The Hungry: A Deliciously Despicable Drama
The Hungry is a gripping dark drama from Bornilla Chatterjee and an adaptation of Shakespeare’s lesser known Titus Abdronicus. The film tells the story of a marriage between two families joining hands in a business venture. Chatterjee offers a whole host of delectably despicable characters with so many hidden motives and agendas between them, it difficult to keep up. Her characters are marvelously well-etched with so much happening beneath the surface that every scene oozes malice and deceit. She has an icy grip over the chilling narrative and by extension the audience with a clear knack for creating searing tension.
The film is most enjoyable early on, when you know very little of the plot and characters and how the various puzzle pieces all fit together. The deeply unsettling drama keeps you on your toes and on constantly on edge, masterfully dripfeeding information, never revealing more than it needs to. One scene in particular is so stomach churningly brutal, it has you begging to be put out of your misery.
The commendably well-acted film which includes the likes of Naseeruddin Shah, Tisca Chopra, the criminally underdiscussed Neeraj Kabi, Suraj Sharma, Saiyami Gupta and a raft of wonderfully talented lesser known faces and might well be the ensemble drama of this year’s festival.
Chatterjee’s is self-assured and her command over the medium is a thing of beauty. She is certainly one young filmmaker to keep an eye out for. The Hungry is a puzzling, unsettling treat for the senses and one of the best films seen so far such that it’s almost insulting that it wasn't selected to be this year's opening film.