Lockdown Review: Penguin

Director: Eashvar Karthic
Producer: Karthic Subbaraj
Music: Santosh Narayanan
Cinematographer: Karthik Phalani
Streaming On: Amazon Prime

Story:

Penguin is a thriller movie, starring Keerthy Suresh, Lingaa, Madhampatty Rangaraj and others. The story focuses on Rhythm (Keerthy), and her son Ajay (Master Advaith). One day Ajay is kidnapped by a person wearing a Charlie Chaplin costume, and Ajay doesn’t return until 6 years later. Rhythm is constantly searching for Ajay and doesn’t give up on him despite everyone else believing that he’s dead. Rhythm finds Ajay after 6 years, under the most unexpected circumstances. Then, a series of events unfold, leading Rhythm to discover some very dark secrets, and she finally finds out who kidnapped Ajay, after a few twists and turns.

Plus Points:
Keerthy Suresh is the most major plus point of Penguin for several reasons. The most important reason is that she effortlessly carries the entire film on her shoulders while giving one of her finest performances. Performances of other actors are passable.
The first half of the film is way better than the second half and keeps the audiences engaged, especially the first 40 min. The story and the narrative are the most gripping then.

Minus Points:
The second half of Penguin is a huge letdown, as it dilutes all the tension that is set up in the first half. The game scene between Rhythm and the doctor could’ve been so much better, as it felt like it lacked any proper connect.
Except for Keerthy Suresh, the rest of the cast are strangers to Telugu audiences, which doesn’t make one feel very connected to their characters. Their performances are also very passable.
Penguin feels like an out and out Tamil film, with bad dubbing, you just miss out on the feel because of that.
The climax of Penguin makes you feel suddenly disconnected from the rest of the film, exploring a completely different aspect.
Finally, the director seems to have missed ours on the message he wanted to convey by a huge margin. By the time we get to the message he wants to convey, there’s no emotional depth established at all.

Technical Aspects:
The background music by Santosh Narayanan is the heart and soul of Penguin, elevating it to the next level. Despite not having any thrills at all, Santosh’s bgm gives you all the creeps.
On the other hand, Cinematographer Karthik Phalani breathes life into Penguin, making every frame look absolutely breathtaking. The cinematography makes the film look like as if it’s out of a Hollywood movie, or from a fairy tale.
The production values are top-notch, and it’s clear that the producers have the film their whole.

Final Verdict:
Watch Penguin for the gorgeous cinematography, and its soulful bgm. Also, the movie is really gripping at the beginning, which will definitely make an interesting watch. The movie’s release on OTT is also perfectly timed during this lockdown, and since it’s the weekend, it can be enjoyed by the family. Other than that, don’t expect spine chilling thrills, or mind-bending twists. The movie gets pretty predictable and boring towards the end, so huge expectations can disappoint you.

 

Lockdown Review: Penguin
Overall
2.5