‘Rekha’ movie review: An uneven, half-baked female revenge drama

‘Rekha’ works partly as a woman’s fightback against an act of injustice but ends up as an unevenly written, half-baked attempt

March 11, 2023 06:50 pm | Updated 07:12 pm IST

A still from ‘Rekha’

A still from ‘Rekha’ | Photo Credit: Netflix

A casual question about a pet dog, thrown up in the midst of a tender moment between a couple, and an equally casual answer, suddenly turns on its head our notions about Rekha and some of its characters. It is an intelligently written scene, placed somewhere towards the middle of the movie, after what seemed to be some harmless fun in a rural setting. The response from Arjun (Unni Lalu) to Rekha (Vincy Aloshious) then makes us look back at some of his past actions in a new light.

At the centre of Jithin Issac Thomas’s Rekha are two extended passages. The first one begins rather innocently from the back-and-forth messaging of a couple who have newly fallen in love, followed by things escalating with the guy sneaking into her room. The latter segment plays out as a long violent assault, fuelled by revenge. Both these segments begin as somewhat interesting but seem to go on forever, and end up like guests who overstay the welcome. The cleverness of that dog sequence is sorely missing in these parts, which at times look like space fillers.

Rekha (Malayalam)
Director: Jithin Issac Thomas
Cast: Vincy Aloshious, Unni Lalu
Runtime: 121 minutes
Storyline: A young woman in love turns to seek revenge, in violent fashion, after a fateful night

Rekha, the protagonist, a confident young girl studying at a sports school, cares two hoots about what the people in the rural locality think of her. From the passing conversations that we hear from the locality, we understand that many of them have a penchant for prying into others’ lives. It is not easy for a girl like Rekha to thrive in such an atmosphere, yet she does. Rekha is also scared of some of the advances from her over-adventurous boyfriend Arjun, who is at times particularly irritating, someone who can get on any sane person’s nerves.

Everything that Isaac Thomas builds here slowly, and a little too patiently, is for a surprise revenge act that is in store. But in the latter parts, what is lacking in the script is covered up with extended scenes of violence, which becomes ineffective after the initial cathartic feeling that Rekha, and by extension the audience, gets. One also wonders why she lets go of the man she was chasing after getting hold of him at first, which would have saved us from some of the several pointless scenes that follow.

Rekha works partly as a woman’s fightback against an act of injustice but ends up as an unevenly written, half-baked attempt.

Rekha is currently streaming on Netflix

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