Director: Raj Singh Chaudhary
Cast: Anil Kapoor, Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor, Fatima Sana Shaikh, Satish Kaushik, Jitendra Joshi
Release Platform: Netflix
Rating: 2.5 / 5
Let me begin by stating that Thar is a visual spectacle (credit: DOP Shreya Dev Dube) that features large barren landscapes, abandoned forts and unsettled villages as important components in the narrative that is set in the 80s. It has all the right elements that are required for a neo-Western thriller, but is only marred by a predicted plot. Anil Kapoor plays Surekha an inspector craving for a professional growth, and sees an opportunity when he investigates a gruesome murder of a local in his area.
The story intertwines when Siddharth (played by Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor), an antique dealer, appears in the desert town and how their paths cross as both entities try to achieve their respective goals. The first few visuals of the large terrain, observant locals, and a sleepy town combined with a terrific title song composed by Shashwat Sachdev immediately transports you to Munabao, Rajasthan where this Raj Singh Chaudhary directorial is set.
While those visuals remain consistent throughout the narrative, what doesn’t is the pace of the film. It rightfully spends the first few minutes of its approx 100 minutes run in establishing the characters, later picks up pace, but is slowed down again, especially during the peak investigation phase, where one would usually expect more thrill and speed. In fact, these important junctures are distracted by a few dacoits, an addition to the narrative which seemed unnecessary to me.
Writer-director Raj, editor Aarti Bajaj, and additional screenplay writers Yogesh Dabuwalla and Anthony Catino could have focused more on sharpening this portion. Dialogues have been penned by Anurag Kashyap, and most of them are able to express the situations well. Anil Kapoor’s “Pata nahin mujhe aisa kyun lagta hai ki yeh picture Gabbar ke baare mein nahin hai. Ho sakta hai yeh sab kuch Thakur ne kiya ho, ya phir Jai aur Veeru, aur kya pata Basanti?,” was the star dialogue from the trailer, but its impact fissles out in the movie because of the predicted storyline.
Background score by Ajay Jayanthi adds a lot of value to Thar’s narrative. Speaking of the performances, truly everyone has lived up to their parts. While Anil Kapoor’s performance as a cop is effortless, Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor shines in his layered role. Fatima Sana Shaikh has given a controlled performance as Chetna, while Jitendra Joshi’s act as Panna proves that there is nothing that he can’t aptly play on screen. Satish Kaushik and Mukti Mohan’s performances also stand out. All the actors have been perfectly cast, credit for which goes to casting director Gautam Kishanchandani.
Thar is not only a thriller, but also has an important message at the end. Overall the film had immense potential and manages to retain a lot of it too, but what disappoints is the lack of enough twists, predictable turns and dispensable additions to the story.
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