By Karthik Keramalu
How would a person react to the passing of a close relative? The point of vulnerability would naturally increase with the closeness one is associated with the dead. Century Gowda, a 101-year-old man, dies, and his son who’s around 70 moves on as if nothing has happened after he’s told of his father’s demise. In any another movie, the son would have fallen into a puddle of tears.
The prologue of ‘Thithi’s’ trailer then makes way for the various intriguing characters created by the makers. Raam Reddy’s debut feature is about the quirkiness of three generations of sons. In many interviews, Reddy has spoken about the challenges of picking non-professional actors for his film. Well, the challenges are reserved only for the film team maybe. Because the trailer doesn’t show any sign of amateurishness.
The crew members are mostly newcomers and yet the film has won many international awards. If that’s not an achievement, I don’t know what is.
Nobody’s bothered about Century Gowda’s death. There’s no trace of sadness in their eyes. All a character can think of is the food that’s going to be served at the “Thithi”. He is looking forward to diving into the sumptuous non-vegetarian meal and he doesn’t want more “mourners” to join him as it will lessen the meat he can sink his teeth into.
Then, there’s a grandson who’s waiting to milk his father’s property without his knowledge, and a great-grandson who’s started to fall in love with a girl.
Where do you find such irreverent characters these days? The Tamil film ‘Kaakka Muttai’ sketched the lives of two slum children in a big city. It successfully grabbed the eyeballs of the audience. It was a moving piece of cinema. Now, this National Award winning Kannada movie is again trying to shorten the bridge between commercial cinema and art cinema by walking a new road in a village with characters made from the clay of the village itself.
I’m hoping that the gluttonous admirers of cinema will celebrate the arrival of ‘Thithi’ next month.