Starring: Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Tabu, Sohum Shah
Directed by: Meghna Gulzar
Written By: Vishal Bhardwaj
Year of Release: 2015
‘Sometimes, truth is stranger than fiction’
At the first instance, Talvar appears to be another movie trying to commercialize one of the most controversial murder mystery of our times, the Noida Double Murder Case. In that case, a 14 year old child was found dead in her home. All the fingers were pointed to the domestic help. A day later the domestic servant was also found dead at the terrace. All of this happened in one upper middle class colony in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
However, it is far from being a commercialized version of the tragedy. The movie is a bold comment on the system of investigation in our country and the actions of Uttar Pradesh police in investigating the matter.
The writers have decided to change the name of the real life people who were the part of the incident while naming their characters. The CBI is also referred to as CDI.
Due to widespread media coverage of the matter, the matter was handed over to CBI for investigation.
We will not reveal the plot much as that would lead to spoilers. The movie is taut, fast paced, gripping and intriguing. The writer chooses not to take any sides but it is clear that the movie depicts the incident tilting that the parents might be innocent. The movie shows a lot of probable versions of what might have actually happened on that heartrending day in 2008.
All the characters in the movie are fleshed out really well be it the parents or the members of the respective investigation agencies. The Direction is craftful and the Director chooses not to have any theatrics barring one scene when the writers chose to mock the media for it’s emotionless commercialization of the incident.
Compared to Meghna Gulzar’s earlier works such as Filhaal and Just Married, Talvar is her finest and best work till date. The audience is glued to the movie and it is difficult to predict what might happen next unless one has followed the murder case since inception.
As far as the performances, everybody has performed exceedingly well. Kudos to Irrfan Khan for a brilliant performance. He holds the movie together and is the second best thing in the movie after the script.
Konkona Sen Sharma does well as her character masterfully switches from victim to accused to victim again. Her eyes speak louder than words. Neeraj Kabi who was superlative in Detective Byomkesh Bakshi is restrained here and plays the character of the father with fine nuances.
Other supporting characters play their part well and keep the movie interesting and immensely watchable. Tabu is also there (somewhere), as Irrfan Khan’s wife but has a very minuscule role.
Talvar is the first movie that brings to the viewers and enlightens them about certain investigation methods that are not in their true sense legal. The biggest revelation in the movie is revealed through narco-analysis test.
The movie is brimming with excellent scenes and witty dialogues. The movie probes deep into the event and tries to recreate how investigation agency made mockery of the case and reduced it to a possible theory that may be true or may not be true.
One of the best scene in the movie is the penultimate scene when there is a debate and discussion between the two different investigation teams of the same agency towards the possible happenings of the incident.
At the end, the Investigation agency files a closure report and states that it is difficult for them to prove the case against the parents. However, the Hon’ble Court (Special Judicial Magistrate (C.B.I.), Ghaziabad) rejects the closure report and issues summon to the accused parents. The matter thereafter proceeds to trial.
The title name Talvar has a very philosophic explanation. We recommend you to watch this movie as soon as possible as it is presently running in theatres. The movie would loose much of it’s message and impact if seen otherwise.
Talvar is a story that should have been shared with the world. Talvar is a story that gives you an insight into the investigative machinery and the consequences of missing important evidences.
To conclude, Talvar is not to be missed. Don’t go with with any expectations and pre-conceived notions, you will end up being awestruck.
Legal Aspects: Inadmissibility of Narco-Analysis Tests and material recovered in pursuant to the same
The theory of CBI that the domestic helps could be the murderers and not the parents, was based on the narco-analysis of the domestic helps. However, the same was inadmissible as evidence. On the basis of these narco-analysis tests the CBI found certain circumstantial evidence that the domestic helps were present at the scene of crime at the time of the incident. However, all of this was not considered and the judgement of Smt. Selvi v. State of Karnataka; 2010 (7) SCC 263 was wrongly interpreted and improperly applied. As per the said judgement if the investigating agency finds something on the basis of the information revealed in the narco-analysis tests then the investigative agencies would be acting as per Section 27 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 and such evidence collected on the basis of the narco-analysis tests can be admitted as material evidence.
It is stated that if the narco-analysis is involuntary than the recovery under Section 27 is inadmissible as evidence. In the present case, all tests were conducted voluntarily and therefore any evidence found on the basis of the narco-analysis tests could have been proven by way of Section 27.
In the present case, the Court disregarded that the recovered material was obtained after and as a result of the narco-analysis tests and missed the evidence that could be proved by way of Section 27.
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