Monday, June 27, 2016

Thithi, A Kannada Movie...Watch A Village Through A Window!


Thithi, a Kannada Classic movie!
I am still savouring the nuances of this movie, 'Thithi'! I watched 'Lucia' a Kannada movie, a couple of weeks back.  I haven't watched Kannada movies for the past few years now.  Then heard about 'Lucia' and watched it.  It was quite impressive.  A 'different' type of movie. The same director, Raam Reddy has directed this movie, 'Thithi' also, so I was curious to see this movie also.  I did and was overwhelmed! Until now, Girish Karnad, GV Iyer etc. were the famous directors in Kannada movies.

The movie starts with an 101 year old eccentric man who is called Century Gowda, passing funny/luscious comments at the passers by.  Typical village scene...everybody takes them in their stride.  He was blabbering and walking on the street, suddenly buckles down and dies.  The whole hungama starts then! Everybody gathers together and starts arranging for his funeral.  His son, Gaddappa, who is also now, an old man, is roaming on the road, smoking beedi (sort of cigarette) and drinking 'tiger' brand local liquor and refuses to light the pyre of his father.  The villagers cajole and bring him over.  I love the easygoing nature of the villagers. They show later in the movie why he,  had become a recluse.  Gowda community is mostly rich farmers in Karnataka, as far as I know.

Now, the grandson of Century Gowda, Thammanna, needs large amount of money to conduct the 11th day 'pooja' of his grand father (an astrologer asks him to do it in a grand scale by feeding the whole village with meat feast). He asks his father, Gaddappa (means 'bearded father) to sign documents to name him as successor for Century gowda's 5 acres land.  Gaddappa refuses.  Thammanna looks for shortcuts to secure the land.  How he does in the village atmosphere is the plot of the story. 

Many other side stories, esp. the activities of Thammanna's son, the roaming shepherds, their lifestyle, their innocence...everything is picturized very naturally.  I loved them, their women and men and their happy innocence! All actors are amateurs, people from the actual village Nodekoppalu (co-writer of the movie, Ere Gowda's hometown) are cast in the movie.  Nobody was 'acting'.  They blended with the characters!

Wiki says:

The seed that gave rise to Thithi was planted during a visit that Reddy made to Nodekoppalu village in the Mandya district of Karnataka, the home town of the film's co-writer Eregowda. Reddy found the village, seen through the eyes of an insider, to contain within itself a highly cinematic world. Reddy then did a year-long stint at Prague Film School. Upon returning, re-visited the area frequently, conducting a three month exploratory process to better acquaint himself with the world. During this process, Eregowda and Reddy met and decided to revolve the film around three protagonists, Channegowda (Gadappa), Thammegowda S. (Thamanna), and Abhishek H.N. (Abhi), even before the idea for the story of the film had taken shape. Keeping the true life personalities of these three leads in mind, Reddy and Eregowda then began developing a screenplay that revolved around the death and thithi of a 101-year old cantankerous centenarian, Century Gowda. After Reddy and Eregowda finished the script, they had an ambitious 160 page screenplay with over a hundred characters. They then moved into pre-production work which included an eight-month long casting process to find actors to fill out smaller roles and putting together a crew for the film. At this stage, DoP Doron Tempert, Reddy's batch mate from Prague Film School, joined the development process and started building the story-telling style and approach with Reddy.

Award list:

Best First Feature: Raam Reddy
Golden Leopard - Filmmakers of the Present: Raam Reddy

Mumbai Film Festival 2015

International Competition: Raam Reddy

National Film Awards, India 2016

Regional Award: Best Feature film in Kannada, Raam Reddy, Prspctvs Productions. 

Palm Springs International Film Festival 2016

New Voices/New Visions Special Jury Mention
Raam Reddy. "The jury commended director Raam Reddy for taking his audience on a happily rambling journey, ... 
New Voices/New Visions Grand Jury Prize:              
    Raam Reddy

Pune International Film Festival (PIFF) 2016

Festival Prize:  Raam Reddy

San Francisco International Film Festival 2016

Golden Gate Award: New Director, Raam Reddy

Normally, these types of village stories are branded as 'art movies'.  This can be said as a 'light hearted' movie.  But you are eager to watch the next scenes as if it is a thriller! 

A 'MUST WATCH' MOVIE! It is with English subtitles. Now, let me watch the same director's other movie, 'U Turn' soon!

Read about this 25 year old director of the movie, here:

Raam Reddy, a 25 year old writer-director-producer, studied in St. Stephen's College, New Delhi, one of India's premiere institutions for Liberal Arts. During his time at St. Stephen's, Raam passionately pursued photography, writing and film; he won several photography competitions, started writing his debut novel It's Raining in Maya at the age of 19, and wrote and directed several short films. In 2011, Raam wrote, directed, shot and edited a Telugu short film called Ika (meaning "Feather") that has won national and international awards and has been screened at close to twenty international festivals.

I have never noticed a Kannada movie being screened here, in Chennai.  But 'Thithi' was screened for 2 weeks, I think!

P.S.: The real village and the real characters can be seen in this video.  Very interesting! But it is in Kannada.  Is language a barrier? You can guess!


SG said...

Thanks for the wonderful review. I will look for it. When I read the word "Gowda", for no reason, I am thinking of the sleepy Prime Minister.

Sandhya said...

SG: Yes, Deve Gowda was famous for sleeping! I missed to add one more songs! We could hear just tunes of some Kannada and Hindi songs. Indian movie without songs are going places! Thanks for the first comment, SG!

Watch the movie and then see the video I have posted about the real village and the real people there. It will be interesting!

Haddock said...

Some of these small time movies are really gems.
I still love that picture "Kakka Muttai"

Locomente said...

Come on... Many of us watch English movies although we dont understand... Then y not a regional language like Kannada? All it requires in sub-titles.. I have heard a kit about this movie and I really want to watch it... Its so refreshing to see good Kannada movies being made and appreciated!

Sandhya said...

HADDOCK: Nowadays many movies are coming like Kaakka muttai in Tamil, low budget movies with unknown actors, debut directors. Most of them become hits! Actors like Dhanush are producing them!

LOCO MENTE: This is too good a movie. I have never heard about a movie which was filmed in a village with local first-time actors. They have picturised the funeral at the same place where the villagers do it! The shepherds are still there. Kaveri, the girl who acted in this movie is still there with them! If you watch the video I have posted after seeing the movie, you can see the same actors as normal people....they are still there....This is a unique experience for me. The 25 year old Raam Reddy, the director, is great.

Destination Infinity said...

Having lived in Bangalore for a couple of years, I can follow some basic Kannada. I missed watching a Kannada movie, but I think I can follow the dialogues without sub-titles. I don't want to see Lucia, but might see this one. I like the theme of this movie :)

Destination Infinity

Avada Kedavra said...

I have seen Lucia and liked it too. I did not even know about this movie. We have stopped watching TV and I am so not aware of new movies :( But the premise of this movie sounds very interesting. I will try to get a CD so that even mom can watch it.

Sandhya said...

DESTINATION INFINITY: This movie is very good. Very natural acting.

AVADA KEDAVRA: You will definitely like this, your ma too! Do watch!

Jeevan said...

I am sure it must be experience watching this movie... and in lack of star casts (or popular actors) the feel should be real with local people and their lifestyle. For me the language hasn’t been a problem when watching movie until I’m conscious about things happening on scene and perceive scenario.

Hope to watch it soon

Shail said...

Definitely going to watch this! Nice review, Sandhya.

Sandhya said...

JEEVAN: It is not that difficult to watch this movie with sub titles. Though I prefer otherwise! Then I watch it for the second time if I like it very much! Do watch.

SHAIL MOHAN: Thank you, Shail! Both 'Sairat' and 'Thithi' made my movie watching time worthwhile! I was so overwhelmed by this movie that I wrote the review immediately. You can notice that I was emotional while writing this! No unnecessary 'tying threads' in the end...that made this more interesting!

Onkar said...

Will try to catch up with this movie

Madhuri said...

Beautiful movie :) Thanks for reviewing this movie !!

Read More

Sandhya said...

ONKAR: Please do! This is very good!

MADHURI: Welcome to my space, Madhuri! Thanks for the comment!

Shilpa said...

No idea about these movies . Have never watched . Anyhow good to read .

Anonymous said...

Thithi was directed by Raam reddy and Lucia by Pawan kumar. Please note the difference and excuse the pedant.

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