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Penguin, the flightless bird - User Review

Saturday, June 20, 2020 • Tamil Comments

Penguin, the flightless bird - User Review

Raising a toast to my freshly renewed Prime membership, I decided to begin the upcoming lousy weekend with the star sponsor of every newspaper's cover page - Penguin. Despite having watched the trailer, I confess I vested my interest because, Keerthy Suresh. Now there is so much to talk about this movie, I don't know where to begin.

I'll start from basics - a pregnant mother sets out on a search for her first child who is feared to have been kidnapped in the woods 6 years ago, somewhere in Kodaikanal. A two foot high kid in acres upon hectares of forest - you do the math. I am not going to lie, the plot sure sounds gripping, but watch your head. We are talking a headstrong braveheart mom - the one who I could only equate to a 2 year old who would religiously spit if and whenever told not to.

The story sure has a point, and gets there too, but the means it takes is so botchy that God bless Santhosh Narayanan for pitching in. Starting somewhere around 20th minute, through the rest of first half, music makes for the tightrope (which the screenplay severely lacks), on which the story treads. The second half is a whodunit run behind the culprit, which although doesn't quite add up, you will be glad that the endless running is finally over. At climax, so many factors flip diametrical that for a moment I was confused that it was a different movie, but hey, you won't be spared.

Finding Ajay

Although the movie is basically about lost and found Ajay, you will notice that he is lost and found at least 6 times throughout the movie. Common logic says that if someone keeps absconding, keep a close watch on them; Penguin uses the logic that if you want the absconder in your life, set them free and take a dog along to find them.

Animal rights

Probably because the movie is titled after a bird, it takes animal rights to new heights where, man's trusted friend is called to a scene and by and large more sensible than man himself. The pregnant woman on the lose walks right into every dingy setting all by herself, and comes out valiant - even from an agile (wannabe) psychopathic killer. "Why call the police, when I have Cyrus the dog" is the new sensible. But of course calling the police would involve using her mobile phone, which is reserved to make noise when she is hiding (every-single-time!).

Goutham is one with the atmosphere

I genuinely feel bad for the Goutham, the husband character while Vicky Donor must have sufficed. He is hardly in the picture, and when he does show up, he has no role to play. Not that he has no opportunity, but Cyrus happens to take it on 80% reservation quota. Goutham is given to drive a car or attend conference instead wherein he is not in the atmosphere anymore.

Let's play Bamboozled

A cold-blooded culprit sits across the table from an interrogating officer, refusing to co-operate to questioning. The culprit instead wants to speak to the pregnant woman, the policeman caves. Had he asked for dinner date with Sunny Leone, the policeman might have still caved, who knows - but I don't want to talk about that logic. The protagonist is led inside the room (this time, no Cyrus, sorry) and is guarded by a couple of constables. The next scene itches your brain for the long lost memory of the reality gameshow, Grandmaster - Yaaru manasula yaaru, found in under 21 questions. Here, the rules are stricter - only 10 questions, but three cheers to equality, so 10 questions either side. How this grandmaster of serial killer already knew who the real villian is, I will never know, nor do I want to.

Thriller checklist

Somewhere along the line of sensible thinking, we have lost most thriller movies to follow a list of cliche. Penguin leaves no box unchecked. When you anticipate the child is in danger, leave him alone. When it is surely dangerous, walk right into it. When a killer follows you, they must and should leave some souvenir, so here you go, an envelope of pointless photos of the man who is otherwise overshadowed by animal reservation.

Let me take a moment to do justice to the good side - black labrador, protagonist's unique name, the acceptance of erstwhile taboo in marriages, feminism, some parenting advise, music, and the mind-blowing cinematography, besides of course Keerthy Suresh.

Motherhood - an attitude

Many a movies are best remembered by their punch dialogues. This one has an iconic one too, but conversely, should have remained a Facebook post than be yarned into two hours.

- Chithra

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