08 May 2016

'Tithi' (Kannada Movie): Review

Review of Kannada movie 'Tithi':

One day in a village in Mandya district, a 100-year-old man ('Century' Gowda) dies. 11 days later, his death ceremony is performed. During these 11 days, his three descendants - son Gaddappa, grandson Tammanna and great-grandson Abhishek - go through various adventures and misadventures.

The old Gaddappa spends his time walking around, playing with children, drinking and smoking. The young Abhishek makes some money through several activities (not exactly legal) and spends it on drinking and gambling with his friends. Stuck in between the two is the middle-aged Tammanna whose life revolves around one thing: money problems. Their paths keep intersecting comically with one another in the small universe of their village.

The three characters represent the three different stages of life. The grandfather has seen everything in life and has become a quasi-Buddha. The grandson is just entering life and is full of boyish enthusiasm. The hapless father is stuck in the middle of life - and tries to deal with it by telling some lies and breaking some rules.

Tithi is like a documentary on an Indian village - with a ton of comedy. It looks as if the filmmakers landed up in a village with a camera and simply recorded whatever happened. The actors are all, well, non-actors (ie, real villagers). The language is the rough dialect of rural Mandya - and is outrageously funny (English subtitles are provided).

The multiple intersecting/converging storylines is reminiscent of Alejandro Inarritu's Death trilogy (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel). The stages-of-life approach would get a nod of approval from Leo Tolstoy. And the authentic portrayal of a village is like an S L Bhyrappa novel come to life.

Director Ram Reddy and scriptwriter Eere Gowda have created a masterpiece. Tithi is a hilarious village comedy on the surface. But beneath the humour and simplicity is a beautiful statement on the fundamental truths of life. Tithi is honest, courageous and brilliant - a milestone in Indian cinema.

Tithi won two awards at the Locarno International Film Festival - Best Picture and Best Director.

1 comment:

Larry Morales said...

Thithi was a comedy entertainer and it is based on three different characters from the same family. Their life styles and the way of leading life are totally different. You have presented the movie review in a good manner.