REVIEW: THE TASHKENT FILES
In the last two days, I came across a number of negative reports about THE TASHKENT FILES and despite that, I went and watched this movie. Despite the amateurishness with which the whole script has been written, I did find that a lot of research had gone into the production. Now, one can question the sources on which the research has been based, but one can’t take away the fact that this movie does pose interesting questions surrounding the passing away of India’s second Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, in Tashkent in 1966.
A fair review of the movie must look at the cinematic aspects. And not look at what could be the motives of making this movie and releasing it just before our National Elections. Unfortunately, the anger being vented out in the reviews that I have read, seem to be centering on the fact that in the movie, the needle of suspicion points directly towards a political party contesting the elections. Is it ethical? I will not answer that, because this is expected to be a cinematic review!
Vivek Agnihotri does better when donning the directorial mantle than the script writing one, and his characters (each one of whom, according to a dialogue represents different versions of a terrorist) deliver well within the limitations of the script. The cast consists of stellar performers like Mithun Chakraborty, who delivers very well, and other good actors like Pallavi Joshi, Pankaj Tripathi, Prakash Belwade are made to ham and ham loudly. Naseeruddin Shah seems hardly convincing and looks as though he is sleep walking when playing his character.I can’t but help comparing this with the 1986 release EK RUKA HUA FAISLA ( directed by Basu Chatterji) which in a similar committee type setting delivered outstanding value.
The movie, despite this, doesn’t drag and could have been far more gritty and taut, if only Vivek Agnihotri had introduced a semblance of subtlety to the proceedings. In its absence, THE TASHKENT FILES seems more like a rabble rouser than an interesting mystery plot.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5
April 14, 2019