Rorschach (Theories & Ending Explained)
Thank God It Is Friday and it brings with it many new releases, so lets get to each one of them very quickly. And with that I finished watching the new Malayalam film Rorschach which is now streaming on Hotstar. This was that one Malayalam film that I had my eyes on particularly because I had missed out on its theatrical release as the film did not have English subtitles(as per Book My Show). In the meantime, I had been getting so many recommendations about the film from my Youtube subscribers(Channel Name : Popcorn Reviewss), all this while I was bummed at not being able to watch the film. So I had my eyes fixed on its OTT release. And I grabbed my chance the minute it premiered last night. So then is Rorschach worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay/ Theories & Explanations
Rorschach is that one film that you needn’t know anything about before going ahead to watch it. But at the same time, once you are done watching you would wish to read more about it to truly get a grasp of the conspiracy theories. And so I have decided to let out a few conspiracy theories in this segment while also mentioning about the story and screenplay. The story here is a complicated jigsaw puzzle which was kind of expected when you protagonist was suffering from schizophrenia. And it may seem straight forward on paper but it is anything but that! The screenplay of 150 minutes demands your every bit of attention in what is a cracker of a drama. And needless to say SPOILERS AHEAD!
The narrative style here is completely non-linear. In fact, the film does feel like a large jigsaw puzzle that takes you on a certain path only to create a lot of confusion in your mind about certain elements in it. So you are introduced to the protagonist who has been searching for his wife only to be eventually given up by the authorities. But there is little that meets the eye in what is essentially a revenge drama.
The drama here is engaging and engrossing, needing your undivided attention. And to simplify things, here is when I begin my spoilers and conspiracy theories. The protagonist did stay with his pregnant wife in Dubai, until one day she was murdered by one of the two masked men as a part of a robbery. One of them was nabbed and killed by the protagonist for which he was arrested in Dubai.
Cut to Kerala, where a now mentally disturbed protagonist(Rorschach Test is a test conducted to determine the mental stability of a patient, hence the title spoiler) is on the lookout for one of the masked men(Dileep) who killed his wife, till he learns that he was killed in an accident. *After* meeting Dileep’s mother, he begins experiencing a presence of a ghost and the protagonist is hell bent of extracting revenge by getting back at the family and removing every trace of Dileep before surrending to the cops.
So the question arises – Is the protagonist(Luke) really seeing a ghost? The answer is no! He has been mentally disturbed following a personal loss(of his wife) combined with the torture of the Dubai police when he was arrested(represented by a ‘white room’, please take a note of this which in turn represents his disturbed mind). Also the “beatings” caused by the ghost are similar to what you did see in the Hollywood film “Fight Club” where probably Luke has been beating himself. As for Shashankan’s ghost theories(of him too hearing ghostly sounds), he probably may have wanted the house of Dileep for himself by exploiting the theory of Luke(who was apparently seeing ghosts).
Elsewhere, an investigating cop is murdered by Seetha, the mother of Dileep, not because she got to know about Dileep’s wrongdoings but because she wanted to save her younger son who had murdered his father, whose secret would be soon out. In other words, the family’s image would be tarnished. And so when Luke begins to understand that the actual culprit was Seetha(who had mentioned that her sons Dileep and Anil were an extension of her and her actions), he decides to eliminate Seetha and thus every trace of Dileep(including indirectly persuading Dileep’s now widow into first marrying her and slowly exposing the wrongdoings of Dileep that results in her setting his factor ablaze). Also the scene wherein Luke kills Anil while Seetha escapes is a similar turn of events to when he was killing a masked man in Dubai while Dileep was escaping.
So now we get to the final act wherein the final scene has Luke uttering the words “Welcome Back” before a ghostly presence enters his cell(after he is arrested after confessing to the crime). This ghost is not of Dileep(contrary to the entire film) but that of Seetha whom we are told committed suicide by hanging in her cell. But then the question arises, why did he have himself arrested especially when Dileep was killed in an accident?
Here there are two theories that I have. The first one is as follows : if you notice the car of Luke, it is damaged which brings me to think that it was Luke afterall who had killed Dileep before returning to Kerala to remove every trace of him. The second theory is a little more twisted and here is when I tell you to get back that reference of “the white room” that represented Luke’s mind. Minutes before we get the news of Seetha committing suicide, we see a similar white room which is odd in a Kerala police station. This very fact made me think that none of these events(set in Kerala) actually took place. It was all unfolding in the mind of Luke who was still sitting in his cell in Dubai! Yes, a little wacky but it is upto you to decide! In other words, this screenplay is a masterclass as far as complicated dramas are concerned, something that I love indulging in!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are cerebral and definitely leave an impact. The music is refreshing with a choice of English lyrics that add a lot of ambience to the drama. The BGM is excellent and adds a stylized element to the already exciting drama. The cinematography is excellent and some frames add to the complexities of the drama. Director Nissam Basheer has done a stupendous job with this layered drama that has so much more to it than what meets the eye. His direction is top notch!
The performances are excellent here. Jagadeesh as Inspector Ashraj, Sanju Sivram as Anil, Ira Noor as Sophia, Luke’s wife and Priyamvada Krishnan as Ammu all have their moments to shine. Sharafudheen as Satheeshan and Kottayam Nazeer as Shashankan are first rate. Grace Antony as Sujatha is wonderfully restrained. Bindu Panicker as Seetha is outstanding and quietly menacing. But the show belongs to Mammootty who is phenomenal as Luke. The man is just so agile even at the age of 72! Let that sink in for a bit! And this was another towering act in another acting masterclass!
Rorschach is a complicated psychological puzzle that comes with my highest recommendation. (Theories and Spoilers included in the review). Available on Hotstar and Highly Highly Highly Recommended!