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Movie Review: Talwar

Release Date:October 2, 2015


Cast: Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi, Tabu, Sohum Shah

Direction: Meghna Gulzar

Writer& Screenplay: Vishal Bhardwaj

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Duration: 2 hours 12 minutes

“Truth is stranger than fiction” is a fact that has been explored innumerable times on the big screen.  With Talvar, it has acquired entirely new dimensions, as it takes viewers on an intriguing journey that reverberates with murder, deceit and deception. Based on the 2008 Noida double murder case, Talvar seeks to explore the extremely tragic and horrifying events that completely decimated the lives of those involved, and tries to uncover everything that went wrong with investigations conducted by the police and CBI. It also highlights the potential inadequacies of the judicial system in terms of the various loopholes that exist, which can easily be exploited to alter the face of truth.

The 2008 Noida double murder case, involving the murder of 14 year old Aarushi Talwar (daughter of Rajesh Talwar Nupur Talwar) and the family’s domestic help, Hemraj Banjade, has attracted diverging theories from day one. Talvar explores the twin contradictory lines of investigation, wherein plenty of circumstantial evidence exists to support both theories. Everything that is portrayed in the film is already available on the public domain for everyone to see, and yet the finesse with which everything is pieced together transforms it into a legendary whodunit. One theory considers the case as honour killing and accuses the parents for killing their daughter, while the other theory explores the role of outsiders (friends of Hemraj, the domestic help). In between, there are plenty of twists and turns in investigations and new revelations, which continue to add to the complexity of the case.

Meghna Gulzar has done an awesome job as a director by sticking to the facts, all while ensuring that the movie comes across as a tight thriller. All throughout, the focus is solely on the story. Often characters are over emphasized, something that has been successfully avoided in the film. Talvar scores high points as a contemporary Indian movie in contrast to the commercial mainstream as well as an experimental journey that explores the problems of our society and system. Irrfan Khan has yet gain done a great job in his role of investigating cop Ashvin Kumar, and deserves maximum accolades. An amazing screenplay by Vishal Bhardwaj deserves an equal credit, as it adds an infallible layer of intrigue to the storyline.

Talvar also deserves appreciation for its bravery, since it dares to take a stand in an on-going case. For people who believe that the sentencing of Aarushi’s parents to life imprisonment is a miscarriage of justice, it would be good to see if the film can make a difference – probably motivate the authorities to see the truth. For everyone else, Talvarmakes for a gripping and illuminating storyline, and certainly a “must watch”.

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