Talvar: 5 Reasons Why It’s A Must Watch!!

Meghna Gulzar returns from an eight year directorial hibernation with a disturbing and intense (double edged) Talvar. Based on a 2008 murder mystery (which was alive with media circus till Sheena Bora’s case took over), the movie seeks to recount the facts and events surrounding the incident. No judgement, unless you make your own.

1) The Untouchables: India’s official Oscar entry ‘Court’ ripped open the lowest quality denominator of lawyers who are entrusted to judge the most complex cases. Talvar exposes the levels of rustiness, pedestrian, insensitive, overtly judgemental police and investigation bureaus we have. Indians avoid tryst with police to the extent possible – even a robbery is reported only if the amount is worth the level of going through torture. Its because the country’s private sector attracts the best talents, the government sector mostly collects the residue. Everytime the case is debated in Talvar, either government agency gets exposed badly. Again and again. By the time the movie ends, viewer stays disturbed at the brittle shredding roots, that hold up our judiciary.

2) The Best Khan: Irrfan Khan is the only Hollywood actor from Bollywood. For some years he was the número uno next generation terrific actor. Now, with the rise of Nawazuddin Siddique, Rajkummar Rao and likes, the dynamic Khan is upping his game. Watch him at his scintillating best in the scene when CDI humiliates the police officer. Or in the divorce court scene with Tabu. Or in the opening scene when he shows disinterest in taking the case. When Irrfan is dismissed from the case, the viewer starts missing him.

3) Solid content: But Meghna’s firm grip continues. The fallacy behind investigating officers choosing own friends, officers with domestic problems (carrying child to investigation) and concluding before investigating, gives us the cringes. Add to that terrific performances from Sohum Shah, Neeraj Kabi, Konkona, Sumit Gulati and Gajraj Rao. Plus Vishal Bharadwaj’s taut writing and music, the viewer stays grasped. And tired. A 135 min investigation seemed tiring; my heart goes out to innocents who endure this for years, decades.

4) Whodunnits: Bollywood doesn’t churn too many murder mysteries. In last ten years we only got Talaash, Stoneman Murders, Manorama six feet under, Byomkesh Bakshi and offcourse Rahasya – based on the same real life incident as Talvar. That’s an average of one per two years. That’s two reasons to watch. Will Talvar reveal the real murderer? Go find out.

5) Aarushi: Most viewers will enter the hall believing they know who the culprits are. Media has conditioned us with enough masala to be judgemental. But spare a thought for little Aarushi. A tender teen losing her life much before it started. Her character assassinated for years – in newspapers, television and gossip. Many a times, with an overriding assumption that an aged old servant was on her –  in missionary position. And she doesn’t have a chance to clarify. Her throat slit by someone who knew her, saw her daily.
In 2006 we named our just born daughter Arushi, meaning first rays of dawn. We expected it to be an uncommon name for some years. But the ghastly 2008 Noida pained me no end everytime I switched on TV, hearing the name getting abused again and again. The picture of the victim I will never forget and wish no family ever has to go through what they went. In 2010 I started supporting an NGO (‘Love Commandoes’) protecting love against honour killing. Both could be unrelated. But I can’t help think that the girl for whom we are working 24*7, getting the Elsa dolls and Dora dresses could end up in a pool of blood before she got a chance to express herself to the world. Or a potential innocent parents rotting in jail. As Irrfan says, it’s better to release ten culprits than imprison one innocent.

Rating: 4/5 (averaged with friends)

Box Office Prediction: Friday first day first show (6pm) Singapore had barely 30% hall full (ONLY because it was a sneak preview opened last minute). However the following shows at Golden Village were said to be housefull!! For a movie like this, I hope the box office surpasses way across the 35 crores budget. We don’t want Meghna Gulzar to go on hibernation again especially with solid cinema like this.

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