In ‘Psycho’, Mysskin reimagines the serial-killer thriller as a meditative drama about salvation

Posted on January 27, 2020


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Okay, so the detailing, the micro stuff is fascinating! What about the macro stuff? Does the film work as the serial-killer thriller the title leads us to expect? Yes — and no!

Spoilers ahead…

The most stunning image in Mysskin’s new film, Psycho, may be that of a man entering a sort of prison cell. We don’t see the inside of the cell — it’s a giant, dark space — but we know there’s a woman inside, a former teacher in a Christian-run school for orphans. She is, in other words, a “Mother”. And the man, crawling on all fours, resembles a toddler. Like almost everything in Mysskin’s oeuvre, the image is very deliberate, and grandly theatrical — the sense is that of a child crawling back into the womb.

Psycho is dedicated to Alfred Hitchcock, and the homage goes beyond the title. It goes beyond the image of a mummified corpse (which we also saw in Moodupani, Balu Mahendra’s riff on the Hitchcock thriller). It goes beyond Ilaiyaraaja’s score, which — like Bernard Herrmann’s legendary score for Psycho — is built almost entirely around the strings section. Even the percussive effects seem to arise from strings. The homage extends to the deepest theme in Hitchcock’s film: the dysfunctional relationship between a “mother” and a “son”, which results in the latter becoming a serial killer (Rajkumar Pitchumani).

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil