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No Way Out movie review: Ramesh Pisharody’s distressing survival thriller will keep you on your toes

The movie could have been edited better but that doesn’t take away from how the makers have tried to put the audience in the same writhing position as its protagonist through its frames and situations, including one with a spider

2.5rating
  • Sanjith Sidhardhan

Last Updated: 06.53 AM, Apr 22, 2022

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No Way Out movie review: Ramesh Pisharody’s distressing survival thriller will keep you on your toes
Ramesh Pisharody in a still from No Way Out

Story: The pandemic has been cruel to David who had invested almost Rs 1 crore to start a business just before the nationwide lockdown was announced. Unable to pay off his debts and not even able to visit his pregnant wife who is due for delivery, David is in dire straits. After his last hope fails, he decides to end his life in his secluded house. But does fate have one more trick up its sleeve and would David escape the clutches of death?

Review: The pandemic and its restrictions have led to several chamber thrillers being made. Debutant director Nithin Devidas’ No Way Out is another entry in that genre, playing out as a survival thriller in which its protagonist David (Ramesh Pisharody), who decides to hang himself, is finally left battling for life after finding an unexpected sliver of hope just when he has given up.

No Way Out is almost a single-actor film with Pisharody on screen for about 80% of the 97-minute movie. Nithin ably sustains the tension of the survival thriller through elements that have been used in previous such movies too, but weaves them well into this storyline. Fair warning to the viewers that the movie does have some distressing sequences, considering that it deals with a man attempting suicide by tying his hands behind his back and hanging himself, only to find himself in the excruciating predicament for a lengthy time.

The filmmaker tries to take the edge off by shuttling between the present and past incidents, which led to David wanting to end his life. While this is also meant to be the film’s emotional core, it doesn’t quite leave the desired impact, probably because David’s ‘tightrope’ situation has the audience on pins and needles, and veering away from it only serves to prolong the film. If the editing of these portions had been tighter or if the director could have found smarter ways to weave in the past, the film could have been a much better edge-of-the-seat thriller than its current, crude form. But that doesn’t take away from how the makers have tried to put the audience in the same writhing position as its protagonist through its frames and situations, including one with a spider.

Pisharody’s David is a far cry from his usual comedy roles and the actor proves that he has the mettle to convey agony. While he does feel a bit out of place during a romantic song, he portrays the various stages of David’s plight during the night brilliantly. Most of the other characters in the film – including Basil Joseph, Dharmajan Bolgatty and Raveena – feature in cameos or through phone calls. The music of the film too – an English title track and a Hindi song – doesn’t meld with the film’s mood, and lends an eerie ambience that erases the tension that’s built up.

Verdict: Though the movie has distressing scenes involving suicide and the first half is sloppily written, No Way Out is a decent survival thriller that makes the most out of the genre - thanks to Pisharody’s performance and its chamber setting.

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