Penguin - Keerthy Suresh tries to hold the fort but the film doesn't support her!
Penguin is about a mother trying to safeguard her kid from a psycho. For quite sometime the film doesn't let you clearly know if there is indeed a psycho on the prowl or these are hallucinations that the lead character is having. The first scene gets you interested right away because it establishes the eerie mood almost immediately and without actually showing any gore gets you a little uncomfortable. The visuals are what keep you invested in Penguin. The cinematography succeeds to a certain extent in making you believe that you are watching something worthwhile.
I really don't get the reason as to why the characters need to be brooding throughout in a thriller. I can understand Keerthy Suresh carrying this pensive look after her child gets into a dangerous situation but what about the scenes in the flashback when there is no apparent reason for her to be carrying herself the way she does. A sparsely populated hill station and characters speaking very less and in a low decibel seem to be the prerequisites for a thriller. There is no denying that these do add a sense of eeriness but they can't be the only things that you have to offer.
Keerthy Suresh does well. Despite being amidst pretty ordinary scenes with few of them bordering on silliness, she keeps it simple and even has us root for her at times.The other actors are mediocre at best. The entire film is supposed to be hinged around the love and affection the mother has for her child and the extremes she goes to ensure the safety of her kid. But then you have scenes of her being careless and becoming unmindful of the kid and she keeps losing him time and again. While this may be a ploy to get you tensed for a while, it only reinforces the fact that you are being taken for a ride and the characters are behaving or reacting based on a checklist and not based on what is actually happening around them. Take for instance one crucial character in the film. He commits crimes for monetary benefits but in a crucial scene behaves like a psycho out of nowhere just to create a sense of excitement.
The real dampener is the climax which bears a close resemblance to a recent Telugu movie. Being flimsy is one thing but this almost ends up as a joke and ruins any goodwill that you might have had for the film all this while.
Throughout the film you have this feel of not wanting to write it off and keep hoping for the best. Despite the cliches and glaring logical loopholes, the film does manage to keep you invested for the most part. It doesn't keep you at the edge of your seat but a genuine curiosity does exist. But the weak climax (the kindest word that I can think of for what is revealed on screen) can leave you irritated.