Game Over Synopsis: A nyctophobic woman has to fight her inner demons to stay alive in the game called life.
Game Over Review: Hollywood has been successful in turning games into films, and Game Over is a novel attempt by a director in Kollywood. But unlike the Hollywood films, Ashwin Saravanan doesn’t base his story on the arcade game Pac-Man, but uses it just to take the story forward.
The film opens with a woman being brutally murdered and news reports showing how this is just the beginning of a horrifying serial murders. We are then introduced to Swapna, an avid gamer who is also afraid of the dark. Her nyctophobia is first triggered by a personal tragedy that happened just a year ago, and unable to come to terms with it, she shuts herself to the world, to her parents, and stays with her caretaker, Kalamma. The only thing that keeps her going is her love for gaming, and the one thing she wants to do is beat her own score in Pac-Man. But her life changes after she finds out that the ink that was used to make the tattoo on her wrist contains a stranger girl’s ash, and that her dark past has come back to haunt her. Things only worsen when she becomes the target of the serial killer. Will Swapna be able to beat life at its own game? Or is one life too little for her to defeat the demons?
This is Taapsee’s first release in Tamil after about four years and she has sunk her teeth into the character with full josh. Be it withdrawing into a shell when the past flashes in front of her eyes, surging ahead full throttle to attack her attackers or even subtly expressing her state of mind in the end, she does them with ease. Oh, and her lip-sync is almost bang on. Vinodhini as Kamalamma is natural and Sanchana, though she appears in barely a few scenes, leaves an impact.
Ashwin has come a long way from Maya (his directorial debut) and it clearly reflects in the way he’s tightly packaged the film. While showing the protagonist as a gamer or a game developer to justify the title would have been taking the easier way out, he has intelligently fused elements of gaming into the script, making it an integral part of the narration. Revealing anything more about this here would just be a spoiler. He’s also paid keen attention to the setting; from posters to figurines, they convey the mood of the film, and also bring a sense of deja vu. He’s also subtly keyed in a supernatural element to make the story plausible. There are a few jump scares, but they are more due to what the eyes can see and not because of the fear of the invisible, and Vasanth’s cinematography manages to capture them adequately well. Another plus of the film is the background score by Ron Ethan Yohann; though loud in places, it’s needed to create the kind of impact a psychological thriller has to make. The first half plays out a little longer than we would like it to, and Ashwin takes up that much time to establish the plot, but Richard Kevin’s editing makes the second half racy and crisp. There are many layers to the film – both psychological and paranormal – and though the makers unravel it in their own pace, these moments are what make this film interesting.