Article Marathi

20 years of Tu Tithe Mee: 5 reasons the Mohan Joshi-Suhas Joshi film clicked

The film directed by the late Sanjay Surkar portrayed sensibly the condition of a couple after they reach old age.

Keyur Seta

Ravi Chopra’s Baghban (2003), which starred Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini, succeeded in portraying some of the problems elderly couples have with their children. But the idea was sensibly explored earlier in Marathi cinema by the late Sanjay Surkar’s Tu Tithe Mee (1998). 

Starring Mohan Joshi, Suhas Joshi, Smita Talvalkar, Sudhir Joshi, Sunil Barve, Prashant Damle, Sharvani Pillai and Anand Abhyankar, Tu Tithe Mee was a hit and is still remembered 20 years later. The condition of an ageing couple amid changing societal norms worked for the family audience back then. 

On the 20th anniversary of Tu Tithe Mee’s release (the film was released on 22 April 1998), we explore five reasons why the film is still remembered. 

Subtle Messaging

Indian families are tradition-bound and were more so 20 years ago. Yet, many of us may have seen or heard of cases of the aged being cast out or not shown enough consideration. Tu Tithe Mee explores this issue brilliantly. The issue is gradually brought out in a realistic manner, which makes it more believable. Unlike Baghban, this film achieved its purpose without antagonizing the rest of the family.

Moving Performances

Mohan and Suhas Joshi in a scene from Tu Tithe Mee

In such emotional subjects, it is mandatory for performances to be impressive. Mohan Joshi and Suhas Joshi poured their hearts out while playing the lead characters of the aged husband and wife. This coupled with their chemistry and the common surname makes it difficult for those who don't know much about them to accept that they were not a real-life couple. Needless to say, their performances are enough to make you feel for their characters and their condition. 

Regular Doses of Humour

Prashant Damle (l) in a scene from Tu Tithe Mee

Tu Tithe Mee was an emotional family saga about an aged married couple. But the film was also laced with regular doses of realistically funny moments. This ensured that the subject never became 'heavy' and the film could reach a wider audience. The scene where Mohan Joshi’s character fakes being ill and, later, when the late Smita Talvalkar (who was also the producer) enters the film are moments that genuinely leave you in splits. Prashant Damle, as is his wont, also provided good comic relief. His antics while waiting for his girlfriend near his autorickshaw are still hilarious.

Excellent Support

Smita Talvalkar

Apart from Mohan Joshi and Suhas Joshi, the supporting cast had a big role to play in Tu Tithe Mee gaining wide acceptance. Talvalkar's character enters the scene after a while but later becomes almost as important as the main leads. Initially it appears as if she has been included merely for comic relief but she gradually moves into the sensible zone effortlessly. Sudhir Joshi also turned in a brilliant portrayal of a father ignored by his son. And of course, how can we forget Prashant Damle?

Love Has No Expiry

Romance has been an integral part of Indian cinema. But it is seldom that we see two senior citizens indulging in romantic moments. Tu Tithe Mee had Mohan Joshi and Suhas Joshi displaying love like any young couple. The old man using a mirror to call his wife and buying a gajra (jasmine garland) for her are scenes that bring a smile to your lips. The finale when the two happily spend time with each other cannot fail to move you. As a result, the film ended on a perfect note.