Finding a house for rent has always been a challenge for middle-class people and the IT booming in late 2000s only made their lives difficult. Cinematographer-turned-director Chezhian's To Let tries to tell the plight of the middle-class and the challenges they face while hunting a suitable house.
With the rise of the new-class of highly-paid employees, the real estate prices soared and difficulties increased manifold for the middle-class to rent a house in Chennai. The experience that the director had in 2007 inspired him to do his own research and pen a storyline.
The movie begins with Illango (Santhosh Sreeram) and his wife Amudha (Sheela Rajkumar) along with their Siddharth (Dharan) being asked to vacate their house with a deadline of 30 days. The entire movie revolves around their hunt for a house. Not just caste discrimination, To Let tries to throw light at the financial difficulties they face in their search for a rented house.
The movie has already garnered positive reviews at film festivals and from acclaimed international filmmakers. Asghar Farhadi, Oscar Award winning filmmaker, hailed the movie and said, "It is a pure film. I was moved by this subject and the acting was very good."
Veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage among many others who have said positive reviews about the film.
To Let is hitting the screens in Tamil Nadu on 21 February and had special screening for the press recently. After watching the movie, the critic from The Times of India in his review, wrote, "All we get are the scenes that are shown between shots of opening and closing of a door. It's a beautiful visual touch, and a terrific way to bookend the film,"
Likewise, many film aficionados have given thumbs up for Chezhian's work. Check out their tweets below:
Sreedhar Pillai: Nice and relevant #Tolet, cameraman #Chezhiyan turns director with this bitter sweet film that vividly portrays the ordeal of a lower middle class family looking for a rented house in Chennai. Milieu rooted in the metro along with perfect casting, technically good. pic.twitter.com/lPxs9kAihr
Ramesh Bala: #Tolet [4/5] : A realistic portrayal of a middle class family looking for a rental home during the IT boom of mid-2000's in #Chennai
World class cinema.. No wonder, a fav at film festivals..
Dir @Rchezhi has done a fantastic job..
For fans of good cinema.. Don't miss it..
Rajasekar: #Tolet - @Rchezhi has made a world class Indian cinema. A pure art house cinema which is sure to touch your heart and emotionally hits you hard. Now I know why Asghar Farhadi (A Separation) appreciated this gem.
Oscar award winning Iranian filmmaker #AsgharFarhadi - It is a pure film. I was moved by the subject and acting was very good.
#ToLet: No songs, no BGM either. The film stays as grounded as possible, it's like a camera just recorded the events in the life of a family. Lot of lovely, heartfelt moments peppered through with subtle storytelling as a must-have.