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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Talvar: Putting truth to the sword

The film dwells on the shoddiness of the police in their investigations as the movie progresses - a scary scenario for anyone to be caught in.

Written by Alaka Sahani |
Updated: October 2, 2015 6:29:41 pm
Aarushi Talwar, Talvar, Talvar film, Aarushi talvar film, film on Aarushi talvar, Talvar film review, Aarushi Talwar murder, Aarushi Talwar murder case, Aarushi Talwar murder case probe, Talwar case, Penguin Random House, Aarushi talvar latest news It is no secret that the movie – whose engrossing screenplay is written by Vishal Bhardwaj – is based on the 2008 Aarushi Talwar murder case that riveted and shocked the nation.

While watching today’s release, the Meghna Gulzar-directed Talvar, one can’t escape the sense of how close the story unfolding on the big screen is to real life. It is no secret that the movie – whose engrossing screenplay is written by Vishal Bhardwaj – is based on the 2008 Aarushi Talwar murder case that riveted and shocked the nation.

Yet, there is more to Talvar. While the film is faithful to the real crime case, there is a bold attempt here to highlight one facet: how the botched-up investigation into the Noida double murder – a day after Aarushi’s death, the servant Hemraj’s body was found in the terrace – ignored vital leads and crucial evidence that may have helped to identify the killer conclusively.

The film dwells on the shoddiness of the police in their investigations as the movie progresses – a scary scenario for anyone to be caught in. The viewer experiences fear and anger over the fact that anyone can be struck by such a tragedy and then be sucked into a bigger tragedy wrought by an incompetent system. To the credit of Gulzar and Bharadwaj, it all seems only too real. That’s because they have largely stuck to the way the case panned out in reality and became nothing short of a media circus.

The makers have made very little effort to hide the identities of the people who were involved in the case. The film’s title, Talvar, itself is played on the second name of the victim and her parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar. The characters of the movie have been named with minor variations made in the original names. While Aarushi is Shruti, her father Rajesh is Ramesh, mother Nupur is called Nutan and CBI is called CDI in the movie.

Given the focus of the film, it is not surprising if during the course of the movie, viewers start to sympathise with the parents while public opinion continues to be polarised on who the real killer is and if justice has been done. The lack of evidence in convicting the Talwars has been questioned time and again.

When Irrfan Khan, who plays the role of the investigator Ashwin Kumar says that it is better to release 10 guilty people than punish a single innocent person, he is not just being the voice of reason in the film. The actor is probably making a veiled plea to reconsider the fate of the Talwars.

While we might raise an eyebrow over Irrfan’s recommendation and question whether a fictional respresentation of actual events should openly take sides, we can applaud Bollywood for taking a stand and moving beyond stories of gangsters and their rivalries with romanticised characters doused in gloss.

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