There’s a lot of promise in the Malayalam female-led psychological thriller, but the execution is mediocre at best.
We review the 2023 Netflix film Rekha, which does not contain spoilers.
Rekha is an Indian revenge thriller that made its cinematic debut in February 2023 before its global premiere on Netflix in March. The Malayalam-language feature stars Vincy Aloshious in the titular role and was written and directed by Jithin Issac Thomas.
Rekha (2023) Review and Plot Summary
During the first half of Rekha, it is easy to forget you’re watching a thriller, as the vibe is more in the romance genre. The titular heroine is an atypical teenager who lives with her parents. She’s pursuing an education in sports and hates household chores but is very close to her kind and permissive father.
Like many teenagers, Rekha is in the early stages of a relationship with the local shopkeeper’s unemployed son, Arjun (Unni Lalu).
Arjun is older yet insists he’s madly in love. He’s also a bit too handsy and demanding when it comes to asking Rekha for physical affection. One night, he sneaks into her room and coerces the young woman to sleep with him. The next day, she realizes she’s made a terrible mistake and is forced to seek revenge.
Rheka is a more nuanced and artistic version of rape-revenge features that plagued the 1970s horror genre. And the scenes where the young lead is persuaded to do things she doesn’t want to do are compellingly hard to watch and frighteningly realistic.
The film is filled to the brim with gratuitous violence, shaky close-ups, and fast-paced shots. But it somehow doesn’t fully tie together, and the narrative doesn’t make as much sense as it should.
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The overall pacing is a bit off, and the second half leading up to the final confrontation seems to drag unnecessarily.
From the beginning, our lead is shown to be different from other girls, from the clothes she wears to her unusual physical strength, and the villain’s mistake is to underestimate her.
Vincy Aloshious is fantastic at portraying her character’s rage and deranged tendencies, but in scenes where she should show any other emotions, the performance falls a bit flat. Her co-star, Unni Lalu, is great as the love interest turned villain, and the chemistry between the two leads is one of the few things holding it all together.
Is the 2023 film Rekha good or bad?
Rekha is not a good film, but it’s not bad, either. There’s a lot of promise in the Malayalam female-led psychological thriller, but the execution is mediocre at best.
It would have been more enjoyable to watch without the overuse of cinematographic gimmicks and artificially extended runtime.
Is the 2023 movie Rekha worth watching?
Fans of Malayalam cinema will probably enjoy this title and its approach to the scorned woman trope. But there are better-made movies out there exploring the same themes.
What did you think of the 2023 Netflix film Rekha? Comment below.