Director: Kanu Behl
Cast: Ranvir Shorey, Shashank Arora, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Lalit Behl, Amit Sial
Rating: 3 stars
Ever since its inception, Yash Raj Films has churned out some of the best romantic films every decade. This time they decided to challenge themselves with new cinema and for that, they joined hands with Dibakar Banerjee, the man who defined his language of cinema in the cluster of potboilers. Mind you, this combination is not easy to the eye as Titli, directed by debutant Kanu Behl, in some scenes compels you to look the other side. Visuals of Ranvir Shorey (Vikram), the eldest brother who hijacks cars for living, hitting a salesman on his head with a hammer, are disturbing.
But that is the magic of Kanu’s world, an ignored section in Delhi, where the three brothers live, and the youngest, Titli, played by Shashank Arora wants to let himself free. He delivers what he promises in the trailer. It was never going to be a cliché romantic journey between Titli and Neelu (Shivani Raghuvanshi) and if you have decided to see the film, might as well get absorb in the world of the director.
Vikram as the angry man in the family heads the pack by plotting all the crimes. His partner in crime, Amit Sial (Pradeep) comes up with an idea that will help them come out from their poverty- get the youngest brother, Titli, married. Thus begins the most unusual love story of Titli and Neelu who are stuck to each other only for personal benefits. What is that you ask? You have to see the film and understand. While one might disagree with the choices Neelu makes, it is the situations and complex characters that make this film worth a watch.
But here comes the problem. After establishing the limitations and compromises of all the main characters, there is nothing left to watch. Also, Kanu has heavily relied on the performance of his actors in intense scenes, leaving a big vacuum in music. He has treated all those visuals with no evident background music, which could have kept the viewers engaged.
Is Kanu able to convince you about the problems that lie within this family? Does he set the right world and puts you right in the centre of the issue? Yes, for the most part of the movie he does. Full marks for the production value as everything from the small house, to the shady location, the address, which is described as close to a gutter in the film, has been taken care of.
Performance wise, Ranvir Shorey has given his best till date. Lalit, who essays the role of a father, only gives his take in all the messed up situations, enjoying himself in the comfort of a room with a TV. Amit as the pacifier in all tricky situations gives a boost to the screenplay. Casting director Atul Mongia’s two finds, Shashank and Shivani really shine in the film. Despite being debutants, their expressions, their performances appear effortless.
Kanu's first attempt as a director doesn't disappoint, only if the slow moving film could have picked up pace towards its crucial end.
Watch the trailer here....