Cases such as the Aarushi murder, when turned into a film, are often lambasted for being insensitive to the subject. So when a film called Rahasya, based on one of India’s most controversial and disturbing cases in recent times, was announced early last year, it sparked off similar debates.
Even established director Milan Luthria backed out after expressing his wish to make a film on it. But it hasn’t deterred writer-director Meghna Gulzar. While her last film Just Married or her segment in the anthology Dus Kahaaniya were not received well at the box office, she has managed to get Irrfan to play the role of an investigating cop and Shefali Shah, who will play Aarushi’s mother Nupur Talwar in the film.
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In 2008, 13-year-old Aarushi and 45-year-old domestic help Hemraj were found murdered at the Talwar’s residence in Noida. In this long-winding high-profile case that raised more questions than it gave answers, with the eventual life sentence of Aarushi’s parents in November 2013, the film will be produced by Vishal Bhardwaj. With Bhardwaj’s involvement, and Meghna’s schooling in filmmaking — she is the daughter of poet-filmmaker Gulzar — we can hope the story gets the deserved poignancy and restraint.