Talvar [Movie Review]

Posted: October 16, 2015

The Arushi Talvar murder case shocked the nation. The movie Talvar questions the justice that was served. Here’s an honest review.

One undeniable thing about Talvar is that it numbs you. There’s shock and helplessness when you see two persons getting convicted for a murder, in a miscarriage of justice. Based on real events, Talvar follows the story of the infamous 2008 Noida Double Murder case.

When 14 year old Shruti Tandon is found dead, her throat slit in her bed, everything points to the domestic help Hempal. When Hempal is found dead the next day on the terrace of the same apartment, the story turns into an ugly whodunit. Fingers are pointed at parents, there are whispers of honor killing, wife-swapping and improper upbringing. Then a CBI committee is formed, which talks of vengeful servants, police negligence in the handling of the crime scene, contaminated evidence and the dismissal of leads while they were fresh. Then, in another political power play, everyone thinks about getting their hands up than actually solving the case.

Talvar moves you, it makes you think about the judicial system and its unjustified leisure.

Talvar moves you, it makes you think about the judicial system and its unjustified leisure. The questions are always there, why the crime scene was not immediately sealed, why the evidences were not collected properly, why the police did not pursue the numerous leads like the missing phones of Arushi Talwar and Hemraj Banjade, why the Police chose to believe hearsay from a man they actually brought for questioning, why they released all their theories to the media before actually checking them. But, there are no answers to it.

The film may feel biased towards the parents but what I liked about the movie is that it focuses entirely on the case and not on the people involved. It presents the things as they are with no prior details about the parents or the murdered girl or the domestic help, as the movie demands justice for A rush, not tidbits about her. Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened till now. Society ended up passing judgments based on the things it  heard about the family rather than on what the evidence stated.

7 years ago, when the police released the Honour Killing angle they decided to investigate on, media channels got into a frenzy and started ‘investigations’ of their own. Arushi’s conversations and photographs with her friends were pasted on national television, her mails became the property of public domain where every news channel held detailed discussions on what salacious meaning her simple words could have, ‘dramatized representations’ of an unproved theory bashed the character of a teenage girl who could not defend herself simply because she was dead.

The Talwars were accused of having numerous affairs, of being members to wife-swapping cults, of incest towards their daughter.

The Talwars were accused of having numerous affairs, of being members to wife-swapping cults, of incest towards their daughter. Tacky music accompanied the blown up pictures while the news readers read into the gestures of a father yet to be proven guilty. It created an uproar among the masses who began discussing Arushi’s boyfriends instead of her murder.

What’s worse that even after 7 years, when none of these accusations have been found to have any concrete value, none of the news channels or other media have bothered to apologize for the character assassination. The parents were followed day and night, friends of Arushi were harassed for inside details, and basically every person who lived in that compound irrespective of the interaction he/she had with the Talwars was ready to swear that the parents killed the girl because they weren’t crying enough.

The trial by media heavily influenced the case, and this became evident when the court gave orders to acquit the Talwar couple even when CBI had no substantial proof against them. There were still a number of questions unanswered when the court sentenced them to life imprisonment. Friends of Talwars still fight against the miscarriage of justice that led the conviction of two people who have been proven guilty with no concrete evidence.

The video that the movie’s character Shruti shot on the day she died, plays in the end. It haunts you, making you realize the fact that justice is yet to be served.

Cover Image via Junglee Pictures

Crazy thinker, impulsive writer, schizophrenic psychopath.....what!! Ruchi, why would you write that now, huh?

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