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‘Thar’ Explores Themes Of Revenge & Violence Against Women Typical Of A Testosterone Driven Film

Thar depicts how the quest for revenge brings the beast out of a human being leading to the degradation of humanity.

Thar depicts how the quest for revenge brings the beast out of a human being leading to the degradation of humanity. The setting of the film is a small village named Munabao situated in the Thar desert. The desert is symbolic as the long barren stretches of land accompanied by the scorching heat of the sun, the carcass of a buffalo, the abandoned fort and the scanty outgrowth of trees foreshadows the dearth of humanity caused by revenge, that acts as the central theme of the film.

Thar begins with a gruesome murder of a person named Suva who is hanged from a tree; however, the murderer is kept anonymous which marks the entry of the police officer Surekha Singh who tired of leading a mundane life finally finds some thrill he always yearned for, at the end of career and therefore begins his investigation.

A series of murders takes place after the first murder which makes it more difficult for Surekha Singh and his assistant Bhure to reach the roots of the evil that brought chaos to the Munabao village. Initially, though the village was portrayed as peaceful and uneventful, eventually as the film progresses, we witness that within this peace lurked a murky world steeped with a gang of opium smugglers led by Hanif Khan who acted as a bridge in flourishing this illegal trade between India and Pakistan. In adding fuel to this there comes a vengeful stranger named Siddharth who disguises himself as an antique dealer to fulfil his mission.

Munabao becomes a hub of bloodshed and crime in due time. The bleak landscape of the desert becomes synonymous with the bleak view of humanity as evident in the scenes when Siddharth captures and tortures his targets (who raped and killed his wife) in unimaginable inhuman ways that run a shiver down our spine.

The debasement of humanity is also prevalent in the oppression of the women of the village by the male of the house as shown in the scenes where Panna asserts control over his wife Chetna, thrashing her when she interacts with Siddharth, a male stranger in his absence. Caste issues also pave the way for the decaying humanity evident in the scene where Bhure while exchanging conversation with Surekha Singh talks about how no one would eat from his restaurant if he ever opened one as he belongs to a low caste.

Two narratives of revenge run parallel throughout the film. One is the revenge of Hanif Khan upon Surekha Singh for killing his men and the other is the revenge of Siddharth upon Panna and his men for raping and brutally killing his wife. Both these narratives are intermingled in the end exposing the desperation, the quest for revenge infuses in a person.

Though Surekha Singh grapples with the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of his investigation, risking his own life, he says, “The path of revenge is fraught with evil, it won’t let you live, but it won’t let you die either. Revenge neither offers justice nor ends the hate”.

Revenge is vicious and once one enters the cycle of revenge there’s no going back. The quest for revenge blinds a human to such an extent that they degenerate into beasts. Thar begins with revenge and ends with revenge, expounding the inevitability of revenge, giving us the picture of a cynical world devoid of humane emotions.

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“The avenger always digs two graves. One for the enemy, the other for the self. It continues until he inevitably falls to his death” and the circle of life of all the avengers of this film can be defined by this one phrase.

Thar is not a film that ends on a positive note offering us any kind of hope, rather it leaves us disturbed emphasizing the stark reality of the grim world.

Image Credits: Poster of ‘Thar’

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About the Author

Srilekha Mitra

A full time overthinker and a part time writer. Words are my antidote on bad days. I prefer to bask in fictional world of cinema than reality. Food and music are my refuge on gloomy read more...

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