Summer 2014 Features series
Sunday, June 15, 2014 at 8:00pm
Directed by Richie Mehta
Screenplay by Maureen Dorey, Richie Mehta, and Rajesh Tailang
Starring Tannishtha Chatterjee, Rajesh Tailang, and Anurag Arora
Rated NR ·
Canada / India
Director Richie Mehta follows his 2008 Film Circuit People’s Choice Award–winning and debut feature Amal with this powerful and heart-rending tale about a poor Delhi street merchant desperately searching for his missing young son.
A “chain wallah” who makes his meagre living mending zippers in the streets of New Delhi, Mahendra (newcomer Rajesh Tailang, in a superb performance) sends his 12-year-old son Siddharth to work in a factory in another province to help support their family, which includes his mother Suman (Tannishtha Chatterjee; Anna Karenina, Brick Lane) and sister Pinky (Khushi Mathur). Siddharth is supposed to come home for Diwali after a month away. When he fails to return or call, the guilt-ridden Mahendra takes swift action but faces obstacles at every turn: he has no money, or even a photograph of his son; the authorities scold him for putting his son to work and suggest Siddharth would be untraceable if kidnapped and trafficked in a population of a billion people.
Mehta deftly brings to life Mahendra’s moving, tangled, and often seemingly futile journey with a neorealist touch that transforms the film into a genuine human portrait, setting this quest against the backdrop of community that is poor in so many ways, yet rich in family and love.
Riddled with mysteries, Siddharth reminds us that sometimes there simply are no easy answers. A powerful story about the ramifications of a single decision and the limitations that result from poverty, it underscores that in the face of the unspeakable, one must keep moving forward.
“Richie Mehta’s engrossing, multi-layered film is a movingly handled story of a child’s disappearance…a small gem with humanity.“ (Jay Weissberg, Variety)