Thar Review 3.5/5 & Rating
THAR is the story of mysterious events in a distant city. The year is 1985. In the city of Munabo, Rajasthan, a gang raids a house where the daughter is to be married in a few days. The girl’s parents are killed while her fortune is stolen by the gang. The next day, a man named Suwa (Akkshay Gunaawat) is tortured to death. Inspector Surekha Singh (Anil Kapoor) is given the task of solving these cases. With the help of his colleague Bhure (Satish Kaushik), he investigates and tries to find out if there is a connection between the two killing episodes. Meanwhile, Siddharth (Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor), a mysterious man, arrives in Munabo. He is an antiques dealer based in Delhi. He needs trained men for his work and his quest leads him to the house of Panna (Jitendra Joshi). However, Panna is in Kolkata, leaving his wife Chetna (Fatima Sana Shaikh) behind. An attraction develops between Panna and Chetna. Meanwhile, through his investigation, Surekha finds out that the murders are related to the illegal opium trade and that players from Pakistan are also involved. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
The story of Raj Singh Chaudhary is simple. However, the script by Raj Singh Chaudhary (additional script by Yogesh Dabuwalla and Anthony Catino) is great. The authors peppered the narrative with some intense and unexpected moments. The characters are quite interesting and how they are all related makes it a great watch too. On the other hand, the side tracks are not well developed. Anurag Kashyap’s dialogues are sharp.
Raj Singh Chaudhary’s direction is superb and takes the film to great heights. First, he deserves brownie points for choosing such stunning locations. You have seen hundreds of movies filmed in Rajasthan. However, THAR will blow your mind as it was filmed in never-before-seen locations. This alone makes for a fun watch. Second, the director treats THAR like world movies. The barren places, the stillness and the image of an outsider coming to a strange town pay homage to the western cowboy films. After all, he packs a lot into 108 minutes of running time. The scene in which viewers learn who the killer is may be predictable and yet will leave them stunned. Some developments in the second half keep the spectators in suspense. The finale is nerve wracking. On the other hand, the trail of Hanif Khan (Rahul Singh) and the entire opium trade is faint. It’s not well woven into the main narrative. Secondly, the internal struggles Surekha faces should also have been portrayed better. Finally, a few questions remain unanswered.
Thar’s World: An Exclusive Look | Anil Kapoor, Harshvardhan Kapoor, Fatima Sana Sheikh
Speaking of performances, Anil Kapoor rocks the show as always. It penetrates the character’s skin and performs well. Harsh Varrdhan Kapoor has hardly any dialogue and communicates beautifully through his eyes. The actor has certainly evolved and THAR proves it. Fatima Sana Shaikh makes a big impression and gives a beautiful performance. Satish Kaushik is reliable as always. Jitendra Joshi, of SACRED GAMES fame, gives another memorable performance. Mukti Mohan (Gauri; Dhanna’s wife) and Nivedita Bhattacharya (Pranati; Surekha’s wife) do well, and so does the actor playing Anil Kapoor’s son. Mandana Karimi (Cheryl) is nice in a cameo. Akkshay Gunaawat, Sanjay Dadhich (Kanwar) and Sanjay Bishnoi (Dhanna) are fine. Rahul Singh is good but let down by the characterization. Akshay Oberoi (Arjun Singh) is finished. Suraj Vyas (Maakhan; Dhaba owner), Anushka Sharma (Babita) and Shubham Kumar (Babita’s lover) are fine.
There is only one song in THAR and it is played in the opening credits. Composed by Shashwat Sachdev, it’s quite impressive. Ajay Jayanthi’s background music is terrific. The music adds to the intrigue and mystery, and is certainly one of the most memorable BGMs of recent memory. Shreya Dev Dube’s cinematography is great. The DOP did full justice to the virgin landscape portrayed in the film. Wasiq Khan’s production design is realistic. Priyanka Agarwal’s costumes are authentic. Salaam Ansari’s action is disturbing as required by the script. The VFX by Atomic Arts are convincing. Aarti Bajaj’s cut is razor sharp.
Overall, THAR is an international standard film. It’s a surprise of the season and well worth watching for its plot, direction, musical score and never-before-seen Rajasthan settings.