Tarkeib (2000)


Tarkeib (2000)
Cast: Nana Patekar, Tabu, Shilpa Shetty, Aditya Panscholi
Director: Esmayeel Shroff
Nutshell: Murder mystery based on a true story loses its way very rapidly after first half


Tarkeib begins with a girl is found murdered; her body hacked off into small parts and with the head missing. Despite the best efforts of the local police force, special investigator, Jasraj Patel, played by Nana Patekar has to be called in to solve the mystery.

Along the way the number of suspects rises alarmingly and it is only the shrewdness of Patel that sees him through. These days, murder mysteries are a rarity and in that sense it is a nice change to see one come along. The film starts promisingly and the build up is admirably executed. Through the first hour, director Esmayeel Shroff maintains a steady pace and sustains a degree of interest as the special investigator, Jasraj Patel familiarizes himself with the grisly case.

Sadly the longer Tarkeib goes on the more the scripts deficiencies begin to show. The holes become gaping crevices and by the time the climax comes about the film has been completely destroyed. Flashbacks serve to introduce us to a list of suspects, each one of which are equally likely to have murdered the victim. Then having set up the suspects the climax comes along and completely wipes out the films earlier foundations. Out goes the motive, out goes the suspense and the plot of the film lies in tatters.

If ever you want to see how not to complete a murder mystery, see Tarkeib. It is clear that the film has been let down by a very weak script. Loose ends abound, characterization is one-dimensional and threads that were being developed simply trail off and disappear. Shocking…but not in the manner that the audience would have liked!

Performance wise, all the actors struggle with poorly developed characters and as a result there is little or no scope for them to have much impact. Tabu is as good as she can be. Aditya Panscholi is wasted and newcomer Milind Soman does nothing to show that he will make it as a major actor.

Nana Patekar, despite being limited to playing a one-dimensional role, still has a magnetic charisma that draws the viewer to his every word. There is something about those piercing eyes and that low key, controlled voice that gives him unparalleled screen presence. The problem for him is where to go from here. For such a fine actor he has found himself boxed into a typecast role from which he is finding it difficult to break out of.

Murder mysteries have traditionally been risky ventures in Bollywood and Tarkeib appears to have little chance of over turning the trend. A film that promised much but ends up utterly forgettable. Nana faces another box office washout.