Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar – Taking Lives


Before the credit rolls at the end of Talvar, two sets of text appear in sequence – “Shruti would have been 22 had she been alive today.” And “She didn’t make it to her 15th birthday.”

Talvar is not so much an investigative procedural as it is about the trauma a family like you and me has to go through because of gross apathy and borrowing from the media terminology, ‘Miscarriage Of Justice.’

Talvar doesn’t portray our premier investigative agency as a couple of bunglers. In fact, it gives credit where it is due and there’s no artistic freedom or fictionalization coming in the way of what really could have happened on that fateful night.

In one of the scenes, we could see the father’s (Ramesh Tandon in the film) profile and an index finger with the ink of vote. I don’t know if this was intentional or unintentional. What’s democracy and the powers of our citizens if the country cannot dispense justice in a not-so-complicated case like this? Where do we stand as a country if the keepers of justice and the dispensers operate with callousness and apathy? What if this happened to me? Will the history or a series of history repeat itself? Or will it be any different with me?

I am not so sure. Because the same machinery, irrespective of the place we are living in, will swing into eithe action or rather inaction/apathy. It’s just a routine job for them. The society and the media will jump to bizarre conclusions. The ‘Trial By Media’ will slay the sense of fairness on the judiciary’s part.

The bungling local police will live another day and retire happily to be with the grandchildren. CDI (In Talvar, it’s the CDI) directors and bigwigs will come and go. Some will do favors for their bosses to get a quick promotion and other perks. Some will stand for justice and yet nod in helplessness because of utter callousness or disregard for even normal standard operation procedure.

It’s not just Shruti Tandon’s life, but the lives of her parents and their loved ones have been terribly affected because of this mess and a judgmental society. Just like the recreation of the crime scenes from different points of view in the movie, Shruti died again and again at the hands of people responsible for law and order, the judicial system, the media and not the least of all, you and me. Her parents too died on that fateful day.

We need to examine ourselves as a society because we make snap judgments on everything and everyone. This very thing can happen to us too.


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