About a week has passed since Meghna Gulzar's "Talvar" have hit the screens & due to some work commitments I wasn't able to jot down as to what I felt about it. Since most of my friends didn't even hear about this movie, I felt it made sense to write about it after all it was based on the Aarushi murder case which had hogged the headlines until the Sheena Bora case came up. With Irffan Khan & Konkona Sen among the cast, it was expected to be well portrayed & they did exactly that. The question that everyone had was in which point of view was the movie made, after all it is such a convoluted case. So did Meghna Gulzar do justice to this murder mystery???
The film unfolds with Inspector Ashwin Kumar (Irrfan Khan) of the CDI being made in charge of the Shruti Tandon murder case which had shook the conscience of the nation. The utter incompetence & lackadaisical approach of the Noida police headed by Inspector Dhaniram (Gajraj Rao) meant that by the time Ashwin was brought in, all the crucial evidence were either lost or trampled. On the basis of some assumptions & vague theories, they had pinned the murder of Shruti & Khempal (Tandon's domestic help) on Ramesh Tandon (Neeraj Kabi). They branded it as a case of honour killing after Ramesh had seen his daughter in a compromising position with Khempal. However, Ashwin assisted by Inspector Vedant (Soham Shah) meticulously go through the circumstantial evidence & comes to the conclusion that the parents were innocent. But before he could close the case, the case is handed over to a new investigative team who again comes to the conclusion that the parents were indeed guilt of the double murder. So how both these teams goes about their task of coming to their own conclusions forms the crux of the movie.
After a hiatus, Meghna Gulzar calls the shots with this hard hitting film & she has done an excellent job with regard to the manner it was made. It seems like a documentary at times with the same scene being re-enacted a couple of times to support the theory of both the investigative teams. The audience is also given a realistic view as to how insensitive & casual the attitude of the cops could be at times. One of the primary reason as to why Megha was able to accomplish all this was coz of the brilliant script & screenplay by Vishal Bharadwaj. In such a grim movie, it's hard to have some light moments but the manner in which he has crafted the climax sequence between both the investigative teams rubbishing the findings of the other deserves applause. If at all there was some portion which felt unwanted, it was the take on Ashwin's disconcerted chemistry with his wife. As for other technical aspects, the BGM was fine while the editing by Sreekar Prasad was crisp and even the visuals by Pankaj Kumar seemed adequate.
Irrfan Khan has been the toast of Bollywood in the past few years & with even Hollywood having cast him, he has enhanced his reputation of being one of the best actors in the country. Expectedly, Irrfan was brilliant as Inspector Ashwin be it in the manner he goes about the case or his equation with his wife. Konkona Sen & Neeraj Kabi may not have much dialogues but they had expressed their character's distress convincingly. Prakash Belawadi (as the former CDI boss) was fantastic & even Soham Shah has done a fine job. As for the rest of the cast, all of them have done their jobs aptly though Tabu's role seemed unwanted.
Verdict: As per the latest box office reports, the movie has done exceedingly well & it seems to be going steady inspite of new releases. It's a well crafted movie & deserves all the applause coming its way. There is no doubt that the makers have given a clear indication as to what they think about the Talwar's involvement in the double murder. We can only hope that justice is served as soon as possible after all it's been about seven years now. As for the movie, no need for second thoughts...just go for it !!!