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May 1, 2017

Titli

Titli is shot on the other side of New Delhi. It is the outer core of New Delhi's National Capital Territory and the dusty satellite cities of Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Noida where virulent skyscrapers and their support network of slums spring up on an everyday basis. Lutyen’s Delhi of wide vistas and imperialistic stone buildings could be another planet for the three brothers in this movie, who eke out a living in one of the many oppressive slums in this urban border zone.

Titli is not a story of geographies as my talk so far might have led you to believe. It is a story of people, people who follow unconventional means to make money and want to escape the claustrophobia of familial and economic dysfunction and move on to expansive landscapes with brighter possibilities.

Titli is the pet name of the youngest of the three brothers. A silent bystander in the beginning who then takes the story by the horns and turns into something of a coming of age movie for millennial youth from the lower strata of India’s urban society.

The movie extracts strong and memorable performances from its main cast that includes Shashank Arora as Titli, Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial, Shivani Raghuvanshi and the director Kanu Behl’s own father, theater actor-director Lalit Behl. As expected with the story, direction and the choice of actors one can predict that Titli is a festival circuit movie. It ended up bagging awards in different categories at several international film festivals, the most notable being the Camera d’Or nomination at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.

It is an interesting movie to watch for a serious film viewer.

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