Rating : 4.5/5
Genre : Drama
Year : 2015
Running time : 2 hours 7 minutes
Director : Kanu Behl
Cast : Shashank Arora, Ranvir Shorey, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Lali Behl, Prashant Singh, Amit Sial
Kid rating: R
“Titli” is the youngest son of a lower-middle class Delhi family. The elder two sons, Vikram (Shorey) and Bawla(Sial) are engaged in various violent con-schemes, car-jacking one of them. Titli is desperately trying to escape this “hellhole of a home”, but doing that will take money, money he doesn’t have. He is railroaded into marrying Neelu (Raghuvanshi), to bring a female accomplice into their gang. She, however, has her own agenda.There is a way for him and her to get what they want, but it’s going to be messy.
Shashank Arora is magnificent as Titli, the relative softie of the lot, a dour-faced young man looking for a way out. Shorey is the extremely violent eldest brother Vikram, and Amit Sial the pacifist middle brother, calming Vikram down from his rage-filled fits. Lalit Behl (the director’s own father) is the parasitic pater, seen watching tv, ingesting copious amounts of tea and lingering just long enough to make sure his wants are met. Shivani Raghuvanshi portraying Neelu steals the limelight, as the docile-looking homely bahu, who turns out not to be so pliable after all.
Titli is a dark film, filled with lowlifes, but I do feel for the characters. What gets me is the abject wretchedness of the whole thing. There is no straight and easy road; crime is the natural alternative. They don’t know any better than violence, and their way of life is a spiral downwards, stripping them of basic compassion and empathy along the way. Basic survival is the big concern, the niceties of life put paid to by the every-day brutality. Each character reeks of helpless rage, and you can’t be anything but transfixed as the drama unfolds on screen.
Titli is one unpredictable ride. I will say that it ends on a hopeful note, which is great; I like movies that show that even after being buffeted by unforgiving circumstances, the conscience survives.
Kidwise: Some scenes in this film are pretty gory (the hammer used as a weapon) and bloody – it was hard to watch. Not for a younger audience at all.