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Review Tamil

Psycho review: Mysskin delivers Tamil cinema’s most violent film

Release Date: 24 Jan 2020 / Rated: A / 02hr 26min


Cinestaan Rating

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Haricharan Pudipeddi

Psycho might not be as affecting and emotional as Pisaasu (2014), but its visuals and chilling narrative will leave you with a haunted feeling.

If there is one Tamil filmmaker who has upped his game with each film, it has to be Mysskin. With his eccentric but bold style of filmmaking, Mysskin has pushed the envelope with each project, and he pushes it further with Psycho, a fascinating dive into the psyche of a serial killer.

The film tries to humanize a serial killer in the most violent yet poetic fashion, giving us an unsettling story of empathy, love, self-destruction and rage. Psycho might not be as affecting and emotional as Mysskin's Pisaasu (2014), but its visuals and chilling narrative will leave you with a haunted feeling.

The film follows a serial killer who has so far killed 14 women. When Dagini (Aditi Rao Hydari) is abducted and held captive, Gauthaman, a blind music conductor who likes her, sets out in search of the criminal. In this endeavour, he seeks the help of former police officer Kamala Das (Nithya Menen), who is now a quadriplegic. As Kamala and Gauthaman join hands to track the killer, Psycho unfolds as a riveting investigative thriller, though it wobbles somewhat near the climax which leaves one with mixed feelings.

The film features a killer who hacks his victims and collects their heads as trophies. Mysskin tries to makes us empathize with the murderer. At a time when there is a lot of debate about whether the rapists of Nirbhaya, the young woman who was savagely assaulted and raped in Delhi on 16 December 2012 and died 13 days later in a Singapore hospital, deserve forgiveness, can we really empathize with such a character? It’s an afterthought the film leaves you with, one that is sure to create a lot of debate and polarize opinions.

The writing and unusual casting makes Psycho wildly eccentric and bold. In a hard-to-imagine role, Aditi Rao Hydari is a revelation. She plays her character with the right amount of vulnerability.

Nithya Menen steals the show in a slightly over-the-top but brilliantly essayed hot-headed and foul-mouthed former cop. Her scenes with her mother are filled with wry humour and lighten the mood in an otherwise unsettling movie.

Udhayanidhi Stalin isn’t great but plays his part in an assured manner. The cinematography and Ilaiyaraaja’s music play vital parts in accentuating the mood of the film, especially the visuals that are both haunting yet stunning.

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