(K. Brent Tomer),
WHEN a small, unassuming film ambles into international festivals from an unlikely location—especially one marked by bucolic poverty—the jaded cinemagoer pauses. Never mind how many awards it has won. Are we here to see a movie, or to perform some duty of social conscience? Nor is it reassuring to hear that “Thithi” takes its time; stays focused on village life; and cannot be categorised as either drama, comedy or any other genre.
But give yourself to the first few minutes of this spectacularly assured story and abandon all doubt. It starts in a tumbledown village somewhere between Mysore and Bangalore, neither under- nor overplayed in its squalor, with a touch of rustic grace on the side. Without pause, the most ordinary things happen, and happen and happen, but every scene comes as a surprise. “Thithi” opens with the death of a man who is 101 years old. “Century” Gowda, as he has been called for the final year or two of his life, keels over during a languid routine of heckling passers-by. His son, himself a wizened old man, is nonplussed by the news; he looks like an…Continue reading