Story & Narration
Technical Aspects & Music
An ambitious, unsettling thriller!
Game Over is a mix of many genres and gets almost everything right, especially in having the script translated to the screen, as there could have been many a slips in between.
Starring: Taapsee Pannu, Vinodhini, Anish & others ; Directed by: Ashwin Saravanan ;
Produced by: S. Sashikanth ; Co-Produced by: Chakravarthy Ramachandra ; Written by: Ashwin Saravanan and Kaavya Ramkumar ;
Music: Ron Ethan Yohann ; DOP: A. Vasanth ; Editor: Richard Kevin ; Art Director: Shiva Shankar ;
Stunts: “Real” Satish ; PRO: Nikkil ; Release Date: 14-06-2019 ; Run Time: 01:43:00
Ashwin Saravanan’s Maya was one of the most impressive debuts that Tamil cinema had ever seen, being a film that knew what it was doing and handled a very complex idea with utmost clarity. Till date, Maya is remembered as a complete horror thriller that doesn’t pave way to needless compromises. He might have made Iravaakaalam in between, but what has come to the screen first up is Game Over, the latest thriller on the block which has Taapsee in the lead role. For starters, the film is a mix of many genres and gets almost everything right, especially in having the script translated to the screen, as there could have been many a slips in between.
When thrillers in Tamil cinema have majorly been limited to guns and knives, Game Over comes off as a whiff of fresh air as it tries to dig deeper into the genre and experiment with the dynamics. The film has been written with a lot of novel ideas put together, and though some of them don’t go as expected, it does manage to engage the viewer on the whole. Ashwin patiently builds his first half with tons of detailing on the subject, giving the audiences clues on what’s coming while remembering not to pull out all the cards at once. It is the second half where the thrill elements fire on all cylinders, with the establishments being put out of the fray in a test for survival. While what we see on screen is definitely chilling and edge-of-the-seat, one would love for more drama and detailing here. The second half, despite having a fair share of nail-biting moments, falls short on weight as things seem to get over a little too quickly.
Game Over is largely bent on the performance of a single character in Taapsee, who has to carry the entire film on her shoulders. There’s not a single scene without her, and she makes great use of the opportunity to emote her best in the portions which require her to constantly maintain a single set of expressions. On the flip side, coming back to the Tamil circle feels like a bit of a bother, as she is slightly uncomfortable in the scenes which have dialogues with the camera zooming in on her face. While Vinodhini offers great support as the housemaid, Sanchana Natarajan and Ramya perform adequately well in their roles.
On the lines of Maya, Game Over is yet another technically solid film. With amazing visuals, music and sound design that take away your breath, the technical crew put out a masterful effort that is tough to beat. As a composer, Ron Ethann Yohann understands the value of silence and does not just pander to stinging sounds and his theme tracks. It’s just great to see composers and directors understanding the space and responsibility that music has in a story, and paying heed to it alone instead of squeezing in something wrong.
On the whole, Game Over is a polished, upmarket thriller that should find its love from the audiences in the top tier. It could have been way deeper, but we can still be happy with what we get. Ashwin Saravanan places another good foot as a filmmaker to watch out for in the days to come.