India, USA | 2015 | 132 mins | Kannada | Director Attending
Set in a village in Karnataka and featuring a non-professional cast, comedy-drama Thithi concerns the reactions of three generations of sons to the death of the oldest man in their clan. At the film’s outset, the cantankerous ‘Century’ Gowda is 101 years old. His eldest son, Gadappa passes his time nonchalantly wandering the village fields, puffing cheap cigarettes and swigging brandy. Meanwhile, materialistic grandson Thamanna plots to illegally sell Century’s five acres of land, and adolescent great-grandson Abhi shirks his responsibilities to pursue a local shepherdess. The three storylines converge at Century’s thithi—the funeral celebration held 11 days after his death. Even-keeled in execution but highly eventful in content, this is social satire at its cleverest. Raam Reddy and Ere Gowda’s screenplay treats all its characters with an amusement that stops short of ridicule, allowing them a melancholic dignity as their efforts to improve their lot become more and more involved.
Raam Reddy was born in 1989 in Bengalaru. A graduate of St Stephen’s College, Delhi, and Prague Film School, Czech Republic, he has previously directed the short film Ika (2012) and published a magic-realist novel, It’s Raining in Maya. Speaking about his debut feature, Raam says, “Thithi’s shoot was tailored to non-professionals. I told my crew that performance is the leader of the film. The characters are the soul of the script. The actors were king on sets. The simplest visual, editing and sound-design approach was taken. It was very observational. Our equipment was geared towards quick reactivity.”