132 Min. | Drama – Mystery – Thriller | October 2015
IMDB Rating: 8.6
Director: Meghna Gulzar
Staring: Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi
Talvar Review: Fourteen – year – old Shruti Tandon and middle-aged male servant Khempal are found dead, and Shruti’s parents, Ramesh (Neeraj Kabi) and Nutan (Konkona Sen Sharma), become prime suspects. The botched original police investigation brings the case to top agent Ashwin Kumar (Irrfan Khan) from the Central Department of Investigation. This thriller, directed by Meghna Gulzar, is based on the real – life 2008 Aarushi Talwar murder case that happened near New Delhi. Talvar on the another hand does a great job of laying down the facts, the absolute mess of the initial investigation and the gross miscarriage of justice. The murder may look like an open and shut case – four persons were in an apartment locked from the inside, and two were dead. The chief suspects are as obvious as daylight.
Talvar uses an almost documentary point of view as we follow not one, not two, but three investigations that led to different conclusions. The crime is horrendous and gut-wrenching, and I remember reading it in Straits Times a few years back in which the courts convicted the parents of committing honor killing. How a father could slit his daughter’s throat from ear to ear is just unimaginable. The narrative employs a Rashomon angle to give us the details in each of the investigations. But the thing about Kurosawa’s masterpiece is that he wasn’t asking us who is lying, but he was questioning us on what is the truth in each story. In Talvar, Vishal Bhardwaj and Meghna Gulzar’s hand is too heavy in that they are forcing us to take sides. In a multi – faceted investigative procedural like this have a feeling that it would work better if it takes an even hand and forces us to make the conclusion for ourselves after we have absorbed all the facts. Didn’t even feel the element of crucifixion by the media and public is evident. Some really missed opportunities IMHO.
Couldn’t believe 132 minutes whisked pass just like that. In Talvar, Irrfan Khan is in his element again playing the investigating officer and he adds little clever details which give his character heft and vulnerability. Hollywood just doesn’t know how to use him and Life of Pi and Jurassic World are not a great measure of what this actor is capable of. This is one actor who can elevate any film to a higher level and in the case of Talvar he is superb.