(+) Natural performances, realistic representation, story, screenplay, Gaddappa,
(-) Realistic representation, editing
Movies like Thithi aren’t made everyday, not in India! Especially, not in Kannada. I first heard about the awesomeness of this movie when it was screened in Bangalore International Film Festival – 2016. I had to give it a miss back then! Whenever I skip a Kannada / Hindi movie in a film festival, I do that hoping it will be eventually released in cinemas. But, very few of those actually make it to the big screen! Thithi, now a National Award winner in the category of Best Feature Film in Kannada, is one of those movies which have actually made it! I think, it was the National Award!
Watching a Kannada movie in a multiplex is not always a great experience. Very few people watch these movies in multiplexes. Yet, I chose PVR @ Orion Mall. It arguably offers the best movie-going experience in Bangalore. I was surprised to see the auditorium fill up before the screening started! I felt like I was attending the film festival again!
Coming to the movie, Thithi is a well-planned and executed film that taps into the different emotions that flow out of human hearts when someone in the family dies. But, that sounds like overloaded drama, right? Thithi isn’t that for sure! The movie is not a rip-roaring comedy that will make you laugh, holding your stomach. It doesn’t keep you at the edge of your seat! What it does, is to make you sit back and watch a myriad of emotions come alive on the big screen.
A 102 year-old Century Gowda dies and leaves behind a large piece of land to his drinking, good-for-nothing son Gaddappa. Gaddappa’s son Thammanna is in dire need of some money and sets his eyes on selling the land his father has inherited. Thammanna’s son Abhi, a fresh teenager, has an urgency to grow up. How the lives of these three members of Century Gowda’s clan deal with the old man’s death, their own lives and maintain their relationship with each other makes up the rest of the story.
The performances of the actors are so natural that you’ll start feeling that a real footage from a real village is being played out! Channegowda’s Gaddappa is, surely, a character you’re bound to fall in love with irrespective of whether he is speaking or just staring at the camera or walking without giving a shit about what’s going on in the village! The direction is good and the director’s attention to the details bringing out the nuances of village-culture and traditions deserves a mention.
While the film has mostly pluses, it surely has its own minuses. The script could’ve been a bit more spicier. I would have been happier if the relationship between these fathers and sons were explored more. In a few scenes, you start wondering whether these fathers and sons really know each other! While the satires and the ironies do make you laugh throughout, the film could’ve had a funnier climax. It gets a bit serious and ends with a lonely Gaddappa enjoying the warmth of fire outside the village.
The cinematography, too, could’ve been a bit, well, cinematic. I’m not a fan of truly realistic camerawork as such works concentrate on the action and not the setting! The editing department could’ve used their scissors a bit more to make the product crispier!
This Thithi, is a mostly-sweet-sometimes-sour feast celebrating the departure of Century Gowda just like the dishes you’re served in a thithi! Go watch it!