O2 Movie Review: Logic be damned in Nayanthara survival drama
Over the years, Nayanthara has directed many female-centric films. Not every film turned out to be hugely successful compared to its commercial performers. But that doesn’t stop our Lady Superstar from choosing other such ventures in her career. Director GS Viknesh’s O2 is one such film, made with the sole purpose of making a survival drama with a female lead. However, O2 lacks finesse, and the so-called twists spoil the whole experience. In some cases, it makes you wonder, why me?
O2 revolves around a group of people who become trapped in a landslide as they travel from Coimbatore to Cochin. Parvathy (Nayanthara) is an 8-year-old single mother from Veera (Rithvik) who suffers from Cystic Fibrosis. This means that Veera can breathe properly using an oxygen cylinder. Likewise, there is a couple waiting to get away, an en-MLA (RNR Manohar), a corrupt policeman (Bharath Neelakandan), a bus driver (Aadukalam Murgadoss) and a few others.
When they are trapped on a bus during a landslide, they all go through different emotions. On the verge of death, people change and the evil within them is unleashed. Will Nayanthara and his son escape in time? What will happen to the rest?
O2 has a good premise for a survival drama. But, the procedure is so juvenile that sometimes it makes you want to laugh out loud, even in serious moments. At the start of the film, Parvathy discusses how ruthless Mother Nature can be when provoked. Each scene that follows the introduction has a callback in the second half of the film. Ideally, everything should come together and make you anxious for the trapped people. The biggest problem is that you don’t feel for the characters. Everything seems disconnected because the sequences seem artificial.
O2 is also a film that shows that the public is taken for granted. When all the other characters in a particular scene are out of breath, Nayanthara doesn’t. When the end is near, Parvathy of Nayanthara hallucinates and feels short of breath from lack of oxygen. To finish! Some of the altercations between bus passengers are so ugly it makes you roll your eyes.
Although you sit for two hours, it gives you a climax which makes cartoons look better. To hell with logic. The lip-sync is cursed and even the script is cursed in this lackluster film.
What holds the film together are the performances of Nayanthara, little Rithvik, and Aadukalam Murugadoss. Bharath Neelakandan’s character invokes irritation, but it could also be due to the role he plays.
Cinematography by Tamizh A Azhagan, music by Vishal Chandrasekar and editing by Selva RK add depth to O2. But, the subpar VFX is off-putting, as is the lip-sync.
Nayanthara’s O2 could have been an interesting survival thriller. However, the movie falters to a greater extent because of its uninteresting storyline.
1.5 out of 5 stars for O2.
O2 will premiere on Disney+ Hotstar starting June 17.