Tito is an immersive sensory experience that reminds me of what I love best about film as a medium: its ability to place the viewer within unfamiliar bodies, minds, and environments.
Written and directed by Grace Glowicki (Suck It Up), Tito is the portrait of a reclusive young man (Glowicki) haunted by a mysterious threat that journeys beyond the bounds of comfort and safety when he strikes up an unexpected friendship with a stranger (Ben Petrie).
This is an intimate film that brings the viewer completely into Tito’s experience. Though Tito’s world is, at least at times, strange and disorienting, every detail from the music and sound to the use of colour and light is bent toward the singular goal of immersing the audience in that world. The result is captivating.
Glowicki is fascinating as the titular Tito. Her performance is all the more impressive when one considers how little the character speaks. Vulnerable, repulsive, funny, and sweet – each moment that she is on screen is complex. Tito is worth watching for Glowicki’s acting alone.
As the friendly neighbour, Petrie provides the perfect foil to Glowicki’s nervous Tito. He is bright, confident, and magnetic. It is instantly clear why Tito is drawn to him, and why he finds it so difficult to distance himself from him, even as their friendship becomes increasingly complicated.
If I had to find a fault with this film, it would be that the story itself is somewhat underdeveloped. Tito is a character study and an experiment in sensory submersion more than it is a film with a clearly defined plot. While things move along nicely in the first two acts, the third begins to unravel somewhat and left me without a sense of clear resolution. But at the end of the day, the resolution of the plot is less important in this film than the experience of the journey. Tito is about one man’s fear, hope, despair, and longing. It is about making the viewer feel these things completely and, in this, the film is a resounding success.
Daring and tender in equal measures, this is a rare example of a film that is ambitious without being pretentious and innovative without becoming inaccessible. It has been a long time since I watched a film that demanded my attention and emotional investment so completely. With Tito, Glowicki has announced herself as an actor and filmmaker to watch.
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