You Versus Yourself

‘The Broken (Reflexion Trouble)’ is an unconventional thriller. I was interested in it as it seemed to be about doppelgangers, of how some seem to see doubles of themselves, which foretells of something unfortunate going to happen. It’s hard to comment on whether this strange phenomenon is real, though it seems possible – if the doubles were manifested by hallucinations or evil spirits, who seek to disturb one’s mind. The tagline of the film is simple – ‘Face your fear’ and this subject fear is who appears to be oneself. Shivers! In an unnerving scene, the protagonist sees her double, and tails her to an apartment. As we wonder what would happen if she apprehensively confronts ‘herself’, she hesitates and thinks of backing away… The idea of meeting one’s doppelganger makes great material for horror stories I think, much more so than monsters or psycho-killers, though some say there are, according to the law of averages, at least eight people in the world who look like you. [Trailer below]

If you saw ‘yourself’ walking on the streets, would you investigate? Would you have to courage to face ‘yourself’? Would you be curious to know more about who this person is, who has similar karma in terms of appearance? Would you be entranced or disgusted by ‘yourself’? Would it essentially be an inward quest to solve the mystery of who is ‘yourself’? What if it is the ‘dark side’ of ‘yourself’? Would you fight or even try to kill him or her? Would it be right to do so? Would the fighting or resisting one be the truly evil one? Who represents the demon of ego? Assuming that your ‘self’ has a twin out there, how would you know if you are the ‘good or evil twin’? Are you really ‘you’ or do you think so only? How do you ascertain this? If your double is out to replace you, how do you know it would not be for the better? Can you better your ‘self’ to deserve to be the real ‘you’? The truth is, there is no fixed ‘you’ in the first place – anywhere and anytime – because ‘you’ change.

The only other film I had seen, in which there was a doppelganger character was ‘Little Buddha’, where the Buddha-to-be faces Mara (who personifies the greatest evil in the universe), who represented the illusion of his ‘self’. In the scene (as below), Mara is vanquished via direct and penetrating mindfulness of who he truly is, without a physical fight. The illusory must be overcome with realisation of the truth. Note though, that this scene, engaging as it is, is a creative re-imagination of how the Buddha faced his inner demon of ‘self’ to conquer it. The scriptural versions of what happened is in some ways more dramatic. ‘The Broken’ doesn’t really explain how the doppelganger phenomenon arises, but that wasn’t really the point. What matters were the questions it provokes – for literal ‘self-reflection!’

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