A river called Titas (Titas Ekti Nodir Naam)

a-river-called-titas-posterBangladeshi Bengali language family drama from 1973.
Starring: Rosy Samad, Farid Ali, Fakrul Hasan Boiragi
Director: Ritwik Ghatak
Writers: Advaita Malla Burman, Ritwik Ghatak
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

A young woman marries a visitor from a nearby village, but on the way to his village she is kidnapped and forgets all details about her husband. Ten years later she remembers the name of her husband’s village and travels there.

Reactions

The beginning of this story was confusing to me, the young woman got married without any preamble, and there was nothing leading up to the wedding. We saw the bridegroom talking with his friend, and through the conversation we learn that he is clearly single and has no particular plans for marriage. Then some people talk about fetching him, and then; a wedding.

After that the story moves from one scene to the next without anything that seems like a hole in the story.

Most of the movie is set after the young bride comes to her mystery husbands fishing village, and we follow many of the people she gets to know there. The story moves from one family and gives a look at their problems, to the next family or person. No one is the sole focus of the story and we see many heart breaking and touching little episodes, all made difficult by the extreme poverty in the village.

A large driving force in everyone’s life is food. They all live from hand to mouth and the river, Titas, where they fish is their source of food, and a little income when they have something to sell. “A river called Titas” shows the choices and struggles made necessary by having little or nothing, and the destruction of village society. A new time is ushered in with no place for village people.

The movie paints what I think is a stark and realistic look at poverty, but not really having experienced a lack of anything, I have had to rely on other’s evaluation of that aspect of the movie.

The stories are touching and even if we don’t get to know all the characters equally well, we do come to care for them. I think the writer of this movie, and the others behind it, must have known the region well and cared for it’s people.

Contemplations

The technical aspects of “A river called Titas” is surprisingly good, and the camerawork can rival many modern high budget movies. Some parts of the film seemed to be overexposed or something like that, but that could be age damage. The only strange thing was a long close up of people’s faces when they had a dramatic moment.

The Bechdel test was not performed for “A river called Titas” on the Bechdel test site, but I think it passes the test. An example of a scene that has two named female characters talking about something other than men, is near the end where Basanti and another woman discuss the past and their fights as youngsters. (For more about the Bechdel test, read my post about women in movies.)

Judgement

I liked most of the movie, the beginning was as mentioned somewhat strange, but the rest was a hard look at poverty and how privileged I am. That is not something I wish to do often, but being a little shaken out of my bubble is good for the soul. I am glad I watched “A river called Titas”, but it will be a while til I watch it again.

Epilogue

“A river called Titas” can be watched by anyone as a look at poverty and touching stories, but it is not light entertainment. For an evening where a few good jokes does not seem enough, this is a movie I can recommend.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “A river called Titas” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

44 movies down. 321 to go.

If you want to get “A river called Titas” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They might have the movie other places too.

Tomorrow’s movie is “Manila in the claws of light”. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.

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The Sting

the-sting-posterAmerican crime comedy from 1973.
Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw
Director: George Roy Hill
Writer: David S. Ward
Bechdel test: Fail

Exposition

Johnny Hooker and Luther Coleman are con artists during the depression and when their mark turns out to work for the mob, the organization gets a cruel revenge on them. Johnny gets help from a legendary con artist called Henry Gondorff to get back at the mob boss.

Reactions

This is a fun and light movie with all the right twists and turns in the plot. The different cons have fun names like Spanish prisoner, the badger, Iraqi dinars and the glim-dropper. (Names not taken from the movie, but in the same style.)

I have seen “The sting” several times before, but it has been some time since I last saw it. I was a little worried that the storytelling would be dated and a bit slow, but it was fast paced enough for the failing attention span of a modern viewer.

Contemplations

The costumes, props and sets are important in this movie. They set a tone or a mood that together with a kind of colorful rendering of the pictures that make up the movie, makes it’s fast pace and anti heroes, fun. Regardless of some violence and people being conned, it becomes more of a distant fairy tale that allows the viewer to disregard negative consequences of the main characters actions.

Also, getting a glimpse into the world and knowledge of confidence artists, is tantalizing and appealed to my sense of adventure.

In the last few movies I have watched, something called establishing shots (I had to google that) has drawn my attention. In this movie, several of those shots showed the camera looking upwards, and followed a minor characters moving into the scene with the major characters. I have not come to a conclusion about what this could mean. More contemplations are needed.

The acting and story in “The sting” is great, and comes together well. All the actors fill their parts well, and I think it is an extra challenge to act a part that is acting in a confidence trick. Or put another way, to act a part that is an actor that is acting, and that being evident even if the role is good at acting, is impressive.

The story is not layered or give pause for much thought, but this kind of heist or sting story really doesn’t have to be. Not when it is well written, and this one is.

Judgement

I like this movie, and it was well worth my time. No complaints.

Epilogue

I recommend this movie to anyone closing in on adulthood. (Maybe 15 or above.) It is fun and enjoyable the whole way through.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The sting” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.

26 movies down. 339 to go.

If you want to get “The sting” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The wizard of Oz“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.

Until next time; live long and prosper.