Friday, October 02, 2015

Review: TALVAR

Justice Denied. To The Audience.

2 stars

Mini Review:

So the filmmakers want to show that the Arushi Murder Case was bungled by cops and the parents have been denied justice. But the caricaturish treatment of the cops and some obvious plotholes are so off putting, you want to punish the filmmaker to some developmental hell.

Main Review:

Pan chewing cops, corruptible cops, easily distracted by cell-phone cops, selfie-taking cops, posing for camera cops, cops who don't know simple procedure cops, inefficient cops, out of shape cops, cops who sleep on the job, agencies helping cops making typos, upright cop who gets shunted, and all other tropes of cops is what you will see in this murder investigation.

We've seen this in the movies, right? But this movie puts them all in one case, in one place and that makes you want to say, 'Come on!'

Pan chewing cop who looks like he'd rather be elsewhere is first on the scene and his team says crass things like, 'Your mattress, your house, do whatever you want!' 

Maybe that happened, but knowing how power-hungry the small 'thullas' are, they probably would say, 'Sahab aa rahe hain, wait karo. Aur tab tak mere liye chai laao.'

But no. They just do really stupid things like let the neighbors take the blood-stained mattress up on the terrace to dry. Erm... Who does that? Were the Tandons going to reuse the mattress on which their child was killed? What were they thinking?

The cops take away the body in a jeep. Not even in the most lawless Delhi do they do that. There are designated 'shav vahinis'. No cop would want to do someone else's work. If they are shown to be so damned lazy, why would they take the body away in a jeep? And if they did, then how come they handed the body back so easily to the Tandons to cremate? The director missed a huge Saransh moment here where cop harassment and cop callousness could be shown...

Photo Op cops are so stupid they forget they took pictures of the the bloody pawprint on the terrace. 

Now cops are stupid, but they know how to make an extra buck or be recognised for work done because they're hoping for a promotion. How come the police photographer does not remember or expect a pay hike for having found the bloody pawprint? The director forgot that completely! The pan-chewing careless cop takes pictures of the pawprint with his cellphone but forgets about those pictures even when his arse is being whipped by CDI officer Irrfan Khan?

The movie takes sides. And I don't mind that. In fact, you begin to wonder about the incompetence of the cops because the good cop unearths the real culprits. 

What brings the movie down is the really tenuous reason for the cops to pursue the 'honor killing' theme doggedly. Even B-grade movies give bad cops some motive to 'phansaao' the good guys. There is no politician who gains from the Tandons going to jail, there is no bribe being paid by some super-rich Nepali don who is protecting the servants who are the real culprits. There is nothing. No reason why the new head of CDI wants to put the parents of the murdered kid behind bars.

Oh yes, there is, you will say. Remember the sardar who is a batchmate? Who asked the new head of CDI over for a drink of foreign daaru? Maybe he asked the shady CDI guy to cover for the mistakes he made...

I had by now begun to wish so many cool names weren't involved in making of this film. Vishal Bhardwaj wrote and produced it, Gulzar produced the director, Irrfan Khan acts in the movie. So does Konkona and the Ship Of Theseus monk...

So many people will call it 'taut' and 'shocking in its revelations', 'best drama' and so on. But if you've watched enough Savdhaan India or Crime Patrol or any of the cop shows on TV, you will find better tales told more realistically that this caricature cops bungling justice story.

I killed myself on this Talvar. Maybe you'll feel kinder.


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