CAST: Santhosh Sreeram, Sheela, Dharun
DIRECTION: Ra Chezhiyan
To Let has already made its way to 100 international festivals and besides garnering critical acclaim won 26 awards including national awards before its theatrical release in India.
Directed by cinematographer turned filmmaker Ra Chezhyian, To Let tells the story of a middle-class couple with a child and their plight to find a house for rent during the boom in real estate (around 2007) as a result of huge development in the IT sector. The film is apparently inspired by the director’s real-life incidents. Perhaps that’s the reason he could feel and give a personalized touch to each and every scene soaked in reality. The story revolves around Ilango (Santhosh Sreeram), an aspiring filmmaker, his wife Amudha (Sheela) and their son Siddharth (Dharun). They are in a predicament as his greedy landowner asks the couple to vacate their house. They have only thirty days to find new accommodation with their modest middle-class income.
The problems that middle-class families face in searching for their house which vary from one owner to another - having enough bank balance, a stable profession, certain background and certain caste, make up the film. Though a difficult subject to be made as a movie, Chezhiyan with his hands-on experience and a proven lens man has relied more on visuals to narrate the proceedings, thereby avoiding unneeded subplots.
Kudos to the director for the apt casting, which adds to the major success of the movie. With well etched characters, the refreshingly cast Santhosh, Sheela and Dharun deliver a brilliant performance. Yet another bold step the director had taken is foregoing a background score, which has in fact rewarded him. Thanks to sound designer Tapas Nayak for making it up with real life noises like birds squeaking, honking of the vehicles moving, people chatting and at times using Ilayaraja’s classic to effectively create the mood.
To Let is a magnificent piece of art which has a theme that everyone can connect with and is a must watch film....