Game Over Movie Review 2019: Eeriness Is Not Enough

Game Over Movie Review 2019: Eeriness Is Not Enough

Movie Name
Game Over
Ashwin Saravanan
Drama, Thriller
01 hours 42 minutes

Game Over Review

Although director Ashwin Saravanan made Game Over for the Tamil and Telugu markets, edginess and the sophistication of the video game world are largely language agnostic premises. Which is why Taapsee Pannu's latest thriller could try to scare in Hindi as well.

Game developer Swapna is also a chronic gamer whose fingers are on the console all night until she falls asleep on the sofa with the lights on.

Ashwin packs in the tropes to scare the daylights out of the viewer... up to a point. Mind games and therapy with video games as an eerie backdrop show up Swapna's condition. A severe case of nyctophobia or intense fear of the dark, brought on by a traumatic happening on New Year's Eve. Which has snowballed into keeping the world out of her life, living in seclusion in an overly large bungalow with faithful domestic help Kalamma and a solitary watchman out there by the gate. With nary a visitor for the most part and family mentioned only in dialogues about phone calls from them, all the elements to mount the scares are compounded by the brutal murder and beheading of another young girl in the same city of Gurugram.

Stirring in a drop of the paranormal, Ashwin ups the creeps. The tattoo on Swapna's wrist introduces the audience to ‘memorial tattoos' where a tiny bit of the ashes of a loved, departed one is mixed into the ink. Anniversary anxiety, that damned tattoo and a very real serial killer on the loose pile on the jump scare moments.

Ultimately, Swapna has to battle her own demons before she can break free of her fears with stoic Kalamma by her side.

But the thriller has its downside.To begin with, the build-up of tropes is so in your face, it stops being frightening. After a trauma of the most vicious kind, it's illogical for a young girl (who has a family) to be shut up in such a sprawling and eerily lonely bungalow. It's also a negative that a 90-minute film drags so much in places that it seems much longer. The repeated replay of the climax scene of horror doesn't bring on the shivers after perhaps the first time around. Ron Ethan Yohann's loud music that's also designed to scare is as obvious as the list of scary elements that Ashwin seems to have made and ticked off.

Taapsee Pannu has begun to show that here's an actress who can be banked upon to do something substantial each time she steps into a film. And Vinodhini makes a very supportive Kalamma. But when eeriness turns out to be emptiness without logic, the end feeling is of being cheated by the filmmaker.

Disclaimer: We are proud that LehrenTV reviewer Bharathi S Pradhan has been appointed an advisory member of the prestigious CBFC. However, her reviews reflect her personal appraisal of a film and do not in any way speak on behalf of the Censor Board.

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  • Dialogues
  • Story
  • Music
  • Screen Play

The Verdict

With its many shortcomings, this is not going to be a Badla kind of big earner. But with only a small dubbing cost added to the modestly mounted film where Taapsee must be the sole recipient of a fat pay cheque, it’s a fair bet that Game Over will bring its money back for its producer. With Netflix on board, marketing one small film in three languages is a clever strategy by the maker. But as a thriller that doesn’t go anywhere, Game Over gets a 2* rating.


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