Psycho movie review: Mysskin's ode to Alfred Hitchcock is a compelling thriller, despite its shortcomings
Psycho is a cat-and-mouse chase to find a serial killer who decapitates his victims and preserves their heads
Mysskin’s Psycho has his signature written all over it, with oodles of dread and dark humour. It is an intense psychological thriller that gives a little too much away. Although, some of the pieces did not connect, Mysskin still delivers a captivating story. Ilayaraja’s eerie music with a period of silence creates the perfect mood for a blood-soaked hunt of a brutal serial killer.
In the title card itself, Mysskin says the thriller is a homage to the master, Alfred Hitchcock. There is a lot of blood and gore, as the antagonist or the serial killer is a ‘trophy hunter’ who specialises in beheading his victims. It is not for the faint-hearted and the censors have rightly given it an ‘A’ certificate.
Mysskin tries to humanise the evil within a person, to justify his motives, in Psycho. In fact, many may find the director being more ‘sympathetic’ towards the serial killer than to his victims in Psycho. As Mysskin himself has explained in his interviews, the basic theme is how love and humanity can transform even the most evil person.
Here, the story is set in Coimbatore and surrounding areas. A serial killer is creating panic in the city as he chops off the head of women who are successful in their field. He leaves their mutilated bodies behind and the police suspect he is keeping their heads as ‘trophies’. But the police are unable to solve the spiralling killings with one of the inspectors (Ram), suspecting that there is more to it.
Meanwhile, Gautham (Udhayanidhi Stalin), a very rich musician (gets driven around in a Mini Cooper) who is visually challenged, is madly in love with Dakini (Aditi Rao Hydari), a radio jockey. He, along with the help of his friend and assistant (Singam Puli), stalks her but she ultimately confronts him. Dakini challenges him to track her movements the next day and says some clues will be given in her radio show. But the unexpected happens the following day, as the serial killer who has been terrorising the city, kidnaps her right in front of Gautham. A peeved Gautham runs to the police, who are running around in circles trying to find a lead, so he decides to do his own investigation and save Dakini.
Gautham seeks the help of Kamala (Nithya Menen), an intelligent but foul-mouthed former police officer, who was paralysed and is now bound to a wheelchair in the line of duty. She has her own axe to grind because she was paralysed while hunting a serial killer.
Nithya’s character looks similar to Denzel Washington in The Bone Collector. The serial killer reminds you of a recent super hit film, Ratsasan, though here the director tries to paint him in a sympathetic manner, which makes it lose its impact. The climax of the film is hurried and the romance between the lead characters is underdeveloped. Nithya Menen, as the foul-mouthed ex-cop on a wheelchair, plays her part well; her dialogue delivery and expressions are spot-on. Aditi Rao Hydari as the soft-spoken RJ is aptly cast. Udhayanidhi is decent in a difficult role. Debutant cameraman Tanveer Mir does a good job as Mysskin depends more on visuals than dialogues to convey his story. Ilayaraja’s music is a major highlight and adds to the mood of the film.
There are some problems with the last act, which is far-fetched, but overall Psycho is a compelling and suspenseful film.
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