The Glimpse

Directed by Chandrika Abhang  |  Review by Moumita Deb

Adapted from Harvey’s August Heat, The Glimpse, at the very exposition, convincingly shapes up the looming suspense, with a series of montages, captured as fragments of the artist’s elusive imagination, making a journey through his hallucinating mind. With a poignant reflection on, how universe signals us in mysterious ways, the suspense is retained throughout the scenes, even at the very end.

This not only gives us enough space to imagine what would happen eventually, but also makes us think deeply about decision, death, and destiny. Withencroft, the professional artist, is powerfully mirrored as the victim of malignant fate which broods over his very existence and the sinister stone mason, whose pieces of work surprisingly indicate each other’s future, meet by strange coincidence, for the first time in an oppressively hot day, but, can they avoid the dreadful fate? If they make the avoidance, will they meet the similar adverse destiny again?

This accident is different. It is not a single crime with criminal and victim. It is rather a coincidence in which both are victims. Who is then the criminal in this movie? Neither of the two. Those artworks are innocent. The heat not only refers to the temperature but also refers to the aura and condition. A symbol, which impresses their fretful senses and fortunes. Who is the criminal then? Providence? Imminent Fate? Destiny? Adventure! Withencroft’s “best” painting for Atkinson, or her “beautiful piece of” gravestone for Withencroft, or the horrible heat?

The originality of the plot creates a strong sense of adventure as the suspense intensifies and unfolds layer by layer. The accident forms the basis of the paranormal occurrences, most of which remain unjustified and unanswered. Two strangers unconsciously know the other’s correct information, either the appearance or the name and birthday. The low angle shots add magnificently to enhance the built-up tension. Coincidence gains predominance as an integral part of their supernatural but dreadful fate.

In the very first scene, the viewer is made to substitute into the protagonist’s weird world of strange and uncanny coincidences. Contrast to the artist’s sensible tone; the viewers get more and more nervous as the victim experiences the amazing incidents one after the other, as fate draws him closer to his inevitable death. The viewers may feel a little scared, but curiosity motivates them to keep on watching, just like an adventure with a sense of looming fear. If there has to be a criminal, it would be destiny ushering in the premonition of death.

The protagonists cannot avoid their fates which are pre-decided by divine intervention, but they can try to get control of the situation themselves and fight against the adverse destiny. Two embittered souls, unknown to each other, whose glimpses of the other’s possible future suggest that one of them will be murdered and the other will be the murderer. The Glimpse, however, differs from most horror movies because the mood throughout the bulk of the movie is unusually somber with an approaching uncertainty than being too scary. Director has a simple, yet appealing style, and he doesn’t feel the need to announce how horrible – or horrifying – his character’s experience is. The movie opens with the protagonist – an artist, in his home, alone, creating a detailed sketch in his confused mind of horrible memories and haunting images.

One of the fascinating aspects the director deals with is its sense of place. Knowing how important it is to establish a sense of place in a creative piece, he manipulates the sense of place so we feel that we viewers are walking in a dream. The oppressive heat and the imminent thunderstorm are the only indicators that the protagonist is entering a potentially threatening situation, the only harbingers of eerie events that the plot provides. Generally, his voice is nonchalant as he relates his experience.

But the ending is still unnerving, and frustratingly ambiguous. The reader is left to infer the protagonist’s fate at the end of the film, although one possibility may seem obvious. One is left intrigued by the mood shift in the last scene and allured by the story that Harvey created. The moody score brings out the atmosphere of this tale of dark impulses, now unleashed by the rising storm in contrast to the too long exposure to the heat and dust while the film is replete with many interesting “semi-twists,” that culminates in the building up of a major twist. However, the explanation of the story’s bizarre coincidences remains unanswered.

 

Moumita-Deb

Moumita is a Kolkata based independent filmmaker and film critic. She holds a post- graduation degree in English literature from Jadavpur University. Reading novels of a wide range of authors of all genres from classic to contemporary has always been Moumita’s passion and calling. She also takes a strong liking in playing the Spanish guitar & has participated in quite a few concerts. Moumita has done her certification course in Cinematography, Video Editing and Filmmaking