CAST: Shashank Arora, Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial, Shivani Raghuvanshi
DIRECTION: Kanu Behl
DURATION: 1 hour 57 minutes
STORY: Kanu Behl’s promising debut is a riveting account of survival, unfulfilled dreams, emotional meltdowns and crime. Set in Delhi’s dystopic underbelly, the film terrifyingly lingers in your mind long after you’ve seen it.
MOVIE REVIEW: Right from the opening scene, Titli snatches you from the safe and secure confines of your home and drops you amidst the violent chaos, caused by the crime inflicting dysfunctional family.
Revolving around three brothers, reminiscent of our society’s patriarchal hooliganism, the drama plays around with your mind in varied ways. Titli (Shashank Arora), youngest among the three, aspires to distance himself from his indignant brothers (Ranvir Shorey, and Amit Sial) owing to their dubious behaviour. He hopes for a better future.
The father on the contrary, nonchalantly watches his elder sons partaking in nefarious activities, as long as they put food on the table. With no steady income at hand, the family unapologetically resorts to crime. In order to clip his wings, they get Titli married to naive but headstrong Neelu (Shivani Raghuvanshi). She secretly harbours her own set of dreams. Can the two escape the family trap?
Morally ambiguous initially, it’s the flawed characters that make this noirish crime drama compelling. They are not one-dimensional, which makes you empathise with them despite their eccentricities. Brutally real, Titli is essentially a disturbing tale on deep-rooted frustration and a sense of worthlessness that stems the criminal culture in India.
It explores our modern-day opportunistic and exploitative tendencies. A saga of caged emotions and deceiving people that exude ruthlessness, Titli works as a documentary-style psychological thriller that evokes panic and discomfort.
All the actors do a commendable job but it is Ranvir Shorey who is most effective. This is by far his best performance. Production designer Parul Sondh manages to transport you to the dingy backyards of old Delhi.
Titli is not for the faint-hearted as it not only introduces you but makes you feel a part of the family that gives you the creeps.