Iteration 12: Game Over

Today is March 377th 2020, and I marked it by watching a time-loop movie. Game Over is another slasher film, but it’s also very different to all the other loops so far.

Watching movies based on an arbitrary link produces an interesting range. This is a 2019 Indian film, originally shot in both Tamil and Telugu before being dubbed into Hindi. Set in Gurgaon, it tells the story of Swapna, a young games designer, and was billed as a home invasion movie. Spoilers follow

This film wasn’t what I expected, not least because the time loops started very late in the movie. Up to then, it told the story of a traumatised woman, dealing with the aftermath of a brutal attack. She goes to have a tattoo, only to learn later that the wrong ink was used. Swapna’s tattoo contains the ashes of a woman who has been murdered.

While the film’s opening few minutes are brutal and shocking, the violence in the rest of the film never felt lingering or sadistic (to me, anyway). More time was spent on Swapna’s life and trauma than on the actual home invasion sequence. I can imagine many people finding this triggering, and while Taapsee Pannu’s portrayal of Swapna was excellent, I didn’t feel that the film had much to say about misogyny and violence. There was also a long sequence about cancer survival, and portrayals of suicide attempts. This movie contained a lot of highly-charged material.

The time loop here was related to video games, with Swapna’s tattoo providing ‘three lives’ in which to try surviving the attacks. Videogames are an obvious structure for time loops, since that is what the character/player in the game perceives when replaying a sequence. While this idea was used for both theme and decoration, the addition of the supernatural element felt a little strange.

It was interesting that the game we see Swapna playing is Pacman. This is the same game that Lisa’s brother plays in Haunter.


  • Length of first iteration (in film): 10 minutes
  • Length of second iteration: 11.5 minutes
  • Reset point: Death
  • Fidelity of loop: perfect
  • Exit from the loop: dying three times or survival

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