Friday, November 21, 2014

South Asian International Film Festival Spotlight: Titli

I’m excited to cover a few selections for the second year in a row from the South Asian International Film Festival, exhibiting films from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal, which presents its eleventh year in New York City from November 17th-23th.

Directed by Kanu Behl
Screening November 21 at 8pm

This drama, called “Butterfly” internationally, comes from India and presents the story of Titli, a young man caught up in a life of carjacking and petty crime who, as is often the case, wants to make a clean break. Titli is quiet and somber compared to his loud and abrasive brothers, who balk at the idea of him leaving and do everything they can to keep him where he is. The ensuing tale is about who Titli is as a person and what is important to him, since he already exists in a world where getting out isn’t a true possibility, but the idea of starting a new, untarnished life is undeniably appealing. This could be classified as a mobster drama in a different culture, one where thievery and side businesses don’t produce the kind of luxury they might in a wealthier country but instead just enable continued existence a base level. Titli’s story is interesting, but this film doesn’t quite come alive while telling it.

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