Penguin review - Couple of scares and that's about it

Director - Eashvar Karthic

Language - Tamil (original), Telugu and Malayalam (dubbed)

Actors - Keerthy Suresh

Streaming on - Amazon Prime Video

Touted as a psycho thriller, Keerthy Suresh after a physical makeover, presented by Karthik Subbaraj, Santosh Narayanan's music, and an intriguing trailer probably set the expectations bar a tad too high. At no point in the movie did I feel it even came close to the expectations. Underwhelming to say the least.

Set in a picturesque hill station with expanse jungles and still lakes, the movie is about a pregnant mother suffering with autism ( Rhythm played by Keerthy Suresh) searching for her kidnapped first born kid after 6 years. She finally finds her kid, but in a physical and mental condition that is excruciating for any mother. Who is the kidnapper? Why did he torture her kid mercilessly? are the questions that she sets out seeking answers for.

Nobody wants to dig up a painful past, but one goes searching for that pain, especially, if it's the missing of your loved one as you haven't come to terms with it. This mental state of the character drives the first half of the movie toggling between her already troubled present and the traumatic past. The flashback shows the mother's unconditional love towards her child (compared to that of a Penguins), and the kidnapping episode. This leaves us with nothing but a hell lot of questions only in the hope of getting answers in the second half.

The second half is the biggest let down. Not only do we not get answers to some major questions, even the ones that we get are half baked and devoid of logic. Rythms dog (Cyrus) does more investigation than the police. The unnecessary tiff between Rythms current and ex husband, sudden and short-lived shift into horror genre, irrelevant dream episodes, lack of relationship building between the mom and her kid, bouquets filled with intestines, insects filling up the frame in a supernatural way, and the reveal of the kidnapper etc add up to a concoction that is not only hard to gulp down but also doesn't do any good.

Keerthy Suresh stands tall in a rather poorly written psycho thriller. Her acting, Santosh Narayanan's music, and Kharthik Phalani's visuals, and a couple of scary scenes act as the saving grace. They make it bearable and to an extent cushion the pain of watching this movie to it's unreasonable end.

Give it a miss and thank me for saving 2 hours of your life by spending mine.

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