Has ‘Talvar’ Altered Public Perception? Audiences Speak
 Poster of <i>Talvar</i>
Poster of Talvar

Has ‘Talvar’ Altered Public Perception? Audiences Speak

Since 2008, every time the Aarushi-Hemraj double murder has made news, it has caught the nation’s attention. Naturally, the film, Talvar has evoked strong reactions from audiences too.

 Neeraj Kabi and Konkona Sensharma in a scene from <i>Talvar</i>
Neeraj Kabi and Konkona Sensharma in a scene from Talvar

The Quint went to watch Talvar in New Delhi to gauge audience reactions and here’s what we heard.

Moviegoer Gulu Thadani looked particularly charged up after the film.

I am confused after watching this film. The different CBI teams who investigated the case appear to be confused too. The case is confusing. I don’t know if the parents are killers or not, but they definitely shouldn’t be behind bars on the basis of a confusion.
– Gulu Thadani

 Poster of <i>Talvar.</i>
Poster of Talvar.

As the movie played, audiences cheered at the paan-chewing UP cops being hauled up by the CBI and sighed at a whiskey bottle being collected without dusting for fingerprints. They laughed at the point when the CBI officer asks a policeman the colour of Hempal’s blood and if it was different from Shruti’s (Hemraj is called Hempal and Aarushi is called Shruti in the film).

Many of these details, people said they hadn’t heard about despite the hyped media discourse.

We don’t really remember the details of what happened because the media discourse was so hyped. In all those high pitched TV discussions, the details and facts just get lost. We have just realized that so much happened in the case that we don’t know about. But to be really honest, the film has left us confused.
– Divya & Gaurav

Chandni Singh, on the other hand, is a news buff. She followed the case in the papers and on TV. Her contention is, if the Talwars were the clever cold-blooded killers they were portrayed to be by the prosecution, they wouldn’t have reopened a closed case in the name of justice.

It was a botched-up investigation from the word go. But after the CBI closed the case, why would the Talwars have got it reopened if they were the killers? They are behind bars for wanting justice for their daughter. It’s ridiculous. This is just one case, there must be so many others. Such a scary thought.
– Chandni Singh

 Irrfan plays the role of a real-life officer who investigates&nbsp;the murder. He believed they were innocent. (Photo:<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_kEnbHYb2I">YouTube/Junglee Pictures</a>)
Irrfan plays the role of a real-life officer who investigates the murder. He believed they were innocent. (Photo:YouTube/Junglee Pictures)

It is a scary picture of what police investigation in this country is like. The police don’t do the most basic things they are supposed to in a murder investigation. It speaks volumes about the caliber and attitude of our police forces. It is shameful. I think innocent people are in jail because of a conjecture the cops and CBI made to save their jobs.
—Lalit Bhutani

There were others convinced by the narrative of Talvar, which clearly endeavours to build a counter to the view that the Talwars are behind bars for a good reason. The film seeks to build a perception that there is more to what people know and that you don’t have to read between the lines to guess whose side the story tells.

I always thought that the parents didn’t do it. People targeted them because the mother didn’t cry enough. Now after watching Talvar, I’m convinced they didn’t do it.

Public opinion changes and then changes again all too quickly. The wheels of justice however, are painfully slow. But like one of the movie-goers said, it’s a whodunnit for which there are no answers. So why should two people be paying a price for it?

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