Thank you Niki for alerting me that this exists! And now I’ve watched it and I am honestly not sure what to say about it. So I guess this is more of a discussion post than anything.
I think I have to deal with this trailer in two levels, the first being simply the script in a vacuum and the second being it in context. In a vacuum, the idea is a thriller where a mentally unstable woman suspects her neighbor of murder and the question is whether he is really guilty or if it is all a delusion.
I’m a little uncomfortable with this idea even in a vacuum. Something I think that would be interesting is if her mental issues were unrelated to the neighbor. Like, she hallucinated Martians landing or something, and also suspected her neighbor of murder. Than there would be a sensitive interesting exploration of the limitations of mental illness. And one with real world relevance, mentally ill people are highly vulnerable to crimes against them because no one believes them. It’s a useful and valid lesson to learn that the schizophrenic woman ranting about aliens might also be telling the truth about her rape at the hands of her caregiver. Movie-fy it a bit, make it a schizophrenic woman ranting about aliens who is telling the truth about witnessing a robbery or something, and that would be a great movie that would also open minds. But making it about a woman whose delusion intersects with the crime she witnessed isn’t close to real life and, unless they explore the relationship between delusion and lucidity with a lot of care in the actual film, does not seem very helpful in helping people to treat those with mental illness better.
And yes, maybe I wouldn’t be thinking as deeply about it if the Indian Psychiatric Association hadn’t already registered complaints just about the title of the film. But they did register those complaints, and they are a legitimate advocacy group, so I am taking their lead and watching closely for additional signs of insensitivity and unawareness of the problems.
But I could be wrong! What do you think?
And then there is the second level. This whole trailer positions the situation as unpleasantly close to Kangana’s real life obsession with Hrithik. Right? Or am I reading too much into it?
If it is picking up on the Hrithik situation, that is unfair to Hrithik and his family by once again dragging this all into the limelight, and it is unfair to Kangana by casting her in a role in a film that will benefit if she is triggered. If I am reading it correctly, it also puts a new spin on the attempted date conflict with Hrithik’s movie. Kangana potentially spinning out again on the promotional tour and going on about Hrithik instead of the film would only serve to drive interest higher, make people want to see a fictionalized version of their situation in this film.
Oh, and third level, basic components of the film. It looks like yet another nice little thriller. Not as brilliant and original as Andhandhun, not as tightly put together as Ittefaq or Badla (the cop comedy and Kangana character backstory seems extraneous), but with the same cheap real look and trailer that makes you want to see the movie just to learn what happens. And two central actors that are talented and entertaining enough to keep us watching through all the twists. I’m also excited to see Rajkummar play more of a hunky bad boy, a new kind of role for him. I am less excited to see Kangana play manic and disturbed, yet again.