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The Great Indian Suicide review: Ram Karthik, Hebah Patel steal the show in a deceptive thriller

Director Viplove Koneti displays complete control over the narrative, addressing complex social issues with a gripping screenplay

The Great Indian Suicide review: Ram Karthik, Hebah Patel steal the show in a deceptive thriller
The Great Indian Suicide

Last Updated: 11.23 PM, Oct 06, 2023



Hemanth, a coffee-shop owner, falls in love with Chaitra, who sells customised cookies for a living. Despite initial resistance, she reciprocates his love for her, but denies his proposal to marry. What prompts Chaitra to say no to marriage? How far will Hemanth go to help her?


The Great Indian Suicide is a deceptively packaged horror thriller that holds a mirror to the rot within the society. The director Viplove Koneti has a nuanced story to tell and addresses a gamut of social issues smartly within the garb of a mainstream thriller. His key victory is his ability to retain the tension in the storytelling for over 150 minutes, using commercial tropes and keeping his signature as a director intact.


The film begins with a mysterious death of an elderly man in a car and starts like any other urban romance. The backdrop shifts to the story of a coffee-shop owner and a cookie-maker. Just when you sense love is in the air, the girl reveals a chilling truth about her family, their belief in occult practices and how they look to bring back a dead patriarch to life. Where’s the couple’s future headed?

The narrative gathers steam once the protagonist enters Chaitra’s household and is shocked by the family’s blind belief in superstitions. Without resorting to stereotypical jumpscares or sound effects, the filmmaker evokes fear in the mind of a viewer through the psyche of the characters and the situations. The vibe leaves one uneasy, transporting them into a world of spirits, superstitions, extreme beliefs.

Despite the faint hints the director keeps throwing at us occasionally, it’s hard to be prepared for what he ultimately wants to convey. Unpredictability, both in the characterisation and the screenplay, is the film’s biggest asset. The male protagonist is intelligent and a do-gooder, he is equally relatable with all his vulnerabilities. It takes time to digest many layers in Chaitra’s character but you empathise with her plight.

There’s some ambiguity with how the film’s key twists are all revealed in the final hour and you struggle to connect the dots. From fake godmen to the ‘great Indian family values’ to the duplicity within human behaviour, the story is more a commentary on society, but is partly constrained by the limitations of a feature film. Yet, for a first-time storyteller, this is such a promising start.

The filmmaker not only picks up the right faces for the characters but also extracts delightfully restrained, impactful performances from them. It’s very evident that Hebah Patel is the star of the show - she gets a role of a lifetime that challenges her limits as a performer and delivers the goods. This is a major win for Ram Karthik as a lead actor - he holds the film together throughout with a controlled, mature portrayal.

Naresh, in a role with several grey shades, yet again proves how solid screen presence has nothing to do with screen time. Pavitra Lokesh, with a sensitive performance, makes a mark. Theatre actor Ratna Shekhar impresses in a crucial role while Jayaprakash’s mettle is barely tested. Sricharan Pakala asserts why he needs to be called a thriller-specialist, authentically capturing the mood of the film through his soundscape. The cinematography and the production design merit praise too.


The Great Indian Family Suicide is a gripping psychological thriller that’s well packaged in a commercial format without compromising on the nuance in the storytelling. Watch it for a debut of a fine storyteller and the assured performances of Ram Karthik, Hebah Patel, Naresh and Pavitra Lokesh.

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