Psycho is a psychological thriller directed by Mysskin and produced by Arun Mozhi Manickam under the banner Double Meaning Productions. The film has Udhayanidhi Stalin, Aditi Rao Hydari and Nithya Menen in the lead roles, while Singam Puli, Director Ram, Shaji Chen, and others play crucial supporting roles. It has music by Ilaiyaraja, and cinematography by Tanveer Mir.
Gautham, played by Udhayanidhi Stalin plays a challenging role with visual impairment who is in love with Dahini, played by Aditi Rao Hydari. On the other hand, there’s a serial killer on the prowl. Just as she starts to reciprocate the feeling, she is abducted by the serial killer Angulimaali, brilliantly played by debutant Rajkumar. How Udhay manages to save her from him forms the rest of the plot.
Mysskin is an auteur who knows his craft well, and Psycho has his signature all over the film. Right from the start, various elements remind you of Mysskin’s earlier films. A certain dialogue reminds you of the small boy in Thupparivalan, the humour resembles the style we saw in Savarakathi (written by him) and Director Ram singing hymns at regular intervals reminds you of Arputham from Super Deluxe.
In the very first scene of the film, we see a woman’s head being sliced off, and the frame immediately cuts to a close up of windmill’s blade. In the very next scene, there’s a painting of a samurai in the background. The message is clear – Mysskin wants the visuals to narrate a story, than the dialogues.
Debutant Cinematographer Tanveer Mir too aids Mysskin’s vision by capturing the scenes aesthetically. This is one of those films where even blood looks beautiful. Mysskin calls this film as a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, and he justifies it. The violence is intense, but necessary. He doesn’t paint the psychopath with a black shade like other movies. He shows how the system is responsible for creating these psychopaths, and love is the only way to prevent that. The messaging is not on your face and the writing is neat, with nearly zero unwanted dialogues or scenes.
The posters of the film carried Ilaiyaraja’s name before Mysskin, and we know the reason behind that decision. His score uplifts the movie to a different level altogether, and he uses silence really well to increase the effect the film has on us. Rajkumar, who plays the antagonist is a beast on screen in the most literal sense. In spite of having a baby face, his presence on screen sends chills down your spine. Despite limited mobility for her character, Nithya Menen as Kamala, comes up with an outstanding performance. Her introduction scene in Psycho will definitely stand out and surprise you.
Aditi Rao Hydari as Dahini, her cries make you root for her, even when she is not on screen and her realistic portrayal of a woman being trapped increases the engagement factor a notch higher. The only issue was the slightly underdeveloped romance between Udhay and Aditi. Udhayanidhi Stalin gets a meaty role as Gautham and he holds the character with a lot of conviction. Among the supporting characters, Mysskin draws the best from Rajkumar, Singam Puli, Director Ram, and other supporting cast, exploring their skills to the maximum.
The ‘A’ rating from the Censor board is justified, and Mysskin doesn’t hold back too. The women in the film swear at will, there is nudity shown on screen, and there’s a lot of blood splattering all around. If you’re someone who is averse to blood or violence in general, it is not advisable to watch this. With Psycho, Mysskin proves that he is in fine form, and gives us a fantastic cinematic experience.