Directed by Meghna Gulzar
A hardened cop deals with three conflicting perspectives involving a brutal double murder. The case is complicated as the prime suspects are the parents who supposedly killed their teenage daughter.
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★★★★ review by Naughty aka Juli Norwood 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 Suvo Pyne on Letterboxd
Strictly in terms of films, Talvar is an excellent thriller where a whodunnit story is retold from various outlooks. It grips you from the first frame and does not relinquish even after the film finishes.
Being an Indian, I can note what this films also tries to illustrate the gaping holes our country's crime solving techniques, where a Criminal is found first and then motif and modus operandi are thought of. Based on the infamous Noida double murder case, this films strictly follows the events and shows how politician, police and media all played parts in it.
A film that needs to be seen
★★★★½ review by Sanchay 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.
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