Game Over is originally a Tamil-Telugu bilingual thriller film, with multiple layers of issues that are tackled in the film, and ever so subtly. Written and directed by Ashwin Saravanan, the hero of the film is Taapsee Pannu who is simply brilliant in yet another performance and yet another totally diverse character to the ones she has played before. The film is jointly produced by Reliance Entertainment and Y NOT Studios and presented by Anurag Kashyap. It is typically his kind of dark noir film in a sense. The story is very well written, and it leaves you swinging from intrigue to horror to thrills, as it plays out.
What Game Over is all about: Set in Gurugram (the Hindi version) on the outskirts of Delhi, it begins with the brutal killing of Amrutha (Sanchana Natarajan). She is decapitated and burnt alive, and apparently, this is not the first, nor the last such killing. It is terrifying. Cut to an year later, a vibrant-looking, but internally traumatised Swapna (Taapsee Pannu) who is a video game designer/creator, seems to be suffering from panic attacks from an alluded-to assault of some sort. Darkness and the oncoming new year put her into such a severe state of dread, she ends up hurting herself despite seeking medical attention. Bound to her wheel-chair, she is now in the grip of panic, imagined or otherwise is anyone’s guess. Her constant companion and support structure is her house-help Kalamma (Vinodhini Vaidyanathan). Is she under attack from real evils or some supernatural or paranormal entities? What is the connection between Amrutha and Swapna? The film explores some unconventional aspects conceptually as well.
Yay: Taapsee Pannu outdoes herself as the creative gamer, paralysed by fear. There is not a single wrong tic on her part. She walks away with the game, the gamer and the whole film. (Taapsee has worked in the South film industry in the past) Vinodhini as her companion gives such a natural and effortless portrayal. The smaller parts too are effected by supremely well-cast actors – the shrink (Anish Kuruvilla), and Parvathi as Dr Reena, and mother of the dead girl Amrutha. The suspense is taut, the editing (by Richard Kevin) superb – you don’t realise when it’s 103 minutes and the film is over. Ashwin Sarvanan’s direction matches his writing – unusual and intelligent. His credited co-writer is Kaavya Ramkumar. A Vasanth’s cinematography is ‘frightfully’ effective, literally. Production design by Siva Sankar is clean and creative, very well done. Ron Ethan Yohann’s music never strays a note beyond necessary, adding to the thrill factor.
Nay: Negligible, but granted – the lip-sync with the visuals is a little off- because the languages and words are completely different. It’s noticeable initially, but you get so caught in the film that you lose that along the way.
CineBlitz Verdict: The director leaves a thread, so subtle, to be interpreted by the viewer where you sometimes wonder, is it a game or a figment of her imagination, or is it real?