Posts Tagged ‘Vishal Bhardwaj’

As we have done in the past, this year too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best films of the year. As most of you know, the scripts of Hollywood films are easily available online, even the unreleased ones. But we don’t have any such database of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and filmmakers have been very supportive about it. It’s only for educational purpose and much like the spirit of the blog, is a complete non-commercial exercise.

Talvar (Guilty)2

In India, we haven’t made too many ‘investigative thrillers’. Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar was not only a refreshing change which explored this space, but it looked closely at one of the most talked about double murder case in recent history. It was a fine line to tread on, but with Vishal Bhardwaj’s sparkling writing, and a brilliant ensemble cast, Meghna delivered one of the best films of the year.

Here’s the script of Talvar. Happy reading!

Film : Talvar

Director : Meghna Gulzar

Writer : Vishal Bhardwaj

 

In our “Best of 2015” series, earlier we shared the script of Neeraj Ghaywan’s Masaan. Click here to read it.

 

It’s known as the Noida Double Murder Case. And it’s easily one of the most talked about murder case in recent history. More so, because it happened in a middle class locality in Noida, a city adjoining to India’s capital.

Shazia Iqbal saw the film Talvar, which is based on the same case, and writes about the big picture that concerns all of us as a society, and as part of the system. And why a filmmaker’s bias is completely fine.

Guilty2

23rd May 2008.

‘Its starting now. Quick, come here’, my mother loudly screamed as soon as the press conference was about to start.

The Delhi police was making the big announcement of the perpetrators in the Noida double murder case in which the 14 year old Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj, the house help were brutally murdered a week ago. I almost didn’t hear my mother because of the noises ringing in my ears since two days. That morning when I left home for a meeting, the police van and the media outside the building opposite to mine seemed like the crime scene outside the Talwar society.

A day ago, Maria Susairaj, an aspiring actress had confessed to Malad Police that her fiancé, Emile Jerome had killed Neeraj Grover, a TV executive in a fit of rage when Jerome found Grover in Maria’s bed. Susairaj stayed in the building opposite to my house. On the night of May 7th, and the morning after, I had a party in my house and I was awake the whole night. After Susairaj’s confession and the gory details of cutting the body into 200 pieces and dressing up the crime scene, that story played in my head enough number of times to make me believe that I was there in that house that night and it all happened in front of me, and that I was a dumb mute spectator.

Neeraj Grover was close to the industry I worked in and we had common friends. His face haunted me, I hadn’t slept for a minute for over 48 hours. With all the drama that was happening outside the building, I didn’t want to step out. The media called the Neeraj Grover murder case as the face of changing India, the young India where relationships are fragile, infidelity is part of commitment and casual sex is no more a ‘man’ thing.

A week before this, the Noida double murder case made headlines as the murder involved a young teenage girl from an affluent family and an older servant who worked in the house. This did not happen 200 meters away from my house but the media made sure that it was very much part of my life. Everyone was talking about the murder and that press conference seemed like the episode from a popular TV soap in which the whole country freaked out when the main protagonist dies. Aarushi’s murder was presented like a high TRP whodunit thriller. Everyone wanted to know who killed her.

I went to the living room where my parents and sister were waiting for the press conference to start on the TV. IGP Gurdarshan Singh began the conference by calling Aarushi as Shruti.

‘How will he solve the murder, if he doesn’t even know the name of the kid’ my mother mused. And once wasn’t enough – Singh kept calling Aarushi as Shruti throughout the conference.

But that wasn’t the only eyebrow raising behaviour from him and his department. They claimed Rajesh Talwar killed his daughter in order to save his ‘honour’, gave details of Talwar’s extra marital affair, their involvement in wife swapping and the deplorable character assassination of a child who was murdered.

“Rubbish”, my father responded shocked, “They can’t find the killer and are making up these implausible stories. He is her father!” He couldn’t believe what was happening. Fathers don’t kill their children because of their affairs, he said. He was afraid this revelation could make every girl distrust her father. A silent tear rolled as I went back to my room.

None of what the IGP said made any sense. Last night when I watched Meghna Gulzar’s movie Talvar based on the case, I was glad it resonated with what I thought during that press conference. I just wanted to know the parents didn’t kill her. I wanted to know this young new ruthless India of frivolous relationships that people keep bringing up with every sensational murder case, is a farce. But, apparently, that India is very much prevalent and so is the antiquated patriarchal India where a police officer blames the Internet for ruining the cultural fabric of the country and 14 year olds having a boyfriend and ‘Sleep’-overs.

Lawyers ML Sharma and AP Singh became the face of this primitive regressive patriarchal India after the Brit docu India’s Daughter was released by BBC. It featured a man who believes he would gladly burn his daughter if she has premarital sex – how would he react to a society where girls tell their fathers about their boyfriends? People who believe that honor killing is right, they also assume that the society also harbors such beliefs. And the effort that the government took in banning India’s Daughter is not as half as much as the combined effort of the local police, the assigned CBI team and the courts took to convict the Talwars.

So what happens when such men raised with such regressive values try to understand a culture belonging to the modern upper class allegedly corrupted by the internet? Talvar.

What more can you say about a murder case where every minute detail has been public for 7 years now. Talvar, written by Vishal Bhardwaj and directed by Meghna Gulzar presents us those details and engages us, without any melodrama or manipulation, mildly tilting in the favour of Talwars. Of course some might use the latter point to brand the film as being biased. I’d like them to know that a film is a writer/ filmmaker’s point of view/opinion on what disturbs them long enough to get up and say something. And that’s why Talvar happened. And I am glad it did.

What can this movie talk about about that you haven’t already read in the papers, news, from the police, CBI officers, from your parents, next-door uncles? ‘Human reaction’, for one. In the last 20 minutes of the film, in a round table sequence that is a master class in writing, the CBI officer who acquitted the Talwars says no two humans can have a pre-conceived reaction to an incident, specially a ghastly cold blooded murder of their only child. The side that files the charge sheet against the parents questions their unemotional façade post the murder and during the trial. Nupur Talwar appeared on a TV show and didn’t cry while talking about her daughter’s death. What kind of a mother is she? In a society with history of rudaalis, where being loud is part of our culture, melodrama is not just for the TV sets but an inherent way to express our emotions specially when it comes to matter of death, how can a mother not cry? Everyone questioned. Every logical person went against the Talwars with this one question.

‘She looks numb. Seeing your kid’s dead body can do that’, said my mother. It takes empathy and humanity to realize that. No other human can reason or understand inner doings of another’s mind. So how can human reaction be even discussed as a generic emotional response?

Watching a dark and disturbing story can be difficult but watching a dark and disturbing story based on real people’s lives can be very painful, especially with the way most of us are attached to Aarushi’s case. Bhardwaj, however, with his straight-faced dry wit makes it easier for you to watch Talvar.

That way Talvar is more than a movie. It is an important film, about the sword of justice that claimed not two but four lives. One of the slain was a child accused of being involved with a man thrice her age. The men who publicly assassinated her character are the ones who are responsible for the law and judiciary in this country. This movie needs to be seen. For Aarushi. To open our eyes and discover a system that failed a child. And as the movie says, it’s up to you to decide what the truth is.

Shazia Iqbal

(To read previous posts by the same author, click here)

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(Disclaimer – One of our editors is closely associated with ‘Talvar’)

The first look of Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar is out. Starring Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi, Sohum Shah, Atul Kumar, and Gajraj Rao, the film has been written by Vishal Bhardwaj who has also given the music. It has Gulzar’s lyrics and has been shot by Pankaj Kumar.

Do check out the trailer.

The film is based on Aarushi Talwar murder case and looks at it from the point of investigation.

Talvar will have its world premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Irrfan

The Toronto International Film Festival has just announced its line-up for 2015. And here’s the good news – two Indian films, Meghna Gulzar’s Talvar and Leena Yadav’s Parched have been selected for World Premiere in ‘Special Presentations’ section.

Starring Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sensharma, Neeraj Kabi, Atul Kumar, Gajraj Rao, Sohum Shah and Tabu in a special appearance, the film is a gritty investigative drama about the Noida double murder case. With Gulzar’s lyrics, Vishal Bhardwaj’s music & screenplay, and cinematography by Pankaj Kumar (Haider, Ship Of Theseus), the thriller is a fictional dramatization of true life events revolving around Aarushi Talwar murder case investigation.

Leena Yadav’s Parched has Tannishtha Chatterjee in the lead role. The official page has one line description – In a rural Indian village, four ordinary women begin to throw off the traditions that hold them in servitude, in this inspirational drama.

(Disclosure – One of our editors is closely associated with Talvar)

Like in the last few years, Rajeev Masand has done a series of roundtable discussions this year too. And the one which has the best panel and which interests us the most is the directors roundtable. This one had Vishal Bhardwaj (Haider), Rajat Kapoor (Ankhon Dekhi), Vikas Bahl (Queen), Imtiaz Ali (Highway), RajKumar Hirani (PK) and Abhishek Varman (2 States).

As we have done in the past, this year too we are trying to source the scripts of some of the best films of the year. As most of you know, the scripts of Hollywood films are easily available online, even the unreleased ones. But we don’t have any such database of Hindi or Indian films. So that has been the primary reason for this initiative. And it has been possible only because some of the screenwriters and filmmakers have been very supportive about it. It’s only for educational purpose and much like the spirit of the blog, is a complete non-profitable exercise.

To make an impressive debut is a difficult task. To follow it up with a sequel, and to deliver better than the first, that’s almost impossible. And Abhishek Chaubey managed to score on both counts. While Ishqiya was all rustic cool, Dedh Ishqiya was rich in tone, mood, texture and poetry, that also had Begum Akhtar, Ghalib, Bashir Badr and a delicious homage to Ismat Chugtai. All these in a bollywood film loaded with dialogues in pristine Urdu? what a beauty, what a rarity!

So thanks to Vishal Bhardwaj and Abhishek Chaubey, we are sharing the first draft and the shooting draft of Dedh Ishqiya.

Do click on the “Scripts” tab on the top right corner of the blog page to access all the other scripts (Queen, Ankhon Dekhi, The Lunchbox, Shahid, Kai Po Che, D Day, Lootera, Kahaani, Ek Main Aur Ek Tu, Agent Vinod, Dev D etc) that we have posted here so far.

Film : Dedh Ishqiya

Director : Abhishek Chaubey

Story : Darab Farooqui

Screenplay : Vishal Bhardwaj & Abhishek Chaubey

Dialogue : Vishal Bhardwaj

(PS – As a writing exercise, do check out the notes about the climax in the first draft before they managed to resolve it)

(For more from our “Rewind 2014” series : Musical Gems We Discovered This Year is here, Kaali Zubaan’s bollywood wrap is here, 18 Film Fanatics on 18 Films That Stayed With Them is here, Songs We Played In Loop is here. In Best of 2014 – Script of Queen is here, Script of Ankhon Dekhi is here)

Continuing with our Year-End series, Rewind 2014, in this post our music blogger Rohwit picks up the best sounds of the year – the songs that he loved and we played in loop. In no particular order, this post includes both films and non-films music/talent/songs/album.

(More from our Rewind 2014 series : Musical Gems We Discovered This Year is here, Kaali Zubaan’s bollywood wrap is here, 18 Film Fanatics on 18 Films That Stayed With Them is here, Best of 2014 – Script of Queen is here, Script of Ankhon Dekhi is here)

  1. Jagave saari raina (Dedh Ishqiya) – Much has been written about this underwhelming album from Gulzar-Vishal collaboration. However, Hamri ataria and Jagave saari raina were beautiful exceptions. No, the antraa of ‘Na bolu main to’ weren’t as good as the mukhda, so I won’t include that song here. Even before the videos were released, we knew this would be the song that would capitalize on Mrs. Nene’s grace and her dancing prowess. To hear Pt. Birju Maharaj just sweetened everything that much more. Did I miss mentioning about how charming was Rekha Bhardwaj in the song? Well, you knew that already didn’t you?

  1. Fandry bird theme (Fandry) – No words should endeavor to convey what this cute little piece did to us. Give it a try here. In fact the love theme here is equally good. The use of Oudh and Cello lent a solid, raw feel to the sound and two thumbs up for that! Aloknanda Dasgupta ji, take a bow!

  1. Indian Ocean – If you have been living under a rock, then perhaps you might not have noticed the release of ‘Tandanu’ by Indian Ocean which will go down as one of the best albums by the group ever! From what could be easily termed as one of the most important films of the year, Katiyabaaz, we got the track ‘Kanpoora’, a must hear if you haven’t heard it already! (and what a delightful video!)

  1. Sooha saha (Highway) – Bollywood is running from darkness towards even more darkness when it comes to giving us songs which mothers can sing to their little ones. ARRahman took cognizance of this problem and gave us this tender piece from Highway. While Alia was rightfully showered a lot of credit for this song, we mustn’t forget AR Rahman’s ‘mixing and tuning’ and a solid Zeb who made this song what it is. Heera from this album comes a close second because it’s a  delicacy of sorts when Kabir and Rahman are credited in the same song. Here is Sooha Saha…much of the song’s impact was experienced thanks to a superlative Randeep Hooda. The World would be unfair if it doesn’t acknowledge Randeep this year for Highway.

  1. Suno na sang e marmar (Youngistaan) – Now that the well deserved nomination to Oscar has been sent, it would be criminal not to mention the blockbuster Youngistaan to the list. When Jackkkkie decided to diss Mayawati’s hardwork involving sang-e-mar-mar with a song, it gave us this hummable track. Frankly, I thought it took a lot of guts to film the song right where a lot of public money was wasted on sang-e-mar-mar (wink wink). The song was perhaps too good for the film and when Jeet Ganguly and Arijit recreated the magic for the Hindi version, they added some grandeur to the sound. Here is the Bengali version and here is the Hindi version. My favorite is the Bengali version of course!

  1. Title song (Revolver Rani) – the film might have fallen flat on its face but the title track of the film was a riot thanks to the word ‘bhasad’ and Usha Uthup! Do give it a try. Had the film done well, it would have played in a the loop on ‘popular’ charts, just the way they played vomit inducing Kicks and what not! And trust me, it is much more fun than all the garbage music of  100 crore commodities. Watch this video.

  1. Sketches of Darjeeling (Bipul Chettri) – I came across this album when it was released in the month of July, 2014 but didn’t hear it because I was quite occupied with my day job. Then one of the many ‘anonymous’ people who share music with me sent me one track from this album, and I punched myself for about 40 minutes continuously for having sat on the album for so long! Do hear my favorite track from the album titled – Ode to my father here, and then buy the album. The track is free flowing and you will hear the free flowing water as well. Is the track in Hindi? No. Does it matter? No!! So do pick it up!

  1. Ding dong (Finding Fanny) – I  couldn’t make sense of fusing this Goa film with a Punjabi title song and a messy song at that, still this one oozed out a lot of love, and we love it for that! Cliched as it might sound to some of us, but the song painted a picture of an adorable Uncle ‘Pedro’, who is liked by everyone,  singing this song near a beach, on just another day in Goa. Loved Mathias for this one!

  1. Haider (Album) – It won’t be right to pinpoint a song that was good because this album was the best from 2014. The only underwhelming part was the song by Arijit. I still feel that song was composed FVBV (For Vishal, By Vishal), and Arijit came in as an afterthought. This album is the reason we wait for Vishal and Gulzar to get together more often. All songs are here. Imagine the ‘Aao na’ opening bit and now count your goose pimples. Also, while we are on the subject…here is the Roohdaar theme from Haider.

  1. Oopar oopar renn de – Tanishk and Baba Vayu gave us a laid back anthem this year and I can openly declare with no hesitation that this was the best non-filmi song by a new band I came across in 2014. Hear the song once and tell me if you aren’t of the same opinion. I do hope they put the song on sale soon and that they don’t fizzle out after setting the bar this *high*!

  1. Mikey Mccleary – We all love everything Mikey does. Why else can you explain people sticking to networks which don’t work? May be because their ads are oh-so-musical and cute! It was no surprise that the album Mikey came out with was instantly likeable. If you haven’t heard the album yet, do hear it once! Our favorite – The world is our playground (Sung by Mikey) and Just a little crush (Sung by Shalmali). That said, Mikey’s song in Sonali cable wasn’t bad either. The entire album is available here.

Let me know if you agree with my picks of the year. And yours?

@Rohwit