Previously, I tried my best to post positive write-ups based on psychological aspects concerning the Indian Cinema. But sometimes, when I come across certain misused facts on mental health, I feel guilty for looking into the positives while ignoring the negatives. These elements used by filmmakers, who might argue that it is solely used for entertainment utility. Regardless of exposition, it can plant seeds of unconscious and wrong perception on certain constituents of psychology among a wide range of audiences. Subsequently, many movies misrepresent individuals suffering from mental health.
In 2018, the movie Ratsasan psychological crime thriller directed by Ram Kumar was released. The IMDb rating is 8.4/10, also it has gained best reviews from the newspapers and famous YouTube channels for highly engaging anticipation and uncertainty by promoting good background scores. The storyline revolves around a serial killer – Christopher, who brutally kills the schoolgirls, while a newbie cop – Arun Kumar (Vishnu Vishal) has to track down the psychotic killer before his niece is endangered.
However, the title Ratsasan hints at the antagonist Christopher. Now let’s break down the salient significance of the character Christopher. He is shown to be suffering from a rare conditioned, fatal and premature ageing syndrome called Progeria, also known as Hutchinson-Gilford syndrome or Benjamin Button.
Due to random rapid in the genetic mutation in a particular location on the LMNA gene causes him to age swiftly. It includes symptoms such as physical changes in growth failure, loss of body fat and hair, skin changes etc. which is portrayed.
Alongside, individualists suffering from this syndrome depict no violent behaviour and they are considered to be harmless. Instead, the movie used this as an element along with other few characteristics that bring out an explanation for developing the aggressiveness in Christopher’s behaviour. Due to his condition, the kids in school bully and label with various names triggers the rage.
Besides, it shows a big difference in sympathy and empathy. He likes a girl Sophie, who sympathises with him for being born that way by failing to understand and accept him. This scene manifesting in scenarios of our society, we feel sad for someone but we make zero efforts to accept their individuality.
If you had noticed, one particular scene sums up the reason for turning into a psychotic killer. While he kills the girl and comes out of his house, he senses the fear of people who bullied and let him down.
In 2009, Amitabh Bachchan’s movie Paa which was inspired by the Hollywood movies’ Jack, importantly individuals conditioned with this don’t survive for a very long time, the maximum age limit is 14 years.
The element used to create both the movies Paa as well as Ratsasan was Progeria, but it bought out two different opinions on characters. In general, it is very necessary to be extra careful to use factors of psychological pieces because it can create a major difference leading to the misinterpretation by stigmatising mental health.