A River Called Titas

1973 [BANGLA]

Drama

0
IMDb Rating 7.4 10 1114

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
November 22, 2021 at 05:52 PM

Director

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720p.BLU
1.42 GB
988*720
Bangla 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
2 hr 38 min
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Movie Reviews

Reviewed by gbill-74877 7 / 10

Beautiful melodrama

"I miss my daughter. She left yesterday. My last dear one. She was all I had. My only daughter. That's the way it happens. It all comes and then disappears again. There's a spark of life. And suddenly it's not there. It all becomes untraceable. You were a child yesterday. Today you're a woman. This ever-flowing river Titas may become bone dry tomorrow. It may not even have the last drop without which our soul cannot depart. Yet these flocks of sails move on and on and on..."

Taken at face value, this film comes across as a long melodrama, and a pretty damn contrived one at that. A couple of young men go out fishing with their uncle, and in a chance encounter with a young woman in another village, one of them gets married. It's pretty odd, as they don't know each other's names, barely speak, and yet consummate what amounts to an agreement for an actual ceremony back in his village. On their way back home, however, they're set upon by bandits and she ends up overboard.

It's interesting (and a little depressing) to see how women are treated early on here - when they discover the woman gone, the reaction of the men is to shot they've been robbed, as if she's a material possession. Meanwhile, back at home the groom had a young girl waiting for him - and I do mean young; she's told by her uncle that she's a "woman now" but looks about 10. However, there is a strong woman character who emerges later in the film, one who stands up for herself and amidst great hardship says that there is only one true thing in life, and that's motherhood.

Back to the story. The man goes crazy literally that night for fear his wife has drowned - even though he was just telling his buddy he didn't even know what she looked like, and certainly hasn't formed deep feelings for her. And it turns out the woman survives and is picked up by benevolent strangers, but the next we see of her we've fast forwarded ten years. The only thing she knew about her husband was the name of his village, and she has a child, having conceived on her "wedding night." She makes her way to this village (why only now, we don't know), and throws herself on the mercy of the villagers. The woman who takes her in is the one who had loved her husband. She got married to his buddy instead, but the buddy died, so she's a young, childless widow herself.

Now how the villagers aren't able to connect the dots and realize that this new arrival and the "crazy man" living among them were the ones who had married years ago is a mystery, and it's also odd that the woman doesn't recognize the man, even though he's all disheveled and years have passed. She's attracted to him nonetheless but tragedy strikes in a way I won't describe, leaving their son an orphan. He's cared for by the same family that took them in, but the woman's mother looks at him as her mortal enemy since he's not kin and consumes food. He has visions of his dead mother as a goddess, but his real life is very sad. The plot follows the boy and his adoptive mother (or "auntie") from there and continues its quick pace for dramatic turns of events in the second half (yes all of what I described happens in the just the first half).

While the plot is sprawling and a bit of a mess, the film is undoubtedly a parable for something higher. At its heart it seemed to be about loss, forms of which happen to many characters through fate, or man's cruelty to man. Just as the rain pours down on this river (it's a very wet film!), life pours down on people, if I can use such a cliché analogy. In our better natures, we help others and are compassionate, and in our worse natures, we're selfish and unkind. The film is about life and carrying on despite the struggle, even though ultimately everything we cherish will eventually pass away - even big things that seem so permanent, like rivers. That's alluded to in the first ten minutes with the quote at the top of this review, and there's something deep at the film's center that I appreciated. I only wish it worked as well on a literal level.

The caliber of filmmaking is high, with beautiful black and white cinematography that transported me to this time and place. Attention is paid to sound, such as the heavy breathing of anxiety from the young woman before being taken to bed by her husband on their wedding night. The performance from Rosy Afsari stands out in a pretty solid cast. All of the ingredients are there, and with the deeper meaning it was a near miss for a higher rating.

Reviewed by Andy-296 7 / 10

Well made Indian drama with unusual structure

This film by somewhat neglected Indian director Ritwik Ghatak is one of the most unusual I have ever seen. The stories are set among the harsh life around the banks of Bangladesh's rivers (one of the poorest regions of the world). It tells several gruesome tales: abductions, escapes, living among strangers, death, though the characters go through this with the resignation of someone who knows that life is hard and always have been. Now, having seen this film more than a decade ago, I cannot recall all the details. But the unusual part is the way this story is told. It puts a character at the center of the story for, say, twenty minutes, and then it moves to another character, who was playing a minor role in the first story. And then to another character, and so on. It is a collection of stories, but loosely (or not so loosely interconnected). Overall, a fine tapestry of life in one of the poorest parts of the world.

Reviewed by lchadbou-326-26592 9 / 10

Underrated Epic By Rediscovered Ghatak Deserves To Be As Well Known As Satyajit Ray

A River Called Titas (also known as Time And The River) is a somewhat more sprawling later melodrama of Bengal poverty, compared to director Ritwik Ghatak's more famous earlier The Cloud-Capped Star, but just as interesting. The stories it weaves together are set in the Malo fishing community of East Bengal, now Bangladesh, the area where the director grew up. Kishore, a young fisherman who we saw as a boy in the opening, is hastily married to a young woman from a neighborhood he is visiting, so the two communities can seal a friendship. He hardly comes to know his new bride or get a good look at her when, in a scene reminiscent of the melodramatic character separations in Mizoguchi, bandits capture her at night while they are still on the water, and sleeping apart.When she gets away and floats to shore this kidnapped girl, who never even knew her husband's name, gives birth to a son, Ananta, and goes to work in the home of a more well off woman, where they process hemp to be used by the fishermen.That lady is Mungli, one of the two little girls we had seen with the young Kishore in the beginning. Ironically Kishore is in the same village but has gone crazy and keeps to himself. The wife feels a strange bond with this man, as she is somewhat estranged from the community herself. She offers to bathe him in the river. Basanti, the other girl who had befriended the wife and had lost her own husband in a fishing accident, takes care of the boy after the parents, briefly reunited, are set upon by ruffians and killed (another scene reminiscent of Mizoguchi)The boy imagines he sees his mother, brilliantly attired in the forest, as the goddess of motherhood. The son is then thrown out of Basanti's home and goes to live with others. The film climaxes with the struggle between rich creditors and the fishermen who owe them money. At one point in an inspiring Marxist moment two women hurl one of the creditors into the water. Another debtor talks back to a creditor, who then kills himself. But the rich conspire to break up the fishermen and even use theater to distract them-ironic as Ghatak's background was in left wing drama. The feisty Basanti fights with a rich man, and they then set fire to the poor people's huts. Toward the end of the film, in anticipation of a later era's environmentalism, we see the river drying up, as the women of the village gather by its banks like a Greek chorus.Basanti walks across what has become a desert,she is wrapped in a blanket and carries an empty bowl as she begs for food. She sees a little boy running through the grass (probably a rice field, the rich had bought their land to convert from fishing to farming)The boy has a toy whistle made of leaf and reminds her of the child she never had herself, but wished for. Despite all the suffering we have seen in this incredibly melodramatic series of events, this ending seems to show hope for the future. Ghatak's style here shows his previous richly textured images,with characters often looming in closeup in the foreground; creative use of sound and music; and feeling for local customs and details, though there are also some more modern touches like zooms. The way he shows the changes over time for a poor community and its kind of life makes an interesting comparison with Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons, which did the same for a well off bourgeois family The movie also reminds one, in its sometimes strident class struggle of the fisherfolk, of Visconti's La Terra Trema. Last, the lyrical images of the river delta/swamp terrain bring to mind Flaherty's documentary The Louisiana Story.Yet Ghatak, despite all these references, is in a realm by himself as an Indian auteur.

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