Streaming on Netflix 6th May 2022
Raj Singh Chowdary’s Thar is a well staged thriller which had the potential of being more. Much like Koratala Siva’s Acharya here too you have the real life father and son duo playing important roles. Thar is technically sound and also benefits immensely from Anil Kapoor’s screen presence but unfortunately the same cannot be said about son Harshvardhan Kapoor.
The story of Thar takes place in the eighties. A series of violent killings are happening in a remote desert town in Rajasthan. Anil Kapoor plays the local cop Surekha Singh. Surekha Singh is given the responsibility of nabbing the killers. Satish Kaushik plays a subordinate cum friend. His character comes from the lower caste.
At this juncture a stranger called Siddarth (Harshvardhan Kapoor) enters the town. He has a certain stoic presence with an aura of mystery around him. He gets involved with a married woman played by Fatima Sana Sheikh. Nothing more can be said about the plot since this is a thriller.
Director Raj Singh Chowdary wastes no time in setting up the plot. The scenes between Anil Kapoor and Satish Kaushik in particular are good to watch. The actors bring in their real life camaraderie to the table.
Anurag Kshyap is the dialogue writer of this one and the stamp of Anurag can be seen at several junctures, particularly the ones related to caste.
Another department that deserves a mention here is the production design and the cinematography. Both Wasiq Khan and Shreya Dev Dube are successful in capturing the rugged terrain of the place. There is a lived in feel with no sense of artificiality.
Not surprisingly Anil Kapoor towers over many of the cast members. It is a combination of Anil’s acting caliber and also the way the other characters have been written. He commands your attention from the word go. Satish Kaushik is the only other actor in the cast who makes an impression.
The one major drawback of Thar is how the character of Harshvardhan Kapoor has been written. In an attempt to create an aura of mystery the director forgets giving some emotional heft. The inadequacies also show up in Harshdvardhan’s performance. There is no denying that Harshvardhan has been making some brave choices like Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi. But he had to realize just making interesting choices isn’t enough.
Another issue with Thar is the forced romantic sub plot between Harshvardhan and Fatima Sana Sheikh. It adds nothing to the story. In fact it slows down the pace of the film considerably which is anyway moving at a sluggish space.
Lastly, the elements of dacoits, drug trafficking etc haven’t been properly explored by the director.
In a nutshell Raj Singh Chowdary shows promise, what he needs is a more fleshed out script.
Also read: RRR: One R is missing, that is the stoRy