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Vigil Bose’s short film ‘Fall’ explores post-traumatic stress through a former undercover operative in the US

A still from Fall   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

What happens when life after ‘work’ turns a psychological game where your mind continues to play tricks with you? It’s in fact the real-life story many war veterans and combatants face. Kochi-born Vigil Bose’s “experimental” short film Fall explores the struggles of a former Indian-American undercover anti-surgency operative in the US in exorcising his demons. He cryptically reveals his state of mind to a psychiatrist (Sindhu Nair) who is kind enough to extend a helping hand, but the past inevitably catches up.

The psychodrama plays out like a mystery thriller wherein we follow a paranoia-stricken Michael Williams (Jiju Nair) as he flees his own delusions and traumatic past. “Fall is an attempt to seek an answer to the question on how the lives of undercover operatives change as they return home and attune themselves to a civilian life. The extreme stress of their professional lives often leaves damaging after-effects,” says Vigil, an IT professional based in Virginia, US, in an E-mail interview.

Vijil Bose

Vijil Bose   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Filmed in several locations in the US, with portions shot at Areekkal waterfalls in Ernakulam, the 20-minute-long Fall brings on screen some impressive visuals and visual effects. “As most of the locations were outdoors, I preferred to use natural light as much as possible,” says Vijil who also cranked the camera. “I realised that the psychological elements in the film had a broader social impact and I wanted the inherent message to resonate with more people,” he says.

With minimal dialogues, the short tries to focus on the mind of the troubled protagonist more through his actions and some sleek editing. “I was keen on using the power of emotions and visuals in telling the story than heavy use of dialogues,” he adds. Though Vigil clarifies that he does not personally know any undercover operative, he approached a close friend who “knew someone whose behavioural traits were quite similar” to the central character’s for accurate portrayal. “Over the years, I have read so many reports about psychological issues among war veterans after they return home,” says Vigil, who moved to the US in 1997.

A still from ‘Fall’

A still from ‘Fall’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Fall draws its cast from the Malayali diaspora. “Since all our cast and crew had other full-time jobs, we filmed only during the weekends and finished shooting in eight days.” The short has had a good run at international film festival circuits.

Vigil says as the film has been released on Amazon in the US and the UK, a YouTube release may not contractually feasible at present. However, the team is working towards a release on iTunes and Google Play platforms for a wider viewership.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 7:46:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/us-based-techie-vigil-boses-short-film-fall-explores-post-traumatic-stress-through-an-ex-undercover-operative-in-the-us/article26384539.ece

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