Talvar - Review
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Did a father murder his daughter with her mother as an accomplice? A deep chill runs down the spine irrespective of the answer. If yes, it means a person who belongs to the same economic and educational strata as ours can commit such a heinous crime. If no, it implies they are mourning in a jail – both the death of their daughter and their baffling misfortune. That the film leaves you thinking about the characters involved in itself is proof that it did justice to the case, whether or justice was done in the case.
It is not that we don't know what humans are capable of. In fact, nothing I hear in the news shocks me any more. I am sure, often enough, we can find a news item which had we seen in a film, we would have scoffed a, “that cannot happen in real life”. If women can be raped by order of a governing body – quasi and unelected as it may be - for her brother's fault/crime, anything can happen. If a father can kill a daughter for not making food the shape he likes it, anything can happen. And of course, the Arushi double-murder case is anything but unheard of.
Having desensitized myself so, I feel more capable of handling the ruthlessness of the true life world that this movie is about to unfold. With my sketicism of what is reported by media, I hadn't followed the case back then, in too much detail. I decided, as always, to not research too much before watching the film. It let's me watch a film such as this like a film and not give in to real-life drama.
All well-intentioned attempt at balance aside, the film draws you in. At first, the events seem episodic; the back-and-forth and point-of-view repetition seems like a cinematic gimmick (of course, Rashomon-usque. But then, you get drawn in and you only wonder how many episodes they must've had to leave out to stick to the 2-hour time limit.
The casting is flawless – and regular readers would know, I don't use blanket statements easily. Gajraj Rao's pace and ineptitude gets on your nerves, quite like the frustration that the Tandons must've felt too. Irrfan Khan completely owns it. Is there a better poker face around? Can anyone else carry dark humor with such impeccable timing like this man?
Konkona Sen Sharma and Neeraj Kabi couldn't have merged into the background any better. The film is about them and yet, they are mere backdrop. That's what their personalities seemed like – staying out of limelight; keeping to themselves. In fact, the more showy Kanhaiya played by Sumit Gulati aptly stays in memory longer.
A lot of these performances come from very well-thought out writing. The documentation available on this case is vast. To sift through that and decide on points to focus on might not have been an easy task. For example, the decision to include the investigating officer's personal life, which was completely extraneous to the case, must have been a well-considered one. One that keeps the audience rooted in reel life. Usually, such an inclusion feels like an intrusion. But, here it goes with the flow of the film and shows you a facet of the officer that you might not have known to even have thought of.
Once these decisions were made, you can see the effort put into fine-tuning them into a coherent, in its own way linear story, to arrive at the desired effect - make a case from the writer-director point of view. Sure, it is not an unbiased point of view. And that makes you unsure about the film. It bothers you that the conclusion is dissatisfactory. And you realise, that is because it is dissatisfactory, which is why the film was made in the first place.
Isn't it ironical, that in a country where the stereotype is that the affluent get away with all kinds of crime and in fact, pin it on their domestic help – this once the opposite happened and it very well could be the wrong decision?
It does leave you exasperated at the end, and disturbed. I guess you can feel decent about yourself that with all the inhumanity in the world, its depiction in a film managed to send a chill down the spine.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Lots. It is about a murder case, so there's the murder.
- Language: Abusive language muted out.
- Nudity & Sexual content: None. However, mention of sex, the missionary position and pornography.
- Concept: Presentation of a true life, double murder case.
- General Look and Feel: Grainy, real life look.
Talvar - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Junglee Pictures, VB Pictures Pvt. Ltd., Mirchi Movies Limited
- Producer: Vineet Jain, Vishal Bharadwaj
- Director: Meghna Gulzar
- Lead Cast: Irrfan Khan, Avika Gor, Konkana Sen Sharma
- Supporting Cast: Soham Shah, Tabu, Neeraj Kabi, Atul Kumar, Gajraj Rao
- Story: Vishal Bharadwaj
- Cinematography: Pankaj Kumar
- Editor: A. Sreekar Prasad
- Music Director: Vishal Bharadwaj
- Lyrics: Gulzar
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 120 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
Talvar - Trailer
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