Game Over: Taapsee’s brilliance holds the experimental horror-thriller together

Set in Chennai, the film opens with a spine-chilling murder. Consequently, the media reports multiple killings of women across the city, executed in a similarly hideous manner. Swapna (Taapsee) is a workaholic gaming designer struggling from certain mind-related issues and with time, they get compounded. She stays with her affectionate maid Kalamma (Vinodhini), who treats the former with a lot of affection. Swapna starts to sense a threat to the two of them, presumably from the same serial killers. How she deals with these forces and what causes her relentless trauma form the crux of Game Over.

Director Ashwin Saravanan has conjured a brave film that oscillates between horror and thriller genres. The movie starts with a bang and gradually, he builds up the tempo. Till the interval, Ashwin not only manages to give the film a unique touch but also ensures that the audience is kept in the loop. It is in the second half that he probably loses a bit of control giving his imagination a free run.

The plus side of this is that we don’t get to see any cliched sequences or formulas that we’re used to seeing in horror flicks. That’s refreshing but the problem is that he was not able to package the second half with the same panache as the first. Therefore, after a while, there is a sense of vagueness about the whole plot and while the writing breaks the borders of creativity, the execution on-screen doesn’t quite hit the bulls-eye.

Game Over rides on its brilliant performances and Tapsee takes the cake. Be it during the emotional scenes or while expressing physical and mental vulnerabilities, she nails them all and it’s her acting chops that makes up for the confusion in the plot. Vinodhini also puts in an endearing act as the maid. Her chemistry with Taapsee is a joy to watch, and pivotal to the film, given that the duo share the maximum screen space. Parvathi and Sanchana too, whose cameos are vital to the plot put in first-rate performances and provide the emotional quotient.

On the technical side, Vasanth’s cinematography is top notch, ably supported by the background score of Ron Yohann. These two departments are crucial to this genre and the film scores on those fronts. Ashwin has also done a commendable job with direction as it’s never easy to execute a film that pushes the envelope in terms of creativity.

A bit more care given to writing could have made the film more appealing to a wider section of the audience. Nevertheless, it is definitely a laudable effort from Ashwin and his talent is evident, as in his previous gig, Maya.

Those who prefer unconventional films will definitely enjoy watching Game Over.

Verdict – Watchable

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