Is the movie worth your buck?

Movie Review: The Tashkent Files

By Ambika Sharma Anavkar

I declare, this is an ‘era of movies that are based on true events’. Be it a big actor movie or movie with a few not so big yet amazing actors, if it is a movie from this era the movie is bound to attract a decent crowd.

To top it off, if a movie comes after movies like Ghazi Attack, Raazi or The Accidental Prime Minister the expectations from it is very high!

Poster of Tashkent Files movie

Similarly when I saw the trailer of The Tashkent Files I did not want to miss watching it. Though it is being pin-pointed as political propaganda movie, in my opinion I’m glad that this era has finally begun because we are now surfeited with movies that dramatize the actual situations of our daily life.

The movie in my opinion is a one time watch and it could’ve been made better.

The research and the topic around which this movie has been developed is definitely thought provoking.

However, on screen, it fails to leave an impact on the audience; except for wanting to know why wasn’t a postmortem done for the Independent India’s second Prime Minister whose death is still a mystery.

Shweta Basu Prasad, the protagonist who plays a journalist fails to make an impact, I still think of Konkana Sen Sharma from the movie Page 3 if I have to recall a movie character of a journalist. Though a brilliant actor, I still loved her more in Makdee.

Sweta Basu Prasad in a still from the film 'The Tashkent Files'

Sweta Basu Prasad in a still from the film ‘The Tashkent Files’

Somehow it is not her we need to blame in this movie, it was her character that did not make an impact. From dedicating the movie to, “all the honest journalists of India” to portraying a journalist who doesn’t really care about the authenticity of the news and is merrily promoting fake news for scoop, is like an insipid stuck in the gullet.

Furthermore, when she blames the caller on the phone for giving her the scoop and then her speech in the end only reprobates her character. It is unbelievable on how she manages to meet a spy who is hiding away from the world for years. What really highlights of her character is the want to get some scoop out of this story and not the ‘sach’ that she is keeps mentioning on and off in the movie.

Every character has an ulterior motive in the movie to be on a panel probing into the murder mystery of Lal Bahadur Shastri which makes it difficult for the viewers to find a hero in it.

Despite some amazing actors like Mithun Chakraborty, Naseeruddin Shah, Pallavi Joshi, Shweta Basu Prasad, Pankaj Tripathi and Mandira Bedi, the movie doesn’t make an impact.

Movie Still of The Tashkent Files

However it manages to leave you with a want to begin your own research on the mystery of the death of India’s second Prime Minster Lal Bahadur Shastri.

Rating: 3 stars

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