I don’t remember such deep repentance in my life like yesterday evening, when I was watching Talwar sitting in a Theatre, 500 meters away from that flat in Noida, rumored to be desolated, after the double murder. Back in 2008 when this Arushi Talwar and Hemraj double murder case was fresh and hot, I was in my early 20s enjoying my wondrous World of Engineering. I remember clearly how I had exclaimed after I read the Police report of honour killing “Oh God! I can’t believe how people can be psycho to an extent that they can kill their own children!” I wish I could take back those words!
Usually, I avoid reading such murder stories after some point of Time, when I start feeling the essence of Yellow Journalism in it. Recent example is Indrani Mukhejea case. I stopped reading it after the Media started focusing more on Indrani Mukherjea’s personal life rather than the real murder case. I, actually as a women got really offended when certain Print Media presented a Tree diagram of Indrani Mukherjea’s relationships and Children from them instead of trying to focus on the real case. I couldn’t figure out why it was portrayed in such negativity when an ambitious small town girl becomes successful in later part of her life (Again “small town” was coined by certain media house. Note: Guwahati is in-fact nowhere near small town and Girls from that city from whatever generation are never as backward as portrayed in the whole hullabaloo). I believe polygamy by her is solely her personal thing and nobody has any right to point at her for it. Anyways, I am not here to defend her as I have no clue what lies beneath. And I really hope Sheena Bora gets right justice soon.
Coming back to the movie Talwar, I was bit sceptical when I first brushed against the News of the upcoming Movie based on this Murder case even though the Script was penned down by one of my favorite Film Makers, Vishal Bhardwaj. I got more annoyed watching the Trailer seeing both my Favorite actors Irfan Khan and Konkona Sen Sharma wondering how they could choose to do such kind of film which as usual might be no less than a Yellow Journalism with all sorts of Drama, eventually ridiculing the whole situation. I again beg my pardon and am still trying to swallow back my biased opinion.
I felt really bad about my statements, opinions after reading rave reviews about the Movie after it was released on October 2nd. I finally decided to watch it myself. Unlike any other movies which I had watched before, I could sense something very different after the end of the Movie. When the Movie ended, I could not hear a single comment bad or good, about the Movie amidst the crowd during the exit while most of them mirrored an absolute grimaced face. It was very evident that besides feeling sympathetic for the grief stricken couple, most of us had the same common feelings; it could have happened to us too! It was indeed a balanced well-presented Whodunit but bitter truth is, based on real story which could have happened to any one of us sitting over there. Till the end of the story it is not clear who is the real murderer since our Law system is solely driven by evidences and proofs which to an extent is sensible enough. But most important thing which became clear and which is a matter of horror for common people like us is how shallow and dumb investigations can doom some serious criminal acts; forget about finding a real solution. And then situations like Professional Rivalries and politics come up along with increasing recruitment of beautiful story tellers in the Media to add to the Quandary of the entire situation.
It was quiet obvious that the Movie was sympathetic towards Tandon couples, portrayal of real Talwar couples, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, bereaved Parents of Arushi Talwar. Nevertheless, Talwar was well presented Movie trying to be unbiased. In depth analysis was reflected and balanced portrayal of the Facts and the real incidents on account of Investigations were seen. It beautifully conveyed the fact that how our dubious Indian Criminal Investigation system, filled with Politics, personal Rivalries can dilute heinous criminal acts which reaches nowhere near to a reliable, convinced solution. It also subtly portrayed the difference of mindsets of people living in same urban locality. How this socio-economic difference can lead to different types of analysis causing chaos and inconclusive results at the end. Differences of mindsets were clearly visible amongst the well-educated Dentist couple, the migrants with lowly jobs and the UP policemen. It also well presented the immature handling of situations by the Media, which unfortunately most of the times are successful in influencing the Mass negatively.
Konkona Sen Sharma and Neeraj Kabi as Ramesh and Nutan, were perfect casts as Arushi’s Parents. I actually felt Neeraj Kabi resembled Rajesh Talwar a lot. It was one of the most commendable scenes when Ramesh breaks down inconsolably during interrogation by the CDI chief, Ashwin Kumar played by Irrfan Khan. Irrfan as usual pulled it off quiet well as Ashwin Kumar who played the role of real CBI Officer, Arun Kumar who initially led the case after incompetent local Police Investigation. I could feel wastes of a very brilliant Actor, Tabu by roping her as a Guest Actor as Irrfan’s estranged wife. Go watch this Movie, not to feel sympathy towards somebody but to understand the flaws of our various systems whether be it Criminal investigations, Judicial Law, difference in socio-economic conditions and so on. This might be another normal story of Crime since I believe there might be numerous uncountable crimes similar to this. I have no right to conclude Talwar couple is innocent or guilty. Latest I heard from the same media was that the couple is doing a social service inside the Jail, still practicing their dentistry while reading lots of books and maintaining Dairies instead of continuous mourning which is very optimistic to hear. As an inhabitant of the same Society I can only wish that I hope it is not the case that innocent Talwars are being punished while the real culprits are moving outside freely!