Directed by Meghna Gulzar
Dramatization of the notorious "Noida Double Murder Case", which set off a media frenzy around the world in 2008.
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★★★★ review by Naughty on Letterboxd
2 Hours 12 Minutes - Not Rated
Directed by Meghna Gulzar
Starring: Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi
Summary: Based on a real double murder case! A mind boggling depiction of inept police work, the shocking mishandling of evidence and the mindless contamination of the crime scene will absolutely astound you!
Apparently some folks are having a hissy fit in regards to whether or not the writer and director were indeed objective and not biased as they have claimed! It is quite obvious they were in fact biased! They DID however present both sides of the case admirably nonetheless! But I think everyone has missed a very important point! Regardless of whom you believe committed the murders the fact is the initial investigation was bungled! Evidence was grossly mishandled and contaminated thus all the prosecution had was purely circumstantial evidence! They had no case!
The injustice in this case is twofold! One - It should have never gone to trial! Two - it was a travesty of justice that anyone was sentenced at all! Unless someone confessed or a credible witness came forward the case should have been thrown out completely!
With that being said I found this to be a thoroughly compelling story! On one hand I was asking myself in between chuckles if the police involved in the initial investigation had received their training at the Barney Fife Police Academy! It was a nonstop national lampoonesque comedy of errors! I didn't know whether I should laugh or cry! On the other hand two people are dead and the lives of two more are at stake! To say I was frustrated would be a gross understatement! The fact that I still have any hair left on my head is a miracle what with all the wringing of hands and hair pulling that was going on!
Irrfan Khan was simply magnificent as always! I truly felt his pain and intense frustration! If you are a fan of crime films or if you are a big fan of forensic investigations and want a good laugh this film is for you! Lady Justice just threw in the towel, she's so ashamed she just committed harakiri!
★★★★ review by Arsaib Gilbert on Letterboxd
"People sometimes forget the sword's there," an investigating officer is told metaphorically by his superior halfway through the taut and compelling thriller Guilty (Talvar). "And in the past 60 years [the period since India's independence], it's become rusty." He is referring to the saber—the "talwar", which is also transliterated as the titular "talvar"—carried by the blindfolded statue of Lady Justice, representing punishment. Not coincidentally, the original title also echoes the surname of the dentist couple, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, who were accused and eventually found guilty of murdering their 14-year-old daughter and 45-year-old domestic help in 2008 in Noida, India, a case which generated extensive media coverage and public interest due to the social class to which they belonged and the suggestions of sexual transgressions that involved all parties. In November 2013, the parents were sentenced to life imprisonment.
★★★★★ review by Isaac Benedict on Letterboxd
Rarely have I been this blown away by a film from my own country. Mani Ratnam's Iruvar was the last time I was totally captivated from start to finish. From the acting, to the writing, to the brilliant twists, this Rashomon-esque crime drama based on the 2008 Noida double murder case is brilliant. Talvar is flawless. There is not one dull moment, not one dip in momentum, not one scene that doesn't fit. It is a perfectly executed film. Irrfan Khan man! Damn it! What a great performance! This is a must watch film from 2015.
★★★★½ review by Sanchay Wadhwa on Letterboxd
Saw this again after the verdict came out a week ago but reviewing it now. Still retains every bit of its finesse and horrifying uneasiness. A true crime adaptation such as this one could have easily been stock full of plotholes and boring, unnecessary drama but thankfully, that's not on director Meghna Gulzar's mind at all. Talvar carves a shocking, elaborate picture of the intricacies of the infamous Aarushi murder case. Every frame serves a purpose, and the tightly packed narrative brilliantly puts forward the multifarious theories about the murders, stripping them of all emotion and only dealing with the facts.
I'd almost (hesitantly) compare it to Zodiac in the way it handles its deeply complex double-edged subject matter. It leaves out elements that have little basis in reality and ends just as suddenly with no apparent conclusion, as life often does.
With not a bad performance to be found and one of the best screenplays to come out of India in the past few years, Talvar is a gem of Indian Cinema, an unequivocal reminder that Indian cinema can transcend above its usual cliched and banal state.
★★★★ review by VLxx on Letterboxd
Political thriller is done right when it seems to tell much more than it suggests. It isn't only commentary on the authority that thinks nothing but their own benefits and who are ready to let go of the truth if it doesn't fit its schedule. The atmosphere that is born in the Rashomon-esque story that jumps from solved to zero and back to solved to zero just to be solved again like it was solved the first time, crashes strongly into the destiny of Shruti suggesting that it might not ultimately matter who killed her if she has to grow up in such a country. Of course this is a long shot but the constant plotting, weird looks and uncertain atmosphere let us feel that everyone could lie - even if Gulzar seems to somewhat sympathize with the family. It's a skill to being able to make a film that covers so many different emotions and moods and make them work together. Because nothing is really solved and things get only more twisted, Talvar never eases its grip. Was the sword ever sharp?
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