Talvar

Director: Meghna Gulzar | Year: 2015

Just back from Talvar. Haven’t been hit so hard by a movie for ages. Take a bow Vishal Bharadwaj and Meghna Gulzar. The film makes you feel, and it makes you think. More than who is innocent or who is not, it opens our eyes to the process of criminal investigation. It brought to my mind the valedictory address at my son’s graduation at NLSUI, where the speaker said: The courts are not designed to punish the guilty. They are designed to punish those who can be proven guilty.

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So often we forget that. The film shows how investigations are conducted and how with the transfer of the investigating officer at CBI the whole course of the investigation can change. A post-mortem report can change 5 times, a typing errr can happen ten times in a blood report, negating crucial evidence, witnesses retract their testimony, who can be an approver and who can’t is decided by the whim of an investigating head. The film show2s how all those who have been convicted may are not necessarily the culprits and all those outside the jails are not necessarily innocent. Bharadwaj who has been perfecting his black comedy right from Maqbool, gaining some serious heft in this department through films like Kaminey, Saat Khoomn Maaf, Matru Ki Mandola and Haider hit a purple patch here in the final ssequence here where rival investigating team sof CBI present their stand point. It is a masterclass in writing. The great writing is matched by equaly great performances from the ensemble cast. Irrfan of course is tops. But Neeraj Kavi, Konkona, the guy who plays the second investigating officer and the servant and his friends are all good. And I must make a mention of our Bengaluru Theatre Man, Prakash Belwadi who does an enjoyable turn as the retiring director of CBI, especially in his awkward eagerness to complete the shayari  started by the new CBI head. And yes, I loved the song Zinda sung by Rekha Bharadwaj during the end credits. Most of all it is heartening to note that the Gulzar name is going to shine in Bollywood filmmaking in the years go come with Meghna carrying the baton from papa Gulzar with total confidence and control.

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