Movie Review: ‘Talvar’ by Neha Ravindran 

Movie: Talvar

Director: Meghna Gulzar

Cast: Konkana Sen, Neeraj Kabi, Irrfan Khan

Genre: Thriller

Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar received an expected turn out from movie goers. In other words every show is running almost house full. As I waited outside, near the snacks bar, I could not but overhear snippets of conversations from the people around me.

“Mujhe toh bas yeh janana hai ki true culprit kaun hai.”

“Mujhe lagta hai, new story hai, inspired by Arushi case.”

“Ma-baap ne hi maara tha ji, koi doubt nahi hai, jail main hai dono.”

Reasons were multitude for watching this movie but the curiosity was the same. And opposed to the saying, here, curiosity did not kill the cat, rather deepened it further. Meghna delivers a thrilling, riveting and suspense packed movie, beyond expectations.

The CDI (Central Department of Investigation) has been handed over a murder case- a case that shook the entire nation out of its morning slumber. The Talvars wake up one fine morning to find their 14 year old daughter, Shruti, dead in her bed with her throat slit open. After initially blaming the servant, the case takes an unexpected turn, when the servant’s body is recovered from the terrace. The police declare the case to be one of honour killing- the father killed his daughter in a fit of rage after seeing her in a compromising position with the old servant. However, there is no evidence, no proof to this story and the crime scene evidence is badly botched up by the police. Will the CDI shine light on what took place on that dark night or will he Talvars be put behind bars despite no evidence against them?

This movie is no new story for us. Arushi Talwar double muder case was the most sensational news of 2008, where the thought that a couple could kill their own daughter had the dining table conversations split into two teams. But I always wondered if this case was to be made into a movie, how will the people involved escape from being sucked into one or the other theories framed by the media and police? Well, director Meghna Gulzar has answered my question beautifully though this movie. Talvar is not a verdict, neither is it an assertion of a view point. Rather, it is simply a retelling of the progress of the case from the day of the murder.

The cast of the movie is well thought out. Konkana Sen and Neeraj Kabi as the doctor couple are convincing and their shock and grief at the way their lives are shattered in one night, is palpable. Irrfan Khan in the role of an investigating officer is a compelling choice. The highlight of the movie is the narrative itself which is hauntingly realistic and well drawn out. Music by Vishal Bhardwaj is excellent, but never overpowers the scene itself, rather compliments the situations beautifully. Cinematography by Pankaj Kumar perfectly captures the life of a middle class family thrown into a never ending rabbit hole.

Talvar is a must watch, for reasons known and unknown. It will throw at you the two sides of a coin, each side significant and poignant in itself and leave you with the yet unanswered question,

‘Who killed Arushi?’

My verdict: ****