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average rating is 3 out of 5


Joshua Boulton


Posted on:

Mar 14, 2022

Film Reviews
Directed by:
Nithin Jameson
Written by:
Nithin Jameson
Maneesh MM, Surya Krishna, Awin Sunny, Devassy Puthoor

Over the past decade or so India has seen a boom of the thriller genre. Taut crime thrillers such as ‘Drishyam’, ‘Talvar’ and ‘Mumbai Police’ have been all the rage over there. ‘Rakthacharitham’ is a short of the same genre, but completely different in style.

It tells the story of a small-time criminal who’s on the run from both the cops and rival gangs. The man is confident and brazen on the outside but inside he’s scared. The fear and paranoia is slowly eating away at him, the fly, which was buzzing very quietly at first, is now all he can hear. Trapped in this one small, scrubby room, with just himself, some liquor and the insects, he’s faced with the hard truth of what he’s done, and the growing sense that he’ll face serious consequences for his actions.


Shooting a man is no small thing, especially in the Indian gang world, where there’s on average 2000 gang-related homicides each year. A small number compared to the US, perhaps, but that makes the quench for payback all the more excessive. To be a gang member in India, even at a local level, is an extremely difficult place to be.


The criminal knows this, hence why he turns to the liquor, or what’s left of it, before trying to get some rest. The shut-eye is much-needed, he’ll need to be in prime physical and mental condition to evade the clutches of the law and the gang. But gnawing away at him, eating him from inside is that growing sense of guilt, the feeling that maybe he does deserve to face the music for his actions. That maybe he got in with the wrong people, and now he’s got to pay the price.


Director Nithin Jameson understands that completely, guiding the camera with zealous precision over the criminal, as he contemplates his desperate predicament. The camera picks up on the distinct griminess of the room, resting on the ashes from a burnt out cigarette and the dirty label on the bottom of a bottle. It’s a relentlessly ugly view, but I think that’s what they were after, and it is in fact a credit to director of photography Ashfaq Ahmed for that. Ahmed also serves as the films editor, which is perhaps its greatest strength, with smooth transitions between shots and surprisingly good sound mixing as well.


The biggest let down comes in the form of the script, or to be more specific the dialogue. There isn’t much, just one phone conversation, but it’s a poorly written conversation, and one which feels unnaturally crafted. The other gripe with the script is the lack of language when the criminal dives to the floor and begins madly rummaging through his belongings. At first it appears that he’s looking for his phone, but it isn’t until the lengthly sequence is complete that it becomes apparent that he’s just insane. It doesn’t feel as though the scenes fits in with the rest of the film.


‘Rakthacharitham’ is a promising film from Nithin Jameson, who shows potential behind the camera and has created an engaging, if not always concise story. It’s held back by a bad script, but after the dialogue stops about a minute or two in, it’s mostly plain sailing

About the Film Critic
Joshua Boulton
Joshua Boulton
Short Film
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