Review English

The Re-Bell review: An engaging and intimate film on suicide

Cinestaan Rating

Release Date: 14 Dec 2018 / 50min

Suparna Thombare

The short film follows the character of a famous journalist in the hours after she decides to end her life.

Director Riju Bajaj's 50-minute short film The Re-Bell revolves around Muskan (Shruti Bharadwaj), a famous journalist, and follows her in the hours after she announces on social media her decision to commit suicide. 

The camera constantly watches the movements, thoughts and emotions of Muskan, making you feel like a voyeur peeping into the most private space of a troubled person.

Once the character puts up a post on social media, announcing that she would be killing herself, a sort of circus begins in the outside world even as Muskan tries to deal with the surge of emotions inside her own mind.

Reactions begin to pour in from all quarters — friends trying to dissuade her, a spiritual guru encouraging her to seek 'nirvana', a pro-suicide group and, finally, a mysterious stranger (Vivaan Shah) who wants to connect with her.

A bottle of vodka down, Muskan struggles to make up her mind even as she struggles with tying the knot of her dupatta correctly so that she can hang herself successfully.

The focus throughout is on what Muskan is doing. Even when she is on a video chat, the conversation is viewed from her perspective. The extreme close-ups of Shah's face, often cut carelessly, are used as a realistic device to see it through Muskan's eyes.

Every expression, action and thought of hers is caught through many close-ups, and first-timer Bharadwaj manages to hold your attention throughout.

Aided by an engaging screenplay, the actress navigates the internal and external turmoil of a person who has, perhaps, lost her love of life. While we do get a hint of why she decided to kill herself early on, the reason is revealed only towards the end. But the reason is just par for the course.

Touching upon and dealing with the complexities of a homosexual relationship and what goes on in the mind of a person who decides to commit suicide, The Re-Bell is an intimate portrait and an engaging story. 

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