Language : Malayalam.
Director : Nissam Basheer.
Writers : Sameer Abdul.
Cast : Mammootty, Grace Antony, Sharafudheen, Jagadish, Kottayam Nazeer, Bindu Panikkar
Genre : Action | Thriller
Streaming at Theaters near you.
Slight spoilers ensue: Regarding the nature and characters of the film.
Revenge as a core theme has been a driving force for numerous films over the years and almost all makers have tried their luck with the genre. But of late, a lot of the focus has been on providing a distinctive approach to these known stories of vengeance and violence. Director Nisam Basheer’s latest directorial Rorschach, is one such film that uses a new narrative route to deliver a revenge story; with some twists.
An hour into the film, Rorschach unveils a major chunk of its mysteries to the audience, but it continues to remain gripping till the very end due to some well placed character revelations. The writing cleverly manipulates the audience into focussing solely on the protagonist and unraveling the enigma around his character. By doing so, it diverts the attention from the other characters and only reveals much about their true colors later on, i.e.. when the script decides it’s time for the audience to know. There is also a neat infusion of psychological and supernatural elements into the film which comes across as a surprise and helps the film in being unpredictable and gripping.
Rorschach is a technically brilliant film. Nisam Basheer has taken up a plot that bears no semblance to his debut venture, and proves his command over the craft. He shows promise and feels like a maker who has a keen eye for inventive storytelling. Nimish Ravi has done a terrific job with his cinematography. For a film that travels within a confined geography and characters, Nimish does his best in keeping the frames distinct. The lighting and camera angles play a crucial role in maintaining a spooky vibe and also in keeping the mystery element intact. Writer Sameer Abdul has picked up a familiar tale but has given it a more layered texture that explores how badly revenge can consume one’s existence and also how families could go to any extent to protect their dignity. In a way, Sameer has intricately married multiple genres into his main theme of revenge. Midhun Mukundan who did a fabulous job in last year’s Kannada hit, Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana, takes a completely different approach here. The soundtrack comprises only English tracks that fits the type of film Rorschach is, while also enhancing the overall mood of the film. Special mention to the art direction team as well.
Mammootty has been in great form of late, selecting characters that are unique and at times devoid of any heroic qualities. As Luke Antony, he chooses a character that cannot be termed as a hero. He’s a man who thrives on vengeance and knowingly or unknowingly has let it consume every bit of him, and the actor nails the character. His voice modulation in certain scenes evokes more panic than some of the visuals. Bindu Panicker owns the film towards the latter half of the film and it was good to see the veteran back in a full-fledged role after a while. Special mention to the casting team for selecting her for the part. Grace Antony was impressive in her portrayal as the strong yet confused Sujatha. Sharafudeen, Jagadeesh, Sanju Sivaram and Kottayam Naseer also bring their best to the screen.
On the whole, Rorschach is a well executed thriller that stands out in its presentation and the way it commendably conflates multiple genres into the plot. This is not an experimental film, but rather a slow burner where the makers have decided to narrate a familiar tale through an unfamiliar format.
Verdict : 5/7 stars