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Raj B Shetty on Toby: The film’s ‘slow pace’ was intentional to establish characters and the setting

Toby released in its Kannada version on August 25 and received mixed reviews, with the slow pace of the narration pointed out as a drawback. The film is now set to release in Malayalam on September 22

Raj B Shetty on Toby: The film’s ‘slow pace’ was intentional to establish characters and the setting
Raj and Gopalkrishna Deshpande in a still from the film

Last Updated: 10.54 PM, Sep 19, 2023


When actor-filmmaker Raj B Shetty’s latest, Toby, released in theatres, audiences were starkly divided in their opinion about it. Some absolutely loved it, while others weren’t as impressed. For the latter lot, Toby’s ‘slow’ pace of narration was one of the major reasons for its undoing, apart from the fact that it was not as massy as promised. Raj, who has been off the radar since Toby’s release and has surfaced only now, in time for the film’s Malayalam outing, recently addressed this ‘lag’ that was attributed to it. Speaking to a digital media channel in Kerala, ahead of Toby’s September 22 theatrical outing, Raj said that the film’s slow pace of narration is intentional.


The problem, he added, is that today, audiences do not allow filmmakers time to establish characters or the setting; something has to happen every moment In his film, for instance, the story is not only about Toby and his daughter, Jenny; it is also about the place they live in, the people they share their lives with. Raj reckons that only when all of these elements are established does a story become organic. “Unfortunately, we are in a time, where massy films about one man sell. You don’t see him as a character; he just says some lines, as do the people around him,” said Raj. With Toby, he added, the slow pace was intentional.

Toby, which is a story that Raj wrote based on a short story by writer-filmmaker TK Dayanand , follows the speech-impaired protagonist, and his relationships with the priest who named him and showed him love, the woman he craves, his daughter, and the benefactor-turned-villain and how circumstances involving all of these people lead Toby in various directions. Directed by Raj’s long-time associate Basil Alchalakkal, the film also stars Chaithra J Achar, Gopalkrishna Deshpande, Yogi Bankeshwar, Samyukta Hornad, Raj Deepak Shetty, Sandhya Arekere, among others.

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