardous it is. There is a fine line between who is the more human criminal, but this story makes it extremely simple for viewers to choose sides despite the illegal actions of the opposing parties.
Two lovebirds, Shainez (Sofia Lassaffre) and Liana (Tracy Gotoas), who are small-time criminals posing as escorts, steal from a deadly drug lord at the start of the film. They had no idea that their apparently little transgression might turn into a mountain of a problem among the drug lords in the highly competitive crack business.
Saber, represented by Salim Kechiouche, is the mobster they steal from, and he holds Shainez captive in order to get vengeance and retrieve his stolen items while using the situation for his own selfish benefit. Shainez, Mehdi’s niece, is a vicious, highly-skilled, calculating criminal who runs his own gang and would go to any length to protect his family.
Audiences see his expertise at work when he and his team pull off a spectacular gold robbery at the start of the film. To rescue their cherished friend and relative from the evil hands of the bad guy, he joins forces with his niece’s girlfriend Liana. Mehdi is played by acclaimed French actor Sami Bouajila, who also starred in the 2015 remake.
The kidnappers force Mehdi to take 300 kilos of cocaine from a rival gang in order to rescue his niece, and what seemed to be a simple get in and out scenario turns south. He begs Liana to leave since the mission is dangerous; but, Liana’s love for her lover inspires her to brave the world of weapons, drug traffickers, and gang rivalry. This raises the issue of how far she is prepared to go for Shainez’s sake, and if Mehdi and Liana will survive the hazardous adventure.
The conflict between Mehdi’s career as a skilled thief and the dirty business of family members in danger with unethical drug traffickers is the most fascinating element of this series to watch. Saber also tests his father’s tolerance in an attempt to grow, prompting his cousin Sofia, played by Nabiha Akkari, to serve as a mediator.
The plot of ‘Ganglands’ is a no-brainer. The plot of the story unfolds in a very predictable way. There are no surprises, twists, or turns in this film, so if the viewer gets the impression that one of the characters is going to meet the grim ripper, they are completely right. That’s it. It’s as simple as that.
The snappy script, action, and performances from the main actors, on the other hand, capture and hold the viewer’s attention, leaving them wanting more. Yes, there are a few melodramas, such as Saber’s spell with his father and cousin Sophia, who don’t think he has the courage and intelligence to lead their criminal business. Saber’s character is underdeveloped, and this effort to make him more interesting by establishing a parallel narrative falls short.
The fact is that these melodramas don’t contribute anything to the story. Thankfully, they do not deviate from the plot’s primary premise. The anime does an admirable job of addressing LGBTQ+ issues, since the main characters are lesbians who are passionately and honestly in love.
Mehdi and Liana’s tale is beautifully set up. The audience assumes one is a seasoned expert who excels at his trade, while the other is a small-town criminal who only steals crumbs. At first glance, they seem to be an odd pair, coming from opposite ends of the spectrum. However, as the series continues, their relationship improves, and it’s incredible to see this veteran and novice team up against all of the gangs.
What pacts may be made in the name of love is really astounding. Yes, their characters are terrible individuals, but viewers can’t help but root for them as their collaboration dismantles the cartel like a stack of Jenga blocks in a classic lesser evil scenario.
Bouajila and Tracy both did an excellent job in their jobs. Their acting is superb, and their action keeps the film moving forward, engaging, intriguing, and enjoyable. Drug traffickers, on the other hand, aren’t nearly as dangerous as such terrible guys. These goons are renowned for being cold-blooded maniacs who are solely interested in their business and the money it provides them. They can’t make a strong man quiver in this series. Actually, the Mehdi-Liana team is more dangerous than the series’ supposed villains.
‘Ganglands’ is jam-packed with adrenaline-pumping scenes that keep viewers fully pumped throughout the series. However, the story is so action-packed and brutal that it neglects to include an emotional component.
The graphics are stunning. The majority of the cinematography is in color, and the basic settings often give the impression that the films were created with a European audience in mind. The atmosphere is tense. It’s an interesting watch because the violence is brutal and real, and the conversation is fascinating.
From drugs, rivalries, battles, weapons, brutality, and merciless murders, this French gangster series checks all the boxes of a fascinating crime drama. As Mehdi’s rescue gets underway, the episode closes on a cliffhanger, and it’s uncertain if Sofia and Saber will ultimately join together. ‘Ganglands’ is a straight-up slam-bang action extravaganza with outstanding lead performances.
SCORE: 7 OUT OF 10
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