Review of the film Rorschach: Mammootty’s provocative performance lifts this creative character experiment

Review of the film Rorschach: Mammootty gives a physically ragged performance while carrying the enigma of the entire story.

DirectorNissam Basheer
Rating3 / 5

A review of the film Mammootty’s Rorschach Structure is the key to Rorschach. By structure, I refer to the orderly arrangement of narrative beats as well as the fundamental framework of derivative retribution as depicted in our films over the years. The movie transforms the typical revenge plot into a carefully considered gloomy meditation on the ethics of despair that eventually turns into a wireless quest for vengeance. With little adjustments to the narrative congruity and sequential design of events, the screenplay toys around with the known beats of the template and subverts the established constants.

The story revolves around a wandering recluse who settles down in a half-built house in a village and the link he develops with the locals and a bereaved family (due to the oldest son’s unexpected death). The family is a weirdly scattered, self-centered group, as is made clear early on.

The brilliant screenplay by Sameer Abdula doesn’t fumble around in its surface nuances and conveniences; instead, it depends on the unspoken words and disparaging glances that the protagonists exchange behind covert stares and cries for assistance. For instance, in a hospital scene in the first half, Sujatha (Grace Anthony) and Luke Anthony (Mammootty) cross paths. This scene’s writing is incredibly economical in establishing Luke’s approach to her for what he truly wants and what he makes clear is his true goal, which obviously bothers her. The writing’s casualness is well-accented by Mammootty, who portrays Luke as a despicably cunning version of a lovable man who plays it safe.

Nisham Basheer, the controversial director of the character drama Kettiyollanu Enthe Maalakha that resembled a sex education PSA, amplifies the style factor and tension in his follow-up film, which uses a more visually driven narrative grammar. The film walks a fine line between being psychoanalysis of a vindictive protagonist and an intelligent subversion of the central plot device of pent-up personal revenge. The direction of the film misdirects our attention, and the camera follows Luke from Hayward’s perspective and heightening the intrigue.

The editing decisions and visual cutaways give seriousness to the stakes and mood, which the movie aims for in its suspenseful parts, despite the wonderfully juxtaposed and back-and-forth composition of contemporaneous scenes that on paper are conventional revelations.

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