Writer-director Bornila Chatterjee relocates Shakespeare's bloody tragedy Titus Andronicus to modern-day India, where corruption, greed, and revenge run rampant at an extravagant wedding.
From Peter Greenaway's The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover to Yorgos Lanthimos' The Killing of a Sacred Deer (also at TIFF '17), cinema has often examined the hunger for revenge. 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.
Based on Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, The Hungry follows Tulsi (Tisca Chopra), who is set to wed Sunny (Arjun Gupta), the son of a ruthless corporate tycoon named Tathagat Ahuja (brilliantly played by legendary Indian actor Naseeruddin Shah). At a New Year's Eve party he is hosting, Ahuja recruits Tulsi's promising younger son, Ankur, to participate in a business deal. During the meeting Ankur makes a grave mistake, the deal is spoiled, and he is killed.
This event sets off a flurry of violence and murder, much of it initiated by Tulsi, seeking revenge for the brutal murder of her son. As her wedding approaches, Tulsi must decide how much more she is willing to lose in order to see her plans through to the very end. Chatterjee's daring adaptation flips the switch on Shakespeare's Tamora by turning an arch-villain into the heroine, an inversion that prompts a critical review of our own appetite for power.