Dir. Kanu Behl. 2014, 124 mins. DCP. In Hindi with English subtitles. Kanu Behl’s acclaimed first feature follows young Titli (Shashank Arora), whose name translates to “butterfly,” as he navigates the unforgiving social terrain of his crime-addled family and rundown neighborhood of Delhi. While his older brothers carjack their way through the underworld, Titli tries to renounce his violent lineage. Though their arranged marriage misfires, Titli finds an unlikely ally in wife Neelu (Shivani Raghuvanshi), who has her own demons to outrun. A Un Certain Regard selection at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, Titli employs numerous nonprofessional actors and gritty Super 16mm film, and runs counter to expectations of Bollywood bombast in fashioning a scathing bildungsroman with the texture of a 70s neo-noir. Produced by Dibakar Banerjee and iconic studio Yash Raj Films.
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