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Thar Movie Review: Dark Brutal Morbid Angry Violent!

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Thar

Thar(Netflix)

Starring Anil Kapoor, Harshvarrdhan Kapoor, Fatima Sana Shaikh

Rating: ** 

Tum Aa Gaye Ho Noir Aa Gaya Hai….In Thar  the  most expressive face is  that of a bright little girl who points  our young  discernibly troubled hero to the address that he searches in the godforsaken village of Maunabao in Rajasthan. Godforsaken,  because  people are  dying horribly tortured deaths and  there is nothing our cop-hero can do about it.

The cop Surekha Singh, if you must know, played by a trying-hard-to-look-intense Anil Kapoor,  is  a deeply disenchanted man.His  wife, played by the wonderful Nivedita Bhattacharya, has nothing but contempt  for his lack of  ambition. His son very  bluntly tells his  father he wants to become  an IPS officer, so he can come back to their  village and lord over his father.

There is  clearly a lack of sunshine in this scorching-hot village. The sweltering heat  and the rising temperature is  fabulously captured by cinematographer  Shreya Dev Dubey. She shoots the  characters as extensions of  the blistering environment. They are sullen , unsympathetic and  seething in a self-destructive anger. None  more so than the mysterious stranger(you know  the stereotypical loner-hero in the average Spaghetti Western?) Siddharth , a  brutal brooder with an axe to grind.

As Harshvarrdhan  gnashes is teeth and tries  to look like  a wounded animal, Thar  thunders  into the zone of gory sadistic torture  and  violence . After a point,the  brutality gets unbearable. But then  you realize that desperate people  resort to desperate remedies  for their pain. What Harshvarrdhan’s silently simmering  character makes us realize is that no amount of revenge can heal wounds that are  too deep for  blood.

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The  aura of a ‘noire western’ hovers arrogantly over every frame of Thar. There are men riding horses and shooting at their  victims randomly just like in those Will Wild westerns with John Wayne in the lead. The  stylish  violence is after a  point,reprehensible.  I am  not too sure the futility of violence is  manifested coherently in the outflow  of unstoppable mayhem

We soon  realize that under the veneer  of  spiffy violence , Thar is nothing more than routine revenge saga with the  violence dialed  up drastically.Its noire aspirations  notwithstanding , the  characters  move through a cesspool of blood and gore  looking for a closure to their trauma that doesn’t exist, the closure I mean.

While Anil Kapoor for all his  Anurag Kashyap-designed  aggression and expletives seems  a misfit  in the milieu of  morbid mayhem, Harshvarrdhan makes do with smouldering silences. Some  of the supporting cast is interesting. Fatima Sana Shaikh as  an abused wife  gets her character’s  anxieties and cravings right, though her clothes are  too chic for her character, Jitendra Joshi as  her brutish husband is  excellent . Every time he  is  the frame with Harshvarrdhan we can feel  the  difference.

Until the end  I couldn’t figure out why Raahul Singh was going around shooting people . The  more the merrier,I guess.Minimalist in  mood, nihilistic in tone,and atrophied in  its execution, Thar tries  to be that  dark brutal desi Western which is cannot be.