Director: Meghna Gulzar
Producer: Vineet Jain, Vishal Bhardwaj
Writer: Vishal Bhardwaj
Screenplay: Vishal Bhardwaj
Based on: Noida double murder case
Starring : Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi, Sohum Sharma
Music Director: Vishal Bhardwaj
Cinematography: Pankaj Kumar
Editor: A. Sreekar Prasad
Production companies: Junglee Pictures, VB Pictures and Mirchi Movies Limited
Release date: 2 October 2015
Running time: 132 minutes
Story line: The film is based on a 2008 murder case in Noida, in which 14-year old Aarushi Talwar was found murdered at her home. The family’s missing 45-year old servant Hemraj was initially sought for the murder, until his dead body was discovered in another part of the building on the following day. The police first suspected Aarushi’s parents, Rajesh and Nupur, for the murders. They theorized that Rajesh had murdered the two after finding them in an “objectionable” position, or because Rajesh’s alleged extra-marital affair had led to his blackmail by Hemraj and a confrontation with Aarushi. The case was then handed over to a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team led by Arun Kumar, who exonerated the parents, and identified another group of suspects, based on narco tests. The new suspects included a compounder who worked at the Talwars’ clinic and two domestic servants who worked in the neighbourhood. However, these suspects were not charged due to insufficient evidence. After Arun Kumar’s tenure at CBI ended, the case was transferred to a new CBI team. The new team’s investigating officer AGL Kaul believed the parents to be guilty, but his superiors Nilabh Kishore and Javed Ahmed considered the evidence to be insufficient. In its 2010 closure report, the new CBI team identified Rajesh Talwar as the sole suspect, but recommended closing the case due to critical gaps in the evidence. However, a court rejected the recommendation, and initiated proceedings against the Talwars. In 2013, the parents were convicted based on circumstantial evidence, and remain imprisoned, while their appeal is pending before a higher court.
Know more about the captain of the Ship, the director: Meghna started her writing journey as a freelance writer for The Times of India and the NFDC publication Cinema in India. Her poems have been published in anthologies of the Poetry Society of India. After completing her graduation in Sociology, Meghna worked with noted filmmaker Saeed Akhtar Mirza as an assistant director. In 1995, she went on to do a short course in filmmaking from the Tisch School of Arts, New York University, New York. Upon her return, she joined her father writer – director Gulzar, as an assistant on his notable films Maachis and Hu Tu Tu. Meghna simultaneously began scripting her own film along with directing documentaries for Doordarshan and music videos for several music albums.
She directed her first film “Filhaal” in 2002, starring Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen and Tabu. Her second movie was “Just Married” in 2007. She also directed a short film “Pooranmasi” for Sanjay Gupta’s Dus Kahaniyaan starring Amrita Singh.
My Gut Feel and comments:
Going by the trailer, it appears that a real life case which was highly talked about and was extremely sensitive in nature has been captured skillfully on reel. Creative time seems to have done justice to the plot, where scope of deviating from facts and figures was limited.
It looks as if, Vishal Bhardwaj and Meghna Gulzar have done all the required ground work related to the “Noida double murder case” while making this movie. They have handled the subject well and have presented it with great conviction.
Both Irrfan Khan and Konkona Sen Sharma are established actors and other supporting casts also seems to have done justice to their roles. In addition to this, length of the movie is 2 hours 12 minutes which, boosts the chances of keeping the audience engaged throughout the movie. I am hoping movie will live up to the expectations and would be a treat to watch for audience coming extended weekend.
Going by my faith in Vishal Bhardwaj, Meghna Gulzar and other creative team members involved in the making of this film, I am giving it 3.5 stars out 5, one day before its release date.