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A Deal And A Dead End!!
Oct 04, 2015 10:52 PM 5011 Views
(Updated Oct 05, 2015 10:33 AM)





Being in one of the sectors of the Government, there have been many a times when I have had the misfortune of witnessing truth getting watered down because of various spelt and un-spelt out reasons. Adjusting to reality is crucial when it comes to surviving. So, umpteenth number of times we have attributed varied possibilities in favour of evasion and bypass in order to maintain status quo, or rather should I say, sustain the changeless anarchy prevalent in every nook and corner of our vast socio-economic and political fabric. More disastrously, we have compelled ourselves to believe that what we have been driven to is, if not inevitable, then at least the only option plausible and operable in the constricted matrix of our work culture. At the same time, we have expansively construed it to be our intrinsic ability to adapt to a fast shifting global scenario – a hogwash which we’d rather die not to stand by.

Had we adhered to a thoroughly system-based(though that itself has its own inherent handicaps) work ethics, this nation would have been a far better place to live in. However, as the word goes, we are a jugaadu people. While jugaad is another name for innovativeness and endless resource of impromptu solutions, negatively, it also implies the capability to maneuver systemic loopholes to one’s own selfish advantages or the knack of finding and applying alternates which may or may not be altogether altruistic or beneficial for larger good of larger number, in the strictest sense of the term.

In the same lines, a number of examples can be cited wherein our mindless bureaucracy has overly applied its mind to mutilate facts and figures towards covert or overt political or apolitical motives, the law implementers have more than often behaved like outlaws and the demos have been left with no choice but to watch the entire gimmickry like helpless bystanders. Time and again, public opinion has been engineered rather than created. The dynamics of the Fourth Estate could have been a great power to reckon with had it not been derogated to cheap sensationalism, motivated reportage and thoughtless hype either adding fuel to fire or giving wrongful representations facilitating  course of events to be botched or befuddled further.

Meghna Gulzar’s “Talvar”, based on the Aarushi Murder Case, attempts at presenting multiple facets of a singularly gory incident which had once shocked the Middle Class out of its comfort stupor. “When truth has many faces……….Whom do you want to believe?” queries the narrator, re-constructing and de-constructing a heinous crime, still very much fresh in public memory. Scrupulously avoiding an over-reliance on the human element, or sentimentalizing the issue, Meghna volleys a straight-laced message - arriving at the truth is an impossibility in a country whose flawed system prevents a free-flowing investigation! Society has a tendency to be judgmental. So, are the instruments of governance with a panache for personalization, misinterpretation and subjectivity?

Culturally, we are a nation deeply entrenched in our roots. We are also a populace with prejudgment biases. Therefore, when the Police Officer investigating the murder of a fourteen year old girl, jumps to the conclusion that the crime is related to none other than honour killing, the typified mindset should not come as a surprise. But it does when exposed to the utter insincerity, insensitivity and callousness with which the evidences are(mis)handled and the bereaved parents are tormented in the name of detailed probe into the matter.

I still remember how difficult it was to take a stand when the Aarushi case made it to the headlines. Everyday there were baffling revelations which contradicted the previous findings. It was a case ridden with controversies and high profile drama. The Talwars were accused of deliberately tampering the evidences and bringing in external pressures to subvert an impartial enquiry. There were also accusations of a dubious past marred by social perversions and misdemeanor.

It is interesting to note how Meghna has stripped the narrative off the controversies, steadfastly retaining a linear focus on de-criminalization and de-politicization of the law enforcing agencies of the government.

It is an Irfan Khan(CDI officer, Ashwini Kumar, in charge of the case) movie through and through though Neeraj Kabi makes his presence felt even in the limited number of frames that he is allotted. Konkona Sen Sharma looks drawn and gives an understated performance. However, it is Sohum Shah, as ACP Vedant, who enacts a powerful role with a negative edge with great mastery and promise.

How agonizing and disillusioning it is to deliver the goods within the rotting framework of operating rules and guidelines of an easily corruptible and compromisable machinery of government is once again made home and compellingly so! Past will always remain ridden with mystery and scooping the absolute, irrefutable truth out of its dark bowels, is not the job of a man without super-human skills. Even as the narrative comes to a distressful end, doubts persist or rather made to persist because truth is as evasive as life is stranger than fiction!

In the final analysis, we all swear by our own truths. We are honest to the extent we reconcile our conscience to our misdeeds. Though justice has been delivered yet the common man and intelligentsia alike are still curious to know the real story – who killed Aarushi? And writer-co-producer Vishal Bharadwaj has very astutely capitalized on this mass inquisitiveness to offer a plethora of cohesive explanations without deviating from what in actuality happened during the course of investigation of the case.

The aim of the film is not to form an opinion but to make one think and therein lies the success of art which kindles introspection and debate thereby becoming a change agent of society. Meghna Gulzar has done her father proud by accomplishing that feat with finesse and aplomb!

A must watch!

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