Bollywood Movie Tarwar hit the screens today. The Movie has been accepted widely by critics as it displays the current crime and justice situation in India and is based on a real life double murder case.
Joe Leydon of Variety called Vishal Bhardwaj’s screenplay “solidly constructed”, and praised the film’s narrative flow as “satisfyingly brisk”. Meghna Gulzar has stated that her script is completely objective and unbiased. However, Joe Leydon states it is obvious that the filmmakers’ sympathies lie with the parents. J Hurtado of Twitch Film called the film a “remarkable achievement” that is in contrast with the mainstream Indian movies, praising the performances as “stellar”.
Rajyasree Sen of Firstpost remarked that the film has a “gritty documentary feel” to it, and praised the filmmakers for their research. According to her, Ashwin Kumar is the best-etched character in the film. She criticized Tabu’s cameo appearance as unnecessary. She also remarked that the film’s Rashomon-esque storytelling is designed to show the parents in sympathetic light. According to her the version that shows the parents as the culprits indicates that it would ludicrous to doubt the parents — their actions seem “almost farcical and darkly comic”. She also pointed out that the film doesn’t mention how Nupur Talwar changed her testimony about where she had left Aarushi’s room keys, which was one of the factors in the court verdict.
Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV rated the movie 3.5/5, calling it a a “gripping, genre-defying and non-exploitative cinematic examination” of the murder case. He praised Bhardwaj for his “solid screenplay” and fine performances of the actors. Srijana Mitra Das of The Times of India rated the film 4.5/5, contrasting it with the typical song-and-dance movies of Bollywood. She Sreekar Prasad’s editing and Bhardwarj’s writing. Bollywood Hungama rated the movie 3.5/5, calling it engaging and edgy thriller. Sneha May Francis of Emirates 24/7 called Talvar “one of the most riveting movies of our times”, praising Bharadwaj as a master storyteller and Irrfan Khan as a top-notch actor.
Shilpa Jamkhandikar of Reuters praised Irrfan Khan’s acting and Vishal Bhardwaj’s screenplay. She praised the film as well-constructed and gripping, but mentioned the filmmakers’ obvious sympathy for the parents as the film’s only shortcoming. According to her, the filmmakers have taken the parents’ version at face value, while always questioning the other side. Nandini Ramnath of Scroll.in praised the actors’ performances and stated that the film seemed like a “slickly produced, tightly written and beautifully performed true crime documentary”. According to her, Vishal Bhardwaj seemed to have an “unshakeable belief ” that the parents were innocent, and this bias ignores Ashwin Kumar’s reliance on the discredited practice of narco-analysis; Kumar’s manhandling of a police officer and witness is presented as honourable and necessary rather than questionable. She called the film a “legal petition disguised as a movie”, stating that the film’s sole purpose was to request the authorities to reconsider the Talwars’ sentencing. Aseem Chhabra of rediff.com rated the movie 4/5, calling it a “very well made film” and a “remarkable ensemble piece of drama”. According to him, Tabu’s cameo appearance feels like a diversion, and makes the film a bit too long. Unlike many other reviewers, he stated that the filmmakers had not made any judgments about the case.