The story is the entire soul of the movie 9. It’s thrilling, engaging and most importantly, intelligent. I, personally, love movies that demand the use of intelligence from the audience. “Nine” is so well made that every audience from different age group could grasp an understanding of the depth in the story, after a careful examination of the film. And all the credit should go to the director for that.
There are two possible explanations for the movie; a fantasy based explanation and a psychological explanation. Director actually played with the minds of the audience and in the end, gave the power to the audience to decide the story.
Was Eva real? Or was she a schizophrenic figment of Albert’s imagination?
Probably, the director didn’t want to tell this secret straightaway to the audience. Both the speculations have got equal validation. A rational thinker can easily say that it was all the schizophrenic and bipolar behaviour of Albert. But a person who is more inclined to fantasy and imagination can conclude that Eva was real.
Personally, I am very excited to write about this since its very rare that we get an opportunity to breakdown the depth of a Malayalam film. Lijo Jose Pellissery’s films are the ones that previously gave such opportunities. Before that, only a very few directors attempted to experiment with such level of film making in the Malayalam film industry. Of course, there were many Malayalam films that had different layers in the story. But only very rarely, did a film got directed in a way to brilliantly hide different layers in them. Stories written by M.T. Vasudevan Nair and those many movies directed by Bharatan and Padmarajan were all quite deep. But 9 is different from such genre of movies.
There is a scene from the movie where Eva goes to a textile shop and there she has an odd conversation with the shopkeeper lady. The dialogues in the conversation are quite odd for Albert to have with the shopkeeper lady. But, in a rational sense, the shopkeeper could have an odd conversation with Albert at that moment for, maybe it was a ladies only shop and she might have thought it was odd for such a man to behave in an unusual way at a ladies shop. (Its all speculation)
Eva has the same face as Albert’s childhood teacher. This is also a strong point that supports the rational perspective of the movie. But, on the other hand, there are scene in the movie where Eva shapeshifts to Annie, which suggests that the alien being could have shapeshifting powers. So, it could have taken the shape of Albert’s teacher as well. Here also, the rational and fantasy elements fall into a dilemma.
Also, another argument favouring Eva’s existence would be the scene where Albert’s colleague confronts him about Eva, where she actually says that Adam has mentioned about Eva, after which she is assaulted. So, a person who wants to believe in the fantasy can say that perhaps Adam talked to her about real Eva. But then, Albert didn’t let her finish talking, so the audience actually doesn’t know what she was about to say. Maybe she wanted to talk to Albert about Albert’s abnormal behaviour towards Adam. So, here also, both the fantasy and rational explanation has validation.
The most important scene in the movie is the climax scene where the cave drawings are shown. This is actually the time where most audience get convinced that Eva was real. But still, there is another rational explanation. In the movie, it is said that Adam likes to draw on the walls, so maybe it was Adam who drew those cave paintings. But this is a long shot. But then, Dr. Khan also tells Albert about cave drawings, so its possible that it was drawn by tribe people. And that’s a better analysis since the drawings had more information about tribes than what Adam would know, even if Khan praises Adam’s intelligence in one context.
If we analyze the entire human culture, fantasy and myth have always prevailed throughout the time. And as time and knowledge progressed, these “once fantasy” was given a more rational and scientific explanation. Even religion and Gods are being rationally evaluated by modern thinkers and psychiatrist. People who follow Canadian Clinical Psychiatrist Jordan Peterson could easily understand the relation between ancient mythical stories and its psychological factors. In the same way, Nine can be analysed.
So, even after careful analysis, I can only conclude that both options have equal strength. Only, Albert’s collegues and Adam knows who the real Eva is.