Corruption and violence in the modern-day India has received a Shakespearean twist, thanks a new film set in New Delhi. 'The Hungry', premiered at the 42nd Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), is based on the William Shakespeare tragedy, 'Titus Andronicus'.
Directed by Indian-American filmmaker Bornila Chatterjee, the film is set in the backdrop of a grand wedding in the national capital. The 100-minute film, screened in the Special Presentations section of TIFF yesterday, tells the story of two corporate houses fighting each other for power and revenge.
Naseeruddin Shah and Tisca Chopra lead the cast of 'The Hungry', Chatterjee's third feature film.
"From Peter Greenaway's 'The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover' to Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Killing of a Sacred Deer', cinema has often examined the hunger for revenge," says TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey.
"Bornila Chatterjee's colourful yet menacing tale of corruption, false celebration, and murder catapult The Hungry into this tradition, positioning her as one of the boldest filmmakers to come out of India in years," adds Bailey.
Naseeruddin Shah plays Tathagat Ahuja, a corporate tycoon, who is plotting the takeover of a rival business house.
The story of the film happens around the wedding of Ahuja's son to Tulsi, the head of the rival business house.
Everything goes wrong in the same night, leading to a series of murders.
Actor Tisca Chopra plays the role of Tulsi. "I am drawn by dark spaces," says Chatterjee. "I decided to adapt 'Titus Andronicus' because it is a lesser known play and there is a certain freshness in it," adds the director, who is based in Kolkata after living in the United States for nine years.
Shakespeare's first tragedy, 'Titus Andronicus' is considered the most violent of the bard's plays written when he was young and had just started writing.
Set in the national capital, infamous for its crime and violence, notably the 2012 gangrape of Nirbhaya, the film pierces into the contemporary's society's passion for power and savagery.
Born in California, Chatterjee studied film and television at the New York University. Her first feature film was 'Let's Be Out, The Sun is Shining', about a Indian-American girl in Brooklyn drawn into the world of art