'Penguin' has been streaming on Amazon Prime Video.Starring Keerthy Suresh in the lead, it's directed by a newcomer. And here is our review of the emotional thriller.
LRhythm (Keerthy Suresh) suffers mental torture after her two-year-old son Ajay (Master Advaith) gets kidnapped by a criminal. She, her husband, and Cyrus (her pet) are left clueless. Years later, when the son is found, Rhythm is pregnant. She and the doctors try to make Ajay reveal the dark secret about his kidnapper's identity. Since he can't speak because of years of sadistic torture, Rhythm decides to do the job of policing and hunt down the criminal. Can victory be hers?
Keerthy Suresh is every bit serious and gives her all. She can be an OTT star of the future, if right scripts come to her. Master Advaith's act is an asset. This is a dubbed film at heart. Expect the performances of supporting artists (like Mathi, Thilak Rammohan, Madhampatty Rangaraj) to seem out of hand at times.
Santhosh Narayanan's score is not entirely atypical. It's actually hackneyed here and there. Unlike the largely pedestrian score, the cinematography (by Karthik Phalani) is dexterous. Without the magic of the camera, the film wouldn't have been able to register itself much in the audience's mind.
The first 30 minutes. The screenplay in these portions is a bit detailed and less lazy.
The temporal span of the story.
The hilly backdrop.
The nightmares of the female protagonist are ridiculously executed.
The tiresome antagonist drains you out without giving anything in terms of scares.
There are some childish tactics in store. Like how the audience are misled to believe something wrong about the villain. Such tricks have been played for many years by international movies.
Lack of gripping narrative involving cops and other characters.
Poor level of dialogue-writing.
'Penguin' is a wasted opportunity in the sense that it doesn't make use of anything that it could grab, say, from South Korean horror movies. What it does well is to project Keerthy as a serious performer. Demand more from it and it falters.
Director Eashvar Karthick shows no maturity in telling an unusual storyline.