I am a thriller movie enthusiast and a huge fan of the Korean cinema industry because they produced the best flix in this genre. After watching 300 Korean movies, I decided to venture into other languages and I came across Indian films. I was captivated by the first 10 Indian movies I watched (most of them are experimental and arthouse films) so I planned to watch at least 100 movies from Indian cinema. To date, I have watched 60 Indian films and so far I have enjoyed most of them. Aside from experimental/arthouse/independent films, I am very much interested in directorial debuts. I don’t usually watch remakes, but I watched this one without knowing it is a remake in the first place. Rewind (21021) is a directorial debut of Thej and a remake of the Korean sci-fi mystery-thriller film Lucid Dream (2011).
Story, Frames & Score
The story revolves around a crime reporter, Arjun whose daughter gone missing while they are in an amusement park. Fearing that his enemies were behind the disappearance, he tries to pin down some of them in desperation. After months had passed still no progress on his daughter’s case, he tries an unconventional approach to solving crimes – the use of lucid dreams being practiced by his scientist wife. Because of the procedure, he is able to go back to the time his daughter disappears and study the people, scenes, and events. He later realizes that the incident is connected to bigger crimes and involved influential personalities. .
The story is closely similar to the original story aside from some minor differences like the hero here is married while in the original, the hero is a single dad. Here the child is a girl while in the original version it is a boy. The resemblance in the plot is so close that if you watched both you will know that this has nothing new to offer.
Character & Performances
Arjun is penned as a strong and fearless reporter, a loving husband, and a good father. But he is also short-tempered and careless. Thej, who played the role of Arjun is amateurish. Having very few acting experiences, he was not able to bring out the emotions his character requires of him. Sandhana Raghavendra playing the wife may be convincing in some scenes but is bland in dialogue delivery. Sampath Maitreya as the police investigator is uncompelling and overacting. The support casts are cardboard characters and had nothing to do with plot development.
Music, Frames, & Direction
The visual is the only aspect I like in the film. The drone shots are stunning especially the opening and the scenes from the amusement park. The first part of the film was shot good but during the second part it started to fall apart because of the lousy choreographed fight scenes. The graphics is poor and distracting especially the green screen. The VFX in the climax is terrible and is nothing at par with the original version.
What I didn’t like the most in the film is the loud and overkill BGM. I am wearing my headset and it’s kind of annoying that even in simple conversation the BGM is loud. As a matter of fact, it is louder than the conversation itself. The score didn’t match with the emotions presented during the scene and do more harm than good to the plot development. The song in the opening is unnecessarily long and the backstory associated with it is dragging as well.
Thej surely can’t manage multiple tasks at once. Playing as the hero, sitting in the directorial chair, and managing production works requires craftsmanship which he obviously falls short with. With 18 years of hiatus, this could not be considered as a strong item to establish a name in the film industry. All the same, I admire his daring attempt to create a movie with Inception-esque, however, such films and sci-fi genres require a huge budget and experienced casts and crews. The integration of family drama particularly marital relationship is a good idea but it turns out to be a major letdown because of the overly long backstories and cringy dramatic sequences.
Rewind streaming in Amazon Prime Video is a poor man’s version of Korean’s Lucid Dream. With its ambitious premise, it could have been better if it is backed up with experienced crews and stronger casts and given a bigger budget. Or perhaps, Thej could have selected to remake a movie with a simpler storyline or created an original one instead.
Disclaimer: The above review solely illustrates the views of the writer.