In 1921, Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss psychiatrist developed a projective test called the Rorschach Inkblot test. In the test, clients/patients are presented with ambiguous inkblots. They have to tell what image they see on the inkblots. As per the projective hypothesis, people will see different shapes when they are presented with ambiguous stimuli. The shapes one sees is a manifestation of what is present deep inside one’s mind. Most probably, it is their inner fears, conflicts, motives etc. Churuli is more or less the application of the same procedure in cinematic form.
Churuli is an ambiguous inkblot (like the Rorschach Inkblot test) used by the director to delve into the depths of the human psyche. The interpretations solely depend on the power of one’s unconscious mind. When the director presents us with the film, naturally or unnaturally, we form certain interpretations based on our inner feelings. These can be regarded as the primary interpretations we form while watching the film. There can also be a secondary interpretation, which happens after completing the film. But the extensive spoiler reviews on social media has affected this secondary part of our thought process.
Also Read: Untangling The Churuli Mystery
Rather than finding an interpretation by oneself, most viewers rely on reviews of others to get an answer for something they have personally experienced. This limits the viewers’ imaginations and their personal choice. This is definitely not something the director actually wanted. He wants the viewers to think out of the box and run their imaginations wild. The audience should decide what is happening; they should search for answers by themselves. The meaning of the film is unique to each viewer and it can be totally different from others, like a powerful artistic creation.
Lijo Jose Pellissery seems uninterested in providing an explanation for the film. This is hinted at during the conversation between Vinay Forrt and Chemban Vinod when they talk about the criminal “Kurup” in the film. Chemban Vinod tells that there is no thrill when the police catch the real Kurup. He convinces that it is the mystery and it is the anonymity of Kurup that makes it more interesting. Don’t you feel that these words came from the director himself? The director doesn’t want answers, he wants his viewers to keep asking questions to themselves.
The more people ask questions about the film, the more successful the ulterior motive of a director is. This is exactly what legendary directors like Ingmar Bergman and David Lynch did. They leave the interpretations completely to the viewers. Churuli does the same. It brings out the beauty inside the ambiguity and then leaves it for the audience. Vinay Forrt’s character might have undergone the same, we don’t know whether he experienced illusions, delusions or hallucinations. But one thing is sure, whatever he experienced is a manifestation of his innermost fears.
Churuli is Ambiguous, Ambiguity is fear!
It causes the logical part of our mind to get caught in the web of chaos, like a person who is obsessed with his own thoughts. Can we find a reasonable explanation for this film? Or do we really need an explanation? Certain forms of art are to be experienced rather than explained. Enjoy the Choas!