A strange man comes to a village with a revengeful mind. The basic plot of Mammootty-starrer Rorschach is something that has been explored in world cinema multiple times. But a difference here is that the protagonist’s revenge is towards a dead man.
Rorschach is a confusing movie at multiple levels. It does not really fit completely into the boxes of either a psychological thriller or a horror thriller. There are some supernatural elements in the film. But the narrative did not help this writer to understand whether the presence of those elements can be attributed to the protagonist’s psychiatric issues. In other words, can the protagonist be seen as a person suffering from schizophrenia? The film does not answer it.
What the film’s title has to do with its plot or narrative is another question that came to the mind of this writer after watching the FDFS. Rorschach is a projective psychological test used by some psychologists to examine a subject's personality traits and emotional functioning. This writer failed to capture the connection this test (or the title) has with the storyline.
Mammootty is an actor who is not hesitant to take dark-shaded characters. In Rorschach, his character is literally in the ‘dark’ for almost the entire stretch of the film. There is injudicious use of dark colours. The colour scheme followed by Rorshchach is in such a way that every frame’s colour ends up feeling the same as every other frame.
Directed by Nisam Basheer—whose debut film was the problematic Kettyolaanu Ente Malakha—and written by Sameer Abdul, the scenarist of Iblis and Adventures of Omanakuttan, Rorschach felt like a wasted opportunity. The script offers some interesting characters, but it fails to apply ‘common sense’ at multiple places while exploring their actions and crimes. It leaves multiple loose ends in its narrative.
Even then, the film should be lauded for some fine performances. Mammootty excels as creepy, eerie Luke Antony. Senior artists like Bindu Panickar, Kottayam Nazeer and Jagadeesh also deliver great acting. Grace Antony and Sharafudheen should be appreciated for their controlled performance.
A major issue Rorschach faces is that its narrative does not help the audience to empathise with Luke Antony or the tragedy that he faced in Dubai. It also takes the approach of hiding the antagonist—Dileep— behind a mask, even though there have been multiple close-up shots that reveal who is the actor who played the role of Dileep. The cinematographer and director could have thought of a more imaginative way to portray the antagonist. The film fails to give depth to this particular character, around whom the entire narrative revolves around. It won’t be an overstatement to say that Dileep is one of the badly written characters in the script.
There are some stylised action sequences in the film. It also tries to explore mind games that people play. However, Rorschach lacks the pace demanded by its storyline (this writer had some occasional yawns while watching it). Overall the film was a below-average, boring experience for this writer.
Director: Nisam Basheer
Cast: Mammootty, Bindu Panickar, Kottayam Nazeer, Grace Antony, Sharafudheen, Jagadeesh