June 14, 2019 / 4:39 PM / 5 days ago

Movie Review: Game Over

A handout still from "Game Over"

In Ashwin Saravanan’s “Game Over”, the demons that lurk within the mind of the protagonist are as lethal as the ones outside her door. Thankfully, this Tamil-Telugu bilingual film, dubbed and released in Hindi, makes short work of slaying them with its runtime of 102 minutes.

“Game Over” revolves around Sapana (Taapsee Pannu), a young woman who teeters on the brink of a nervous breakdown as she struggles to come to terms with a traumatic incident. Estranged from her family and with no friends to call her own, Sapana seldom ventures out of the bungalow she lives in with her trusted attendant, Kalamma (Vinodhini Vaidyanathan), and a watchman.

Sapana barely sleeps, choosing instead to obsessively play game after game of Pac-man to distract herself. Despite her efforts, the demons keep coming back, sending her paranoia spiraling as the line between reality and nightmares rapidly blurs.

A series of bizarre murders in the neighborhood and Sapana’s tenuous link with one of the victims adds to the twist in the story.

Part slasher film, part psychological thriller, “Game Over” is an unsatisfying watch because Saravanan never quite picks a side. The motive of the villain who preys on unsuspecting women is not revealed, while the jump scares are few and far between.

The Hindi version of the film would like you to believe that the story is set in Gurugram; but the coconut trees and lush landscapes, both alien to the National Capital Region, are dead giveaways. 

Pannu, who has made a name for herself playing characters that are at once vulnerable and headstrong – as seen in films like “Mulk” and “Badla” – is efficient as Sapana. Vaidyanathan does a good job playing the doting attendant. But the patchy script and Saravanan’s half-hearted treatment of it keep this game from ending with a high score

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