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PSYCHO (Tamil) - You might enjoy watching this intense crime-thriller, if only you have seen none of the director's outstanding works. (Review by Bobby Sing)

25 Feb, 2022 | Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi) / Movie Reviews / 2020 Releases

The well-known writer-director Mysskin, coming up with a film titled Psycho about a scary serial killer, dedicating it to Alfred Hitchcock (mentioning it in the opening credits) along with the music of Illaiyaraja, was something much more than just being exciting.
But sadly, the new age Psycho remains far away from anything even close to being a satisfying watch, keeping in mind the creators and the vision involved in its making. The psychological thriller begins with a superbly shot sequence, successfully delivering the shocks as expected from the master writer-director, but then derails so unexpectedly that you are forced to think that is it a film by the same Mysskin?
To be fair, the writer-director’s reputation and classics made in the past, become the spoilsport here as the film appears to be just average because of the very reason falling short of the big expectations. So Mysskin’s Psycho might work for the viewers as a more than fine onetime watch (with many breath-taking visuals), who have neither seen the writer-director’s earlier works nor are familiar with the name and its proven caliber. 
But for those who are very much familiar with the creator and ‘his vision of the beyond’, Psycho seriously falls short of his stature, including the performances, which otherwise have always been the key feature of Mysskin’s films.
Clearing the doubt, the film has no similarity to the Hitchcock classic with the same title, other than the psychopath looking quite close to the one in the 1960 film. Plus, thankfully Psycho has got all those elements the maker is known for, ranging from many well-shot sequences, art design, camerawork, lighting, editing, and background score to the finely inserted spiritual and historical references (this time relating with Buddha, Angulimaal and more) focusing on the human psychology. 
However, the narrative and the writing still don’t work as impressively they should have been and the performances do not deliver, which ironically has to be the most effective feature of a psychological serial killer thriller. Both Rajkumar Pitchumani and Udhayanidhi Stalin keep trying their best, making no major impact and Nithya Menen strangely remains loud throughout. On the other hand, Aditi Rao Hydari performs decently, excelling in her later slaughterhouse sequences.
In straight words, neither the sufferings of the victim move you emotionally nor the guilt of the killer and his backstory, which seems to be too odd, forced, and overblown. The blind persona of the protagonist falls flat and Mysskin’s attempt to present the duality, exploring the dark thoughts of the killer’s sick mind, doesn’t create any fear lacking the desired depth. Even the graphically violent or gory visuals send no chills down the spine post the opening sequence. Maybe it was because of our exposure to the much superior presentation in the ‘world cinema’ films, but it all certainly wasn’t anything even close to the director’s set standards. 
Hence, while Psycho might work for many as an investigative crime thriller revolving around a serial killer, it was an opportunity missed for me, as just an average film made by a visionary writer-director. The film surely excels in its technicalities and the subtle references too but is not any psychological thriller that can be recommended for its content.
After watching this new-age Psycho, even Hitchcock would have said to Mysskin, “Try to kill it in a better way next time, as you are much more capable of scaring the viewers without even showing the blood”

Summing up, with the serial killers going for women becoming almost a norm in world cinema, I really wonder, would a serial killer going for the men or any sex person randomly will be a much scary and deadlier subject for a script? Interestingly, that reminds me of the brilliant The Stoneman Murders released more than a decade back in 2009. So whether you go for Psycho or not, do essentially watch The Stoneman Murders as a must, directed by Manish Gupta

Rating : 2.5 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for its technical department and the subtle spiritual & historical references) 
(Streaming on Netflix)

Bobby Sing

Tags : PSYCHO (Tamil) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, New Tamil Films Review by Bobby Sing, Mysskin Films, Indian films on Serial killers. Dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock.
25 Feb 2022 / Comment ( 0 )
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