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Love and business are both bloody affairs. When the two come together, the floors will run red.

A modern adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, THE HUNGRY is the story of an Indian wedding. Not just any wedding either. The wedding is that of Tulsi (Tisca Chopra)to the son of a powerful businessman named Ahuja (Naseeruddin Shah). Years earlier, Tulsi’s son was killed in the middle of one of Ahuja’s business deals, and now she seemingly has her heart set on revenge. Ahuja, meanwhile, has no idea what his potential daughter-in-law is up to. In the run-up to the wedding, his younger daughter Loveleen (Sayani Gupta) is killed, and her boyfriend Bently likewise turns up dead.

Surely, no co-incidence. So what will a powerful man like Ahuja do about it while preparing to marry off his oldest son and successor?

There will be blood, indeed.

THE HUNGRY is the second feature film from director Bornila Chatterjee. It suggests that this young woman has a deep well of cinematic talent within her, a well whose waters we are only beginning to draw from. It’s rare that a film can both break the heart and tear at the viscera, but this is just such a film. It captures the joyous raising of glasses that comes with a family wedding, while never once letting us forget about the violent tendencies that lurk between rounds.

Chatterjee has created a film that is Godfather-esque in all of the very best ways.

The film is a complete sensory experience, from the lavish colours that permeate the screen, to the sounds of sharp knives and painful moans, to the endless amounts of food so gloriously captured we can almost taste them. It’s all enough to make you understand why anyone would look for a place at this table…even though most of them know full-well the true cost of sitting down.

Likewise, the actors gathered at that table go great lengths to bring the drama of THE HUNGRY to life. Between the calculation and poetry of Shah, to the sexy vengeance of Chopra it’s easy to get caught-up in the power struggle. On the other side though, there’s the poor attempts at masculinity put forth by the groom-to-be, and the pure horrors the patriarch’s daughter is subjected to.

All of it is brought to life in remarkable fashion, all of it captured with a deft hand.

THE HUNGRY is stunning, heartbreaking, and vicious. It reveals how even the least-appreciated works by Shakespeare can still say so much more than the most beloved pieces by lesser artists. What’s more, it demonstrates how many themes The Bard touched on are still so relevant four hundred years on.