Netflix and its home grown Indian content has always been under the scanner. While I personally thought that it has improved its Indian content post the first lockdown, there are many who would overwhelmimgly disagree. The first choice OTT for the people in current times is Amazon Prime which had last week announced as many as 40 new titles. But having said that, every now and then there is an Indian content on Netflix which does get us excited. One such hindi film which everyone was talking about was Thar. Indian Cinema has been devoid of a good ‘Western’ and this did seem like an innovative setup for a crime thriller. And finally finished watching Thar on Netflix and these are my two cents on it.
Story & Screenplay
Thar is the story of a cop investigating a strange and grizzly murder in a sleepy town. What is the mystery behind it? The story is ‘Western’ that relies on the atmospherics which make it quite intriguing. The screenplay is taut and moves at a brisk pace. Like the Malayalam film Antakshari, the narrative here is scattered and probably done on purpose. The screenplay opens with a grizzly murder before introducing you to the main players. As the drama continues to unfold, you quickly realise that this is more of a whydunnit and not exactly a whodunnit. The actions of one particular character seems to be strange and something which formulates the rest of the tale.
There are multiple subplots although most of them aren’t developed too well. This made me think that what if this was a webseries, it would have been all the more enthralling. The writers maintain a grip on the narrative although the structure of the narrative remains scattered. This culminates into a gripping final act when grand reveal would make you squirm although it wasn’t entirely shocking. The atmospherics created are excellent and they form an essential part of the story. So overall, a good job in trying to do something different.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues by Anurag Kashyap are well penned and the fact that they belong to the area where the drama is set in, makes it all the more authentic. The music is pretty good here. The BGM is good however I felt that they could gave used it better. An example being the ‘violent’ grand reveal where simple silence could have created a greater impact as opposed to a background score. The cinematography is breathtaking and some of the most visually stunning frames are captured aesthetically. The production design is good as well. Director Raj Singh Chaudhary has done an excellent job in creating an atmosphere around the drama that added to the intrigue value. This was important as the drama was fairly predictable and it needed that extra kick to make an impact.
The performances are pretty good. There are some amazing cameos by Akshay Oberoi, Mandana Karimi and Nivedita Bhattacharya who are all first rate and add to the star power. Anushka Sharma(not the one we know) as Babita makes an impact as does Rahul Singh as Hanif Khan. Jitendra Joshi as Panna is excellent, Sanjay Dadhich as Kanwar and Sanjay Bishnoi as Dhanna also have their moments to shine. Mukti Mohan as Gauri is confident and definitely manages to impress. Satish Kaushik as Bhule is first rate. Fatima Sana Shaikh as Chetna is probably the best actor on display. She is effortless in her role and she does a commendable job. Harshvardhan Kapoor as Siddharth is decent and a character which will keep you guessing but I feel he needs to work on his expressions which seemed pretty plain here. Anil Kapoor on the other hand as Surekha is pretty good by bringing all his experience in play.
Thar is an intriguing watch primarily due to its brilliant atmospherics. Available on Netflix.