This is perhaps the best whodunit we have seen in recent times, which will keep you hooked till the last frame...
The 2008 Hemraj-Arushi double murder case been smeared on the front pages of every daily for days together. Everyday a new clue or a new evidence was discovered which opened a completely different side of the case. When one decides to have such a case as the premise of their film, it is imperative that the research is right. Talvar not only just throws light on the way the investigation was carried out on one of the most talked about and debated case in India, it also bared a few realities of our judicial system that will shock you. Everything about this film is worth talking about and here's why I feel so...
What it's about:
Shruti Tandon was all of 14 when her body was found in her room on the bed with her throat slit. Her parents Ramesh and Nutan Tandon discover her in a pool of blood and the cops are called. The cop presiding over the case, frivolously conduct the survey of the crime scene despite getting many real and glaring evidences. Despite knowing the fact that Tandons' house help for two years Khemraj is missing, they dismiss obvious blood trails to the terrace. They are quick to put the blame on the servant and call it an open and shut case when the next day. Khemraj's body is discovered from the terrace. Meanwhile, media had turned the whole case into a high-profile one and so, the cops were in a hurry to close this case. Based on circumstantial evidence, they arrest Ramesh for the crime. But it doesn't take time for the government to figure out that the investigation wasn't done properly and so the task is entrusted on CBI's Ashwin Kumar (Irrfan Khan) to clear the mess. He does his best to gather as many proofs as possible to solve the mystery and even manages to do so but his senior gets retired and with him everything goes downhill. Whether or not, his investigation comes to a conclusion is the rest of the story.
Vishal Bharadwaj and Meghna Gulzar called Talvar as the fictional representation of the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case but the way it is shot and executed you would believe it's for real. The film gives you a feeling that Gulzar has researched the case really well. Never ever will you feel there is a snag. The best part about the film is it doesn't waste time in establishing a happy family before to show the loss. It gets straight to the point and starts from the morning Shruti's body is found. The script is water-tight so much so that we get engrossed in it right from the first frame.
Of course, it is a film which shows Talwar's side of the case, throwing light on how they were implicated in the case but never ever does it falsely make you root for them. It also opens our eyes on the fact that things like Narco tests are conducted on the accused even though they are not admissible in court. So even if you manage to get a confession out of them, they are almost redundant.
But the clincher is the cast. Such a film with an intense whodunit tale needs actors who can do justice to it. With the likes of Irrfan Khan, Konkana Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi and others, Gulzar had made sure people don't get disturbed by the histrionics but by the proceedings. Even the supporting cast from a small role to a substantial one, everyone was just PERFECT!
A thriller needs to intrigue people and make them jump at every twist and turn. With Talvar, it was not really possible since anyone who read the Aarushi-Hemraj murder case on the newspapers know where the case is headed. Hence, the proceedings need to be pacy. Talvar drags in the beginning and also towards the end. Scenes are stretched beyond a certain measure which is unnecessary. Irrfan and Tabu's track was hardly needed and served no purpose. Fortunately, it doesn't really affect the story but could have been done without. Even the investigation done by the second CBI team stretches it uselessly. It could have been swifter!
What to do:
Even if you have a whole lot to do this weekend, make a point to watch this film. I bet you haven't seen a better whodunit in recent times in Indian Cinema.
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4 out of 5