Thanks to promising teaser and trailer, Penguin starring Keerthy Suresh carried positive buzz. The film has arrived in OTT platform Amazon Prime Video today. Let us see whether the film will live up to the expectations?
Distressed with her haunting past of missing son six years ago which leads to her divorce, Rhythm (Keerthy Suresh) is now pregnant with her second husband. When she still is suffering the pain, Rhythm accidentally sees the kidnapper with face covered with mask. Unexpectedly, she finds her son Ajay in miserable state. When Rhythm is trying to console Ajay, she observes his abnormal behavior. In the meantime, the kidnapper comes to her house, but goes out without making any harm to Rhythm and Ajay. Who the kidnapper is? What’s the motive of the serial kidnaps in the town? Why the kidnapper didn’t kill Ajay?
Filmmakers opt to various methods to present antagonists of their films in thriller genre. Eashvar Karthic chose to hide the identity of the antagonist till the pre-climax portion, though there’s a sub-plot to introduce a psychopath which actually is meant to give a ‘big’ surprise in the end. However, the real kidnapper and the back story are not so convincing. It is a mammoth task to flesh it out into a good screenplay for this wafer-thin story and very inexperienced Karthic botched to make it as an engaging thriller, though there are some engaging elements here and there. Kharthik Phalani’s stands out. Especially, the night scenes are striking. Santhosh Narayanan's work on background score is top-notch. Production values of Stone Bench Films and Passion Studios are good.
Onto artists, Keerthy Suresh comes up with a wonderful performance. The role needed her to be moody all the time, though she’s brave enough and is genius. Keerthy Suresh perfectly fit in the role of a mother who goes through lots of suffering due to her missing son. The one who played the psychopath was brilliant in his part, wherein the main villain is not substantial. Master Advaith who played the role of Ajay is other big asset of the film. Other artists were okay.
Unwanted Sub Plot
Back Story Of Villain
Karthik Subbaraj who is an expert in making thrillers has turned producer to introduce his protégé Karthik Subbaraj as director with the psychological thriller which has two layers in its narration. Neither the plot is intriguing nor is the story-telling process appealing.
The film begins on an interesting note introducing a psychopath killing a kid with mask on, followed by introduction of Keerthy Suresh as a pregnant lady who’s feeling lonely and stressed. The hospital episode where Keerthy almost goes unconscious after watching bees depicts her weakness and also explains how mothers’ mental condition affects the baby in womb. Then, the extensive lake episode towards intermission where two incidents happen is bang on. While she sees the kidnapper with mask, the next incident is Keerthy finds her son in the same place.
Second half begins on a slow note with the kid unable to come to normality after getting tortured for years by the kidnapper. Ajay’s violent avatar in forest episode is spine-chilling. Keerthy reaching the psychopath’s house and the horrific circumstances in his hideout make us restless. But, the simple end kills all the excitement. Another twist in the interrogation and the final twist too doesn’t enthuse.
All in all, Penguin is a poorly made film with overextended screenplay. Keerthy Suresh’s performance, best work from all the technicians and few thrilling elements are the only saving grace of the film. CJ goes with 2.25 stars and you can give a try if you love watching thriller movies.