After watching extreme budget Hollywood cinema, one would think that a movie like Tingya, with limited resources, would be a staid, average quality movie. But Tingya, contrary to such notions, is a highly sensitive movie with superb characterization, innovative camerawork, and a story so brutally honest, it catalyzes your emotions.
Shot in the sheer beauty of Sahyadris, the film has an excellent landscape portrayed in the background. The story, which revolves around the boy Tingya, his relation with the bull Chintangya, and their life – battling poverty and cruel choices, is executed superbly. The movie has striking performances from the father, mother of Tingya, from the boy himself, and from the young girl who plays his friend. The director has used the Sahyadris to full effect, with shots static on the sunset in the mountains, before moving on to the next shot.
Despite the lead characters being the boy and the bull, Tingya is not a movie that is just about child-animal affection or bondings, but a harsh and true portrayal of the terrible conditions of the farmers, and to an extent even explores the cause behind farmer suicides in Maharashtra. The worsening condition of Tingya’s father and the harsh choices he faces are very well portrayed. The film is basically about Tingya and his deep love for his family bull. The animal is sickly and has ceased to be of any use to Tingya’s father in ploughing. The family is hard-pressed for money and feel it is in their best interest to sell off the bull and get some money. However, Tingya is adamant about not giving away his ‘friend’ and goes to great lengths to protect it. When a neighbour’s grandma is on her death bed and her family nurses her, Tingya wonders why his bull must be turned out when human beings are looked after even when they become old. Through the movie the director seems to suggest that village folk are more attached and share an emotional bond with nature and their surroundings compared to those living in the cities.
The movie although excellent in delivery, is a bit slow at times, and in some places the lack of budget shows. However, on the whole, a superbly watchable, serious movie with a finishing note of hope and renewal.