Movies

‘Rabbit Hole’ discusses depression

Alencier and Sou Sadanandan on the sets of Rabbit Hole

Alencier and Sou Sadanandan on the sets of Rabbit Hole   | Photo Credit: Shyam Naresh

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Sou Sadanandan’s short film ‘Rabbit Hole’ is a take on depression

‘Get help! Reach out! Help is a call away’ That’s the message with which Sou (Soumya) Sadanandan concludes her short film, Rabbit Hole, which has gone viral on social media. It is a message and plea to all those who are dealing with or who know people grappling with depression.

Rabbit Hole is about a happy-go-lucky psychiatrist, and a girl, Christy, who turns up for consultation at his home on his off day. Reluctantly she tells him that she thinks she is depressed and needs his help. She is in a hurry to leave. But when he realises who she really is, he is taken aback.

Gilu Joseph in a still from Rabbit Hole

Gilu Joseph in a still from Rabbit Hole   | Photo Credit: Amaldev

It is a take on the famous Pagliacci story – Pagliacci is the typical sad clown, who grieves while making others laugh. “The story has been with me for sometime. I was fresh out of the condition. And there were many close friends around me who were trying to get out of the situation. Above all, World Health Organisations’s motto for 2017 was ‘Depression: Let’s talk’. So I had reasons enough to make the film,” says Sou, who won special mention at the 64th National Film Awards for her documentary on Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar.

She emphasises that clinical depression is a mental illness that our society is apprehensive about discussing or accepting. It is a rabbit hole, a bizarre environment from which it is difficult to release oneself.

“Once you get caught in the vortex of depression, it takes great effort to get out of it. It takes immense courage to understand it and talk about it. The help needn’t come from a doctor only. My friend, for example, was able to get out of it because of a puppy. In fact we have thanked the dog, Pepper (Peppy) in the credits,” says Sou.

The film cites examples of celebrities who went through depression, of people who managed to come out of it and those who gave up. Robin Williams, Deepika Padukone, Anushka Sharma, Randeep Hooda, Michael Jackson, Charlie Chaplin… are some of them.

Alencier and Gilu Joseph in a still from Rabbit Hole

Alencier and Gilu Joseph in a still from Rabbit Hole   | Photo Credit: Shyam Naresh

The short has two actors, Alencier Le Lopez playing the doctor and Gilu Joseph as Christy. Actor-psychologist Parvathi and actor-stand-up comedian Ramesh Pisharody make their presence felt through their voices. Singer-composer Sayanora Philip debuts as a dubbing artist in the film.

Stellar cast

“Alencier chettan just breezed through the role, playing the jovial, yet professional psychiatrist. It was fun shooting with him, especially his introductory scene, where he dances his heart out to a popular English song. Gilu too gave her 100%. Parvathi chechi was around with her suggestions and critical views. Ramesh Pisharody managed to squeeze in time from his busy schedule for giving voice to a character. Sayanora took two days to dub for Gilu because she wanted to make it perfect,” Sou says.

She did consult psychiatrists and experts during its making and their suggestions have been incorporated.

Looking back she is happy that the film is getting rave reviews from within and outside the industry. She is ecstatic that people like actors Amala Akkineni and Revathy and film editor Bina Paul have appreciated her work.

“We worked for over 10 months on this. There were many hiccups and at a point we had even decided to drop the project. But we slogged on because this story had to be told. And we are so overwhelmed by the response because we hadn’t gone for any paid promotion,” she says. Dialogues and script are by Vinu Janardanan. Music is by P.S. Jayhari. Nikihil Varma has done the sound design and Christy Sebastian editing.

Meanwhile Sou’s first feature film, starring Kunchacko Boban and Nimisha Sajayan, will go on floors in April.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 10:28:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/sou-sadanandan-on-her-short-film-rabbit-hole/article22608721.ece

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