Taapsee Pannu, Vinodini Vaidyanathan.
You are not given a single moment to ease into Game Over. From the moment the film starts rolling, your gut is wrenched out of you, through a gruesome murder. A girl is suffocated, beheaded and immolated right before your eyes and you know intrinsically that you won't ever find a comfortable spot for yourself in the theatre anymore. You will be at the edge of the seat, waiting and watching for the murderer to strike again. The only thing we know is that there is a masked killer out there, waiting for unsuspecting girls….
Subsequently, we are taken into the life of Swapna (Taapsee Pannu) a video game developer and addict, who lives by herself in an apartment with her house-help (Vinodini Vaidyanathan). Life is not simple for a lone girl on a regular day but Swapna has other issues to deal with…. She hasn’t visited her parents’ home for a long time, she cannot stand to be in a dark room for a moment without hitting the panic button, she gets abnormally anxious around the New Year’s Eve and more. Having dealt with these issues most of her adult life, she has accepted the fact that life would never be normal for her. While she spends most of it around her gaming station, we see Pac-Man predominantly featured… knowing well, there is a certain significance to it….
But outside the gaming world, Swapna’s life isn’t improving. Due to her fear and a crippling accident, Swapna is further pushed into isolation. A lonely woman now perfect for the demented killer who is prowling the roads, undetected…. It is obvious that Swapna is easy game, by the time it is Game Over, what will happen? Will Swapna face her fears as she combats the deadly monster walking within the walls of her own home. To what extent does her panic control her life? Is she seeing things as they are or…. You will have to find that out yourself.
Home invasion movies are by far the scariest because they take a haven and turn it into a nightmare! Almost as if your security blanket has a snake in it… the jostling and jarring of our senses is something Kavya Ramkumar (Writer) and Ashwin Saravanan do perfectly. They take us away from amidst our secure comfort zone and plonk us right in the middle of disaster with a blink of an eye. Full marks to them for having their jitters right in place, yet somehow their heart wasn’t as rightly positioned.
There are many portions that might have you biting your nails in distress, but there are some that simply don’t connect. What works in favour of Ashwin is his firm grip on the storytelling. The way he has interwoven moments pre-interval and post-interval, compels one to wonder at the end of the film were there most instances one might have missed. The level on which Ashwin has worked is so layered that there ought to be subtle parallels you will miss at the first show.
However, while Ashwin is impressive, it is Taapsee and Taapsee alone who is the saving grace. She is so well honed to be playing Swapna that no other actress could do justice to the character. Even the rough edges in the script tide over with her confident performance. Clearly, Taapsee is an actress to watch out for… after PINK, MANMARZIYAAN and BADLA, it is obvious that you can never know what to expect out of a Taapsee Pannu film, other than the obvious – phenomenal performance! Take a bow girl… like Swapna’s favourite, PAC-MAN you too have annihilated competition.