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O2 review: Nayanthara’s film is a decent survival thriller uplifted by good performances and cinematography


If there’s something that sets Nayanthara apart from her counterparts, it’s her willingness to experiment with projects where she does all the heavy lifting. From time to time, she has spearheaded many women-centric films that have not only helped her chart her own path but has also given major breaks to several first-time filmmakers. With her latest outing O2, a survival thriller that’s predominantly set inside a bus, she gives debutant filmmaker GS Viknesh an opportunity to leave his mark, and he does a decent job. O2 has its share of flaws and loopholes in logic, but it’s an attempt you won’t write-off so easily. Also read: O2 teaser: Nayanthara’s film is a race against time survival thriller set inside a bus

Nayanthara plays Pavitra, a single mom to her 8-year-old son Veera, who is suffering from a rare disease (cystic fibrosis) that doesn’t allow him to breathe normally. This means he’s always on oxygen support. Pavitra’s last hope to see her son get well is to make him undergo a surgery in Cochin. The film revolves around a bunch of people, including Pavitra and her son, who get trapped in a landslide while on their way to Cochin from Coimbatore in a bus.

For a survival thriller that mostly takes place inside a bus, the film works to a large extent. It manages to create a claustrophobic mood and tension with the aid of very good cinematography. The writing does feel predictable and silly at times but the film makes it up with very good writing, especially how the tension is constantly maintained when the passengers start losing control over themselves when they begin to run out of oxygen. Most of the action that takes place inside the bus and the way it’s shot does keep the viewer engaged for most part.

The performances are also a highlight of the movie. Nayanthara and child actor Rithvik as the mother-son duo have great chemistry and the latter performs very confidently, making a solid impact in crucial scenes. It’s the character of Veera that allows audiences to sympathize with the characters trapped in an unimaginable situation even more. Cinematography by Tamizh Azhagan plays a very key role in keeping the visuals gripping right till the end.

In the end, O2 is a film that is good but could have been great. It had the right ingredients but suffered in parts due to flaws in writing. But owing to its performances and camera work, it still ends up as a good attempt by a first-time filmmaker.

Film: O2

Director: GS Viknesh

Cast: Nayanthara, Rithvik, Barath Neelakantan


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