Sitting through the flirting sequences in the first half of Jithin Issac Thomas’s new venture Rekha is a bit of a task. But the good thing is that there is a purpose for that portion’s length, as the segment’s duration drives our title character in the movie’s second half. Designed as a revenge drama in the Kill Bill/ 22 FK space, Rekha works mainly in the craft aspect. A slightly more nuanced writing would have definitely elevated the movie to an impactful level.
Rekha and Arjun, aka Achu, are two youngsters who are in love. Rekha studied in a sports school, and she lives with her parents. On the other hand, Arjun earned a living by helping his father in the stationary shop they owned. The movie focuses primarily on one particular night when Arjun decides to sneak into Rekha’s house to spend time with her. We see how that night changes everything for Rekha in this Jithin Issac Thomas film.
Pra Thu Mu and Attention Please, the two films made by Jithin Issac Thomas prior to Rekha, were very vocal about Dalit politics. While several other filmmakers had endorsed Dalit politics in cinema, his grip over the craft made Jithin’s movies look unique and compelling. When you look at Rekha, the placement of politics is much more subtle, as the emphasis is on the guilt and rage of the leading lady. Why Rekha and the Anganwadi teacher were labeled in a particular way, why Rekha’s father’s cremation was done without a postmortem etc., gives you a detail about the social structure that judges people based on their origin.
Jithin has a very aggressive way of depicting the drama in his movies with eccentric visual language and background scores. In Rekha also, one can see that. But it is mostly happening in the second half. Somewhere, I was hoping for the writing to make us get into the psyche of Rekha, which I felt was missing. Rekha’s journey feels a bit too convenient. And despite Jithin trying to enhance the drama through visuals and metaphors, that shortage in intensity somewhere sustained till the end. Abraham Jospeh’s cinematography, especially in the climax bits of the film, managed to imbibe the emotional state of Rekha. But the transitions into those loud background scores weren’t that smooth.
Vincy Aloshious as Rekha is terrific. From the roughness of a naive girl who wanted to be loved to a furious individual who seeks clarity and closure, Vincy pulls off the role with great conviction. Unni Lalu, as Arjun, also portrays the two modes of that character very convincingly. The panicking bits looked pretty natural. The actress who played the character of Rekha’s mother was also really impressive.
Out of the three notable works of Jithin Issac Thomas, I would say Rekha is my least favorite. Having said that, it doesn’t mean this one is bad by any means. If the writing of the second half could have been a little more intense, it would have created an emotional hangover which was there in the case of Attention Please and that Freedom Fight segment.
A slightly more nuanced writing would have definitely elevated the movie to an impactful level.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended