August 6th, 2014 12:01 am TREE PALMEDO | Movie Reviews & Stories


A father’s search.

movies_siddharth_4040SIDDHARTH - Image courtesy of A71 Productions

Low on action but high on intensity, Siddharth does a few things very right. For one, the title character doesn’t show his face. Siddharth, the 12-year old son of a poor Delhi zipper repairman named Mahendra (Rajesh Tailang), is placed on a bus in the opening minutes of the film and sent to work at a faraway factory. When the boy fails to return home on time, Mahendra worries his son has been kidnapped. It’s a conventional setup, but once Mahendra begins frantically searching, the situation grows murky: We learn Siddharth was sent away illegally, and without even one photo of his son, the fallible father has little to give the authorities. Director Richie Mehta is pushing a message, not so subtly suggesting Mahendra’s troubles are rooted in his low social status. But he handles the story with a mostly gentle touch. Nasty characters are never quite villains, and Mahendra—who asks, “Why else would I have a son, if not to work him?”—has his own flaws. Tailang carries the movie on his shoulders, playing a man whose skin is tough at first but who unravels as time passes. Eventually, he’s tearfully grabbing at random boys in the street, and we’re left wondering how such a melodramatic premise could spark a movie that feels so real.

Critic’s Grade: B+

SEE IT: Siddharth opens Friday at Living Room Theaters.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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