Directed by Shivaan Makker | Reviewed by Samiksha Periwal
The word ‘pastiche’ literally translates to an artistic work done in such a way that it replicates another given work, artist or period. In this film, the protagonist also attempts to commit crimes scenes as shown in the fictitious world of cinema. It is a story of two psychopaths Sidney Loren and Katherine Cagney who want to become famous through attempting heinous crimes. They wish for their names to be listed among infamous criminals such as Eric Harris, James Holmes, Ted Bundy and so on. This film focuses on one of their crime situations where they invade an average, salaried employee’s house and try to create a cinematic violent scene by holding his family hostage and recording the entire sequence of events followed by this. The story then unfolds to showcase more of their violent fantasies and the consequences of the same, which is a nail-biting experience for the audience to explore and watch the entire story.
This narrative is largely based on violent fantasies and throws light on the thinking patterns and pleasures of psychopaths like Sidney who can even murder people just for their own satisfaction. Its subject matter is focused on dark social realities and contains explicit aggressive behaviors which is why this film caters to only a specific part of the masses. If you are someone who enjoys watching crime dramas that have a major element of thrill, anxiety and different fantasies then ‘Pastiche’ is the perfect pick for you. It highlights the brutal existence of evil in terms of their perspective trying to showcase why an individual actually ends up in behaving a certain way. The broad theme focuses on the story of two psychopath villains who are also copycats. They imitate fiction and non-fiction with a metaphysical touch which makes it unique and all the more engaging. This movie also touches upon the idea of fluidity in sexuality by adding an element of love in terms of a gay relationship between the two villains.
The mental functioning of different characters in the film is shown to be very contrasting. The father, Mike is someone who is tired and depressed because of his workplace drama, his wife Susan is also in a difficult space where her only son has stopped responding or complying to whatever she says as a mother who is worried for her only son and finally their son Adam being a teenager has his own problems. This kind of a family situation is something that has become very common in contemporary times. Therefore, as a viewer you might relate to this family’s story. However, a stark difference in the theme occurs when the childhood and disturbed home environment of the main villain, Sidney is shown in the film. The concept of trauma and its long-lasting impact on an individual’s life is something that this film has successfully portrayed through his character. Alex Montaldo who plays Sidney Loren in the film has done exceptionally well in bringing out the true emotions of this part and hence his role is quite impactful throughout the narrative. The camera work is also quite impressive throughout the film with shifting perspectives from character to character and focus on up-close emotions through capturing facial expressions of the actors. It uplifts the mood created by in each scene and adds on to the thrill.
The writer and director Shivaan Makker claims to be a follower of Alfred Hitchcock and believes in his ideology that cinema is the safest place to experience fear as the audience ultimately feels safe sitting on the other side of the silver screen. He prefers to tell stories that have a dark subject matter which is generally taken directly from reality. The director suggests that ‘Pastiche’ is a limited series and this film is its first part.
In a nut shell, this film is high strung and keeps you hooked on to the screen till the very end. It is extremely impactful with an unconventional yet convincing storyline that creates a feeling of excitement for its viewers.
Samiksha Periwal is an 20 year old student from Kolkata, West Bengal. She is an enthusiast, eager to learn and explore. She has done her schooling from Lakshmipat Singhania Academy, Kolkata and is currently a student of Christ University, Bangalore pursuing a triple major in BA Psychology, Sociology and English. She is a passionate writer and has won many laurels for her school through the years.