In recent memory, National Capital Region (NCR) where India’s capital New Delhi is situated became infamous for 3 rarest of rare crimes. 2006 Nithari serial murders, 2008 Double murder case and 2012 Delhi gang rape crimes, all shook the nation like no other and still remain in people’s memory. Out of these, the Aarushi Talwar double murder case was the disturbing from a justice perspective as even today it remains inconclusive in identifying beyond doubts the real culprits. Doubts remain in general public’s mind whether the local Police and CBI botched up the case due to their incompetency to get the 14 year old’s parents punished unfairly.
Talvar (2015) starring Irrfan Khan, is a narration of this crime which tries hard to portray it fairly and succeeded in producing an entertaining film as well. It was directed by Meghna Gulzar, whose work I have seen earlier in the short story collection – Dus Kahaniyaan. The movie is presented in three parts, in a way resembling Kamal Haasan starring Virumaandi film, which itself was based on Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950). First we see the incidents as it happened after the crime including the local cops version which original got the parents accused of honour killing. Second is the version which CBI Officer Ashwin Kumar (Irrfan Khan) produces which names two servants as culprits. Third is the confusion that Home Secretary gets as the second CBI team dismisses Ashwin’s version and goes with the original police version. At the end we are left pitying the parents for having suffered losing their loving daughter and be punished for the crime.
Most of us have seen the Talwar couple in National Television many times, so Director Meghna Gulzar has to be appreciated for a brilliant cast. Neeraj Kabi as Rajesh Talwar and Konkona Sen Sharma as Nutan Tandon have brought the characters to life. The casual attitude shown by Inspector Dhaniram in the original crime scene, and the scene where he cries after CBI Ashwin makes him bend down are good acting by Gajraj Rao as the Inspector. When Ashwin interrogates Tandon’s assistant Kanhaiya, who gets accused of murder, as the character Kanhaiya, Sumit Gulati eludes a stupid confidence that was noticeable.
Overall, a brisk and captivating story telling that will leave you thinking about it even after you leave the cinema hall.