A flick based upon one of the most controversial chapters of India’s history, The Tashkent Files tries to project a blunt and volatile political drama. The film incorporates the political thought-process of today, by making a journalist delve deep into investigating Lal Bahadur Shastri’s death in the year 1966. While the pursuit of truth after half-a-century may seem dull, the young journalist, played by Shweta Basu Prasad, digs into the secret history because she’s an ambitious lady and in the world of social media, any sensitive topic would rage a storm. So she and a pack of politicians, social workers, and civil servants, join a committee that has the task of coming up with the truth after a reinvestigation.
Director and writer Vivek Agnihotri have surely taken a deep dive into the political stories, facts, and rumors through the story. That the story is able to put up with such a brave topic is commendable, but the execution of such an idea receives a thumbs down, also the direction and narrative of the film is inconsistent.
But the choice of cast is what Vivek Agnihotri deserves a huge applaud for. The film’s strength lies in the ensemble cast featuring Naseeruddin Shah, Mithun Chakraborty, Pallavi Joshi, Pankaj Tripathi, Mandira Bedi and more. But, apart from Mithun Chakraborty, none other gets a role that does justice to the talents of the actors. Even the film’s lead, Shweta Basu Prasad, gives a true performance in an underdeveloped character.
The Tashkent Files comes up with some shocking claims about India’s political history, the politics of hierarchy and the citizen’s right to know the truth. All its sensational content is strongly put forward and important social issues are highlighted, too. But, the efforts put for the storytelling part is lukewarm and lacks the craft that such a hard genre requires.
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