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The 'Dislikably Likable', Distressed Flight of "Titli"
In the simplest of words - Titli is just not a casual watch, and definitely not for a regular cine-goer. Its hard to look at, through a myriad of disgusts. However, as we go through its odd ninety-minutes, we start thinking, if not totally, a little differently.

The film follows a journey (an unnerving sequence of events) in the life of this last-born son, Titli (efficiently enacted by Shashank Arora), of an all-male family of hawk-spit, cheap swearing car-jacking goons who are in downtrodden times in the underbelly-circle of Delhi. Though determined to change his profession and getting out of the dystopic-nexus of his brothers (the formidable - Ranveer Shorey, the surprise - Amit Sial) and his 'passively-parasitic-slime' of a father (Lalit Behl), he finds himself amidst a fresh setup of 'misalliance' with his newly wedded wife, Neelu (another surprise - Shivani Raghuvanshi), who is adulterous and at flight risk.

Stuck in the middle, Titli collusively plans out an escape and as the plot twists further when the 'car-jacking antes' are raised, to whether to fly away from the shithole of its coop of his family, or to continue with the hypocritically condescending and unwilling livelihood malpractices.

As a director, Kanu Behl along with his co-screenwriter (Sharat Katariya,"Dum Laga Ke Haisha"), makes an unfriendly, dislikable film with similar set of characters, and adds copious disgust-inducing content, actions and a raw sense of violence (sans very-graphic-scenes, as a respite), plus adding a set of newcomers to play the protagonists. It is a very bold decision and works surprisingly well for this film. As aforementioned, it is a difficult watch, still, the film cleverly carves out an honest story amidst the trauma and fiascos. A subtle nod to the endeavor of the strength of human spirit - to strive the hardest possible to come out of the hardships; perhaps, the reason that a viewer tends to 'dislinkingly-like' it.

What impresses more is its crisp-editing (Namrata Rao, "Kahaani") and 'part-abstract-part-naturalistic' cinematography (Siddharth Diwan, "Queen"), that accentuate the dystopic-lives of the character-driven crime-drama with the backdrop of a dream-like score (Karan Gour, "NH10").

Conclusively, this Dibakar Banerjee produced Cannes entry is a different side of cinematic storytelling of a grim tale of gore and blood spill, with the bleakest hope of light shining out in its grimness and raw mulch. No matter how much one feels repelled, we tend to empathise with the insecurities of human nature and towards the state of maladies, dreams and of course, the very existences of the characters and in an extension - of us.

Rating - 7/10

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