Trance- A case study on the harmful effects of the drug called Religion

In a scene where the life of our protagonist Viju Prasad(Fahaad Faasil) is going to be changed forever, A character Solomon(GVM) makes him an offer he can’t refuse. He says he started a venture “To feed people’s emotions with a powerful Drug”

“DRUG?”  Viju Reacts Astonished

“Religion” Solomon casually says, now by the time this scene ends I have already placed it somewhere in between OMG-oh my god and PK.

Viju Prasad is a motivational speaker from Kanya kumari. He is a motivational speaker and someone who tries to be very superficial. He lives and works hard for his brother and himself and he is not someone who would give up on anything easily. He plugs in promotion about his work whenever and wherever he can. But even that is used later in this film as a plot point. He tries his level best to save his suicidal brother but fails, devastated he moves to Mumbai. Now an opportunity awaits him to redeem him of this tragedy and live his dream life.

The beauty of this film lies in its subtlety. He is trained by Avarachan to learn the gimmicks of becoming a pastor. When he first meets Avarachan, he holds his hands for a bit too long enough to make him uncomfortable and a bit more than firm. When training avarachan says that Viju is now his slave and he is like Jesus to him because his future depends upon the approval by him. What are they trying to hint over here( or am I reading too much in-between the lines?). He is given a new name, new identity He is now called pastor Joshua Carlton named after the initials of Jesus Christ.

Fahaad Faasil before entering a packed auditorium looks at himself in the mirror, maybe it’s his acting or maybe it’s the lighting but at this moment I was ready to believe that he is God Almighty. He looks at himself in the mirror and claps; this almost reminded me of the iconic mirror scene by Joaquin Phoenix in Joker. He enters the auditorium and slays the show. This man is not a pastor, he is a rock star. The Guys above him who manages to business enquires “how many lambs came?” by lambs they mean the devotees. He does his miracles, Gimmicks and there are scenes which serve as an ode to many of these healing memes which came recently.

To induce this drug called religion to people and to make sure he doesn’t lose the balance and keep the energy of people this man himself is supposed to take a few drugs. These are given to him in the form of tablets as a treatment for his sleeplessness. Why can’t he sleep? Maybe it’s his conscience or maybe it’s the traumatic past. But when he is awake he is constantly on a high. The difference between his life as a pastor and a depressed individual is performed in a very convincing way by him. This drug inducing and visual usage of tablets and the difference this man and the people experiences during the sessions is portrayed remarkably.

But the trouble comes when the pastor stops listening to his masters. The master and slave relationship is reinforced over here and this time it ends with him receiving a death blow. They try to scrape off his identity and hire a new man to run the show. But Bang, The pastor is resurrected. He wakes up from the hospital bed after 3 days (another biblical reference). The dosage of drugs increases and so does the event. They plan a grand festival which is no less than a music festival. Simultaneously we are shown the track of people getting influenced by his sayings and buying the healing oil and water. A father refuses to take her kid to the hospital because of what the pastor says. And there is a subplot involving a character played by Nazariya Nazim. This movie kind of tests your patience with all these things, but in the end it remains worth watching for the message it carries, for the humor it provides and for the sake of the Lord Almighty himself, Fahaad Faasil.

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