Family drama was the hottest theme when this movie released in 1991, but this
was without a doubt the best of the lot. Gang Leader started off to a rather lukewarm
response, but went on to become a mega-hit. Though it did not have a different
storyline, it was the presentation and the talent of the cast that made the film
a complete family entertainer. The pairing of Chiranjeevi and Vijayshanti was
ideal, and their performances are still remembered.
The story revolves around a middle class joint family and the joys and sorrows
that they go through. A mother, three brothers, a devoted daughter-in-law and
two cute kids are living life together and facing its challenges. Chiranjeevi
plays the youngest brother who loves life and spends most of his time with his
friends but dotes on his family. The eldest brother runs the family, working hard
as a government servant, the second is studying hard to be an IAS officer. In
spite of all the hardships, they are a happy united family.
Trouble begins when the eldest brother witnesses a murder. He is hounded by the
murderers and killed. And the second brother ends up marrying the daughter of
one of the killers. Chiranjeevi's friends are the only witnesses to this crime,
but remain silent to protect their friend from doing anything rash. Meanwhile,
misunderstandings begin and the happy family is destroyed. How these misunderstandings
are cleared and the culprits are brought to justice makes up the rest of the movie.
With a cast comprising the two Telugu superstars and several veteran actors like
Murali Mohan, Rao Gopala Rao, Allu Ramalingayya and Nirmala, you could hardly
expect anything less than good performances. Vijayshanti is Chiranjeevi's lady
love who supports him through it all. There is plenty of comedy in the movie,
both by the villain's sidekicks and by the lead stars themselves. Chiranjeevi's
fine flair for comic comes out pretty well in the first half.
The songs were big hits, all of them. The direction and narration are superb and
the music is excellent. The entire crew chipped in with good performances, and
that was what made Gang Leader a super hit.