Rorschach review: Mammootty attempts to shift genre, and the team comes together to help him!

Much like the DC comic-book character Rorschach, here is a masked man who appears as a sort of corrective force or an inner voice.

ByAyyappa Prasad

Published:Oct 10, 2022

Rorschach review: Mammootty attempts to shift genre, and the team comes together to help him!
Mammootty makes a powerful genre shift!

Rorschach (Malayalam)

  • Producers: Mammootty
  • Director: Nissam Basheer
  • Writer: Sameer Abdul
  • Runtime: 2 hr 30 min

Rorschach is yet another film that shows Mammootty the actor is capable of many genres he has not explored: an actor with a commercial tag who will not avoid such a role.

On one hand, Tollywood megastars are vying for the remake rights for the blockbuster Bhisma Parvam, and here
is the Bhishma Parvam lead actor in a role that makes you forget that this is the same performer!

The name of this Malayalam film refers to the inkblot test that psychologists use to diagnose mental illnesses.

Named after Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach, the test has an accuracy rate that is said to be perfect.

To this writer, who is an avid comic-book reader, Rorschach is the fictional antihero in the Watchmen of DC Comics.

Much like that Rorschach, here is a masked man who appears as a sort of corrective force or an inner voice.

The story

Mammootty in a scene from Rorschach.

Mammootty in a scene from Rorschach. (Supplied)

The plot is simple. Luke, an NRI, tells the cops to look for his missing wife in the forest after they have a car accident. He stays back to continue his search after the police give up.

He buys an unfinished house from a man who has a disturbing family background. The seller turns up dead.

What follows is a series of events that one is led to believe is masterminded by Luke.

The screenplay keeps you guessing throughout, right till the climax.

Imagine Mammootty in stylish designer coats, neckbands, gloves, and boots, and driving a Mustang through a remote village in Kerala hills, where the entire story unfolds.

All other characters are in lungis and local dress, and speak the local dialect.

In any other film, the criticism would be: “This is how a superstar spoils a film.”

However, at no point in Rorschach are the local clothing or the Mustang a sore spot.

The execution

Next, take the action scenes: Neatly done, but not “heroic”. There is no camera angle or dialogue that elevates Luke.

The screenplay at no point bores you. More importantly, the predictability factor is absent.

As for the other actors, all of them have a part to play and they give their best. Out of them, Jagadish as a cop lets his appearance do the talking.

Bindu Panicker’s role is fleshed-out, and the screenplay towards the climax gives her space, which she utilises to the hilt. Her character Sheela is a key takeaway from the film.

Grace Antony holds her own in scenes with Mammootty.

The technical side

The camerawork by Nimish Ravi, music by Midhun Narayanan, and editing by Kiran Das combine well to
translate what Sameer wrote and what director Nissam wanted on the screen.

Of the three departments, I would rate Kiran to be the best, thanks, especially, to the montage tracks in the climax.

The BGM is powerful enough to change the mood, and the cameraman’s colour palette and tilted shots convey the nature of the scene.

In my opinion, Midhun’s English song was out of place in a film set in far-flung, rustic Kerala. It did not fall into place like Mammootty’s costumes or the Mustang.

Midhun’s English score in a Kannada film was a big hit, and it was probably Nissam’s idea to give Rorschach an international touch.

Next, the edits. The nonlinear approach is a good way to tell a story, but it works against the sensibilities of the common moviegoer when overdone.

As it is a theatre release and not just for OTT and film festivals, such things do matter.

Above all, Rorschach’s producer Mammootty Kompany deserves a huge hug. They are doing the Malayalam film industry proud.