We all know that Bollywood is a place where reel incidents imitate the real ones. There have been many films in Bollywood, which have been made on real life incidents. A few years back, the mysterious death of a young girl named Aarushi Talwar rocked and shocked the whole nation. The same was translated on screen around last year in the form of the Tisca Chopra starrer RAHASYA. This week's release is TALVAR, happens to be yet another 'take' on the story plot that treads on the similar (if not same) premise. Will TALVAR prove to be 'sword' sharp at the box-office or will it lose its shine, let's analyze.
The film starts off with an 'official introduction' of Inspector Ashwin Kumar (Irrfan Khan) in the officers' get together of CDI (Central Department of Investigation). This is followed by his senior officers' handing over to him the double murder case 'that had shaken the entire middle class families by its roots'. The film then goes into a flashback of events which had led to the murders. The flashback shows the family of the Tandons which consists of Nutan Tandon (Konkona Sen Sharma), Ramesh Tandon (Neeraj Kabi), their daughter Shruti Tandon (Ayesha Parveen) and their domestic help Khempal. One day Nutan gets a shock of her life when she discovers the dead body of Shruti lying in a pool of blood on her bed. She immediately screams for help. The police team led by Inspector Dhaniram (Gajraj Rao) arrive on the spot and start their regular investigations. On the basis of suspicion, they pick up the Tandons' domestic help's close friend Kanhaiya. Based on his 'assumptions', he spins a story that it was the husband-wife duo of the Tandons who had killed their daughter because they had seen her in a compromising position alongwith Khempal. Wasting no time, Inspector Dhaniram and his senior officer declare the murder as a clear case of 'honour killing'. Because of the discrepancies in the case by the police department, the case then gets handed over to the CDI, which is led by Inspector Ashwin Kumar and his close colleague Inspector Vedant (Soham Shah). After days and nights of working relentlessly on the case, they suddenly discover Khempal's decomposed body on the building's terrace. This leads to a series of hardcore investigations alongwith narco-analysis tests performed on the suspects. After all this, Inspector Ashwin Kumar and his team almost crack the case. Just as Inspector Ashwin Kumar is about to reach to a conclusion, situations take a U-turn when his senior officer gets retired and there enters a 'colour-changing' new chief of the CDI. The moment he takes charge, the first thing that he does is freshly investigate the Shruti Tandon-Khempal's double murder case. Situations become worse and challenging for Inspector Ashwin Kumar when Inspector Vedant starts working against him because of the greediness of being promoted to a higher rank. This leads to an altercation between Inspector Ashwin Kumar and Inspector Vedant, which results in Inspector Ashwin Kumar being suspended off his services. After a series of investigations by the newly formed CDI officers' investigative team, they conclude that it was indeed the duo of Nutan and Ramesh who were the killers. Who ultimately are the killers of the 14 year old Shruti Tandon and Khempal, do they happen to be Shruti's own parents or someone else, and does the case ultimately get solved after all the unexpected twists and turns is what forms the rest of the story.
The film's director Meghna Gulzar, who, has to her credit of having directed films like FILHAAL, JUST MARRIED and DUS KAHANIYAAN tries her hand in the hard-hitting genre with TALVAR. She does full justice to the film as a director. TALVAR is such a film in which the script is the undisputed hero. And Meghna has let the film's 'hero' do the talking. Even though the story of TALVAR is way different from what Meghna had done before, she deserves full brownie points for handling the sensitive and complicated issue in such a watertight and flawless manner. The film's narrative is superlatively gripping and keeps the audiences glued to the edge of their seats till the end. While the first half of the film is outstanding and tight, the second half slows down after the interval, but picks up towards the end, thus making for a thoroughly engaging film till the end. Alongwith Meghna Gulzar, if there's someone who deserve to be applauded with both the hands, then it is the writer Vishal Bhardwaj, who has written the film's story and screenplay.
Even though the film has powerhouse of talents, it is Irrfan Khan who leads the film right from his entry in the film. With this film, he has yet again proved that why he is the most bankable star in Bollywood today. His performance is absolutely magnetic and compelling. Right from the word go, he takes charge of the film totally. Even though Konkona Sen Sharma seems to have underplayed her usual self, she is convincing in her part as much as Tabu in a cameo. Special mention to Neeraj Kabi (for his portrayal as a helpless father), Sohum Shah and Atul Kumar (esp. for his chaste Hindi dialogues). The rest of the actors help the film in moving forward.
In a film like this, we all know that there is no scope for music. That's why even the film's songs (music by Vishal Bhardwaj) fail to leave an impact. It is the film's background score that stays with the audience. While the film's cinematography (Pankaj Kumar) is decent, the editing (A. Sreekar Prasad) is very crisp. The film's dialogues are brilliant.
On the whole, TALVAR is an engaging, edgy thriller with no dull moments. A must watch.