Titli (2014 film)

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Cannes Titli Film Poster.jpg
Film Poster
Directed by Kanu Behl
Produced by Aditya Chopra
Dibakar Banerjee
Written by Sharat Katariya
Kanu Behl
Starring Ranvir Shorey
Amit Sial
Shashank Arora
Lalit Behl
Shivani Raghuvanshi
Cinematography Siddharth Diwan
Edited by Namrata Rao
Yash Raj Films
Dibakar Banerjee Productions Pvt. Ltd.
Distributed by Yash Raj Films
Release date
  • May 20, 2014 (2014-05-20) (Cannes)
  • October 30, 2015 (2015-10-30) (India)
Running time
124 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi

Titli (English: Butterfly) is a 2014 Bollywood drama film written and directed by Kanu Behl, co-produced by Dibakar Banerjee Productions Pvt. Ltd and Aditya Chopra under the banner of Yash Raj Films.[1] It features actors Ranvir Shorey, Amit Sial, Shashank Arora, Lalit Behl and Shivani Raghuvanshi in the lead roles.[2]

The International sales partner is Westend Films. In Titli, Behl captures the volatility of a society where violence lies uneasily just below the surface. The directorial debut film premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival,[3][4] The trailer of the movie was released on September 29, 2015.[5][6][7][8] The film was released in India on October 30, 2015.[9]


In the badlands of Delhi's dystopic underbelly, Titli, the youngest member of a violent car-jacking brotherhood, plans to escape from the 'family' and their line of work. He gets married to Neelu as planned by Titli's brothers to leash him. In a desperate attempt Titli betrays his brothers by informing beforehand about a job of theirs to police to get away from their clutches. Neelu even though married to Titli, she pines for a wealthy married man. Titli supports this for his financial gain. Even though Titli has been free from his family's stranglehold, nothing goes as planned. Neelu and Titli get back together.




Behl, who co-wrote and also assisted director Dibakar Banerjee in Love Sex aur Dhokha (LSD) (2010), started writing Titli as LSD neared completion. In 2011, the news report of a car-jacker gang in Delhi led by a local goon, Joginder Joga, inspired him to start working on the story of a thriller. However, as he developed the script, other themes started joining in, from his personal experiences growing up in the city.[10] Though he denied it being autobiographical, he mentioned in an interview that the idea of intra-family conflict was derived from his own clashes with his father as a rebellious teenager. He eventually co-wrote the script with Sharat Katariya, and it covered themes of patriarchy, family dysfunction, gender-based violence and oppression, and "a desire for freedom". Through the protagonist, the film also explores the circular nature of life – "how we often end up becoming exactly the person we are trying to run away from."[11][12]

In 2012, the script of the film was selected for NFDC Film Bazaar's Screenwriter's Lab and won the Post-Production Award at Film Bazaar's Work-In-Progress Lab in 2013.[13] Here it also won an award for Best Work-In-Progress Lab Project and was selected for Film Bazaar Recommends, where the 2014 Cannes Film Festival selection committee first saw the film.[10]


For the lead roles, relative newcomers Shashank Arora and Shivani Raghuvanshi were selected. Actors Amit Sial and Ranvir Shorey were chosen to play the role of two elder brothers to Titli's character. Next, he decided to cast his own father Lalit Behl, who is a Delhi-based director and actor, for the role of the patriarch of the family, considering the film itself was based on his early life experiences.[10]

The film was shot across various locations in Delhi.[11] During filming, he allowed the actors to explore the scenes and improvise as no scripts were brought to the set. The production team redesigned a house to give a claustrophobic feel to the family home, where much of the filming was done, to provide a contrast from the expansive real world outside, which the protagonist is trying to escape into. For this purpose, rooms were made smaller, the entrance was made labyrinthine, and even the natural light was reduced in the rooms, so that the tube light haze could add to the effect.[10]

By early May 2014, the movie's post-production was completed, ahead of its Cannes premiere due in the same month.[12]

International Film Festivals attended[edit]


The film was Nominated for Caméra d'Or at 2014 Cannes Film Festival[27] The film won the Critics Prize at FIFIB, Bordeaux, Best Film at Seattle South Asian Film Festival,[22] NETPAC Award at Hawaii International Film Festival, Best Film at SAIFF, New York,[23]Best International Film at Malatya International, Turkey,[28] Best Actress and Best Film, Gijón International Film Festival, Spain,[26] and the Audience Award at Festival du Film d'Asie du Sud Transgressif (FFAST), Paris.[29]

Box Office[edit]

The film collected 1.75 crore (US$270,000) nett in its first week.[31]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Title". Yash Raj Films. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  2. ^ "Difficult fathers, brutal sons, conniving wives: meet Titli and his family". 
  3. ^ "After 'Titli', 'True Love Story' at Cannes film fest". Livemint. 22 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  4. ^ "2014 Official Selection". Festival de Cannes 2014 (International Film Festival). Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "'Titli' - Movie Review" (Post.Jagran.com). Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  6. ^ Titli Trailer, Beta News India, 29th September, 2015.
  7. ^ "Movie Review of Titli" (Inextlive.jagran.com). Inext. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  8. ^ "TITLI Movie Review: For those who love their cinema 'real' it cannot get better than TITLI". Glamsham. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "'Titli' - Movie Review" (Mid-Day.Com). Mid-Day. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  10. ^ a b c d Dipti Nagpaul (4 May 2014). "Ties That Bind". The Indian Express. pp. 1–3. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  11. ^ a b "'Titli' stems from personal experiences: Kanu Behl". The Times of India. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Feeling of 'Titli' going to Cannes yet to sink in: Kanu Behl". Business Standard. 13 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014. 
  13. ^ May 2014 "YRF's Titli to compete at Cannes Film Festival" Check |url= value (help). India Today. Retrieved 25 April 2014. 
  14. ^ "India's Indie Film 'Titli' Shines at Cannes". The Wall Street Journal. 21 June 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  15. ^ http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/916650.shtml
  16. ^ http://blogs.indiewire.com/sydneylevine/the-13th-annual-indian-film-festival-of-los-angeles-announces-line-up-20150324
  17. ^ "11 Indian films at Melbourne International Film Festival". DearCinema. 4 August 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  18. ^ "Indian new-age cinema a hit at Zurich fest". The Indian Express. 31 October 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  19. ^ "Titli". filmfesthamburg.de/. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  20. ^ "Picks from the upcoming 58th London Film Festival 2014". easternkicks. 31 September 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  21. ^ "Kanu Behl's TITLI at 50th Chicago International Film Festival by Chicago International Film Festival in Chicago". Chicago Indian. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  22. ^ a b c "Titli, Teenkahon winners at SSAFF 2014". Dear Cinema. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  23. ^ a b c "Titli, Killa winners at SAIFF 2014". Dear Cinema. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  24. ^ "Titli to screen at International Film Festival of Rotterdam 2015". saddahaq.com. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  25. ^ "Interesting Indian films at 38th Gothenburg International Film Festival". sasnet.lu.se/. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  26. ^ a b c "Titli takes top prize at Gijón". wn.com. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  27. ^ a b "First-time director from India in the running for Camera d'Or at Cannes". The National. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  28. ^ a b "Turkish film festival awards Indian 'Titli'". wn.com. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  29. ^ "Titli remporte le Prix du public au FFAST 2015". bollywoodstudio.fr/. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "Titli remporte le Prix du public au FFAST 2015". bollywoodstudio.fr/. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  31. ^ http://boxofficeindia.com/Details/art_detail/newreleasesweaklastweekreleasesfirstweeknumbers#.VkBG5F2t-o8

External links[edit]