Director: Shivaan Makker
“It’s a stinking world because there’s no law and order anymore!” – A Clockwork Orange
Shivan Makker’s latest film Pastiche is of the home invasion, thriller genre. Home invasion has been a talking point ever since Kubrick presented us with “The Clockwork Orange ”, and many works have been presented afterwards. Makker’s Pastiche pays homage to the classic. This film does not seem to be a drag as the emotional attachment Makker shares with the legendary filmmakers is evident throughout the film. “Pastiche” hauntingly portrays the traumatic side of violence as well as the pleasure one derives from it. Shivan Makker’s attempt to portray that uncontrolled brutality with sheer brilliance is successful.
Makker’s story revolves around the Goodwell family, middle-aged couple Adam and Susan and their son Mike. Adam is fired from his job as he checks gruesome news leaving his work for a while and seems to be slacking off. Susan is a homemaker who has to deal with Mike, a teenaged son immersed into his own world. Adam buys food while returning, probably tries to prepare them all for the unfortunate news, dejected and depressed he comes back home only to find his house invaded by the maniacs Sidney Loren and Kelly Cagney. Mike is dead and Susan is held captive.
The film is shot with much precision. With minute care for each frame the film stands out to its viewers. The Goodwill house is shown in a warmer tone. While the flashback scenes with the little boy are shown with an impeccable play of light and shadow. Sidney and Kelly are modeled upon Alex from Kubrick’s “The Clockwork Orange” but unlike Alex these two have no fixation for their targets. Rather, their moral compass is so twisted their targets are random, reminding us of Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs. One of the invaders has been through a tough childhood as we see how his passive mother kept mum while his oppressing father snatched his life force away.
Just like the movies of this genre the movie is full of violence and can be traumatizing or triggering to many, but it’s an absolute delight for those who prefer movies of this genre and can withstand the violent acts.
The torture scenes are shot with much detail, as we get two different points of view through the hunters and the hunted. The film also focuses on how violence is an inseparable part of our beings and a trying situation is enough to bring the cat out of the bag. The actors deserve a good clap for their acute representations of the characters. Brandon Scott Brown’s Adam and Vanessa Cleary’s Susan play the terrified, mourning and violated parents so well. Alex Perez and Alex Montaldo’s Kelly and Sidney is so vibrant that their presence becomes enough to send a chill. Montaldo’s portrayal of Sidney is so chilling and horrifying. He and Perez both nailed the facial expressions of the maniacs.
Pastiche means an artistic work in a style that imitates another work, artist, or period. Shivaan Makker has been an ardent lover of cinema. The influence of movies like Psycho, A Clockwork Orange, The Silence of the Lambs, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest are apparent in each and every frame of the movie. The movie’s poster is a clear nod to Kubrick. It gyrates a sense of haunting silence and captivity. In a way “Pastiche” itself becomes a pastiche, an attempt that is so earnest and good!