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Game Over: Movie Review

P.S.: Spoilers ahead!

The opening scene of the film sets a tone for its intriguing plot by involving a masked man of
unknown identity, murdering a lonely innocent woman in a loathsome way ,as it happens with
every home invasion thriller.But the killer mutilating the dead person by cutting the head off
and kicking it through a goal post, as the title card rolls on,is something that makes it unique
and quite fascinating.Frankly, I was not able to fit this film into one genre, mainly because due
to its extensive content.
Taapsee Pannu , who plays Swapna, a game designer suffers from PTSD, and when her
caretaker, Kalamma (played by Vinodhini ), utters the word "new year" she panics and we get
to know that, a partial trigger, is darkness. She is afraid of the dark and goes into panic every
time the light goes off. Why this happens, and what she went through, on one eventful New
Years' Eve (of 2016) is never shown in its entirety, but yeah, we get the idea. She later visits a
shrink, who guides her through a "VR simulated" session (again, inventive) where her fear of
darkness is tested and we get to know she is improving.
As things start getting better, and as time moves on, the tattoo on her left forearm (that of a
gaming joystick within a heart) starts pricking her. She visits the tattoo artist who inked her
(played by Ramya Subramanian) to know the cause, at which point of time she reveals that her
tattoo was mixed with the ashes of a deceased girl, which were misplaced and that she was
given a "memorial tattoo". She freaks out and blames her for this and leaves the place. Her
mental trauma intensifies, and a few establishment scenes later, the mother of the deceased
girl whose memorial tattoo she has is shown. She explains everything that happened to her and
we get a few tearful scenes and the a following moments of reminiscence neatly ties together
the very first scene of the movie with the plot.
The intermission point, is where things start to really take off. Swapna is shown playing the
game, "Pacman" a lot and the idea of 3 lives in a game is incorporated. In turn, the movie, sort
of has, three climaxes. In the pre-interval scene, the mother gives Swapna, a card, which was
intended for her daughter, which reads, "Everybody has two lives. The second one begins when
we realize we only have one". This is precisely the point on which the entire screenplay is
structured.
The second half of the film, presents a newfound happiness that engulfs Swapna, as we see her
wanting to reconcile with her parents, who she hasn't contacted for years. We see her
brimming with a new take on life, but well, not everything stays hunky-dory for long. The climax
forms 3/4th of the second half as we get the same situation happen three times over, each with

different reactions and results. The quote on the card left for Swapna comes into play here and
so does the "3 lives" formula. The murderer returns, Swapna tries to escape, and you know, the
usual ending stuff happens, but how it happens, is inventive. The best thing about"Game
Over", is that it never explains everything in its entirely. No pesky flashbacks, motive reveals or
anything. Heck! Even the identity of the murderers remains a mystery till the end (or does it?).
Technically, the film is a treat, the visuals by A. Vasanth, are pleasing, well-framed and aid the
film, a warm tone is used throughout the film and it alternates according to the nature of the
character's psyche. The set design is outstanding, and the backgrounds don't merely serve as
props but actually adhere to what the character would have in her actual house. The
background score by Ron Ethan Yohann, serves as the backbone for the film, as it is spine-
chilling and sets the perfect mood for the film. The electronic sounds he has used are definite
value additions to elevating a scene. Of course, in such a movie, it's essential for the score to
evoke at least a few jump scares, and suffice it to say, I'm pretty sure it'll evoke at least one
moment of true horror.
The screenplay, is muddled at times, and often gets a bit lost and re-emphasizes already known
facts, but never gets too distant and find its way back to the plot, almost on time, for the
climax. What was a pretty smart first half, dissolves into a dumbed down version of itself, even
though the inventiveness at display never really fades away.
Taapsee Pannu delivers a ‘tour de force’ performance, the vulnerability in her character and the
way she emotes make it a very wee-carried out part and she fits the bill. Vinodhini looks a bit
posh for the character. It isn’t just a huge niggle but the characters could have been more well-
written. The take-away for me was much higher than what the film would have initially led me
to believe, because, you don’t always have to say everything for the audience to know it. And
Ashwin Saravanan, who seems to be criminally underrated at this point, has another winner in
his hands.

Tagged in : darkness, mystery, tattoo, game,