The Tashkent Files (2019) – Movie Review

Who Killed Shastri?

The Tashkent Files is a drama mystery-thriller film written and directed by Vivek Agnihotri. The film depicts the conspiracies surrounding the death of India’s 2nd prime minister Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri.

The film sets in the present time, when a low time journalist Raagini Phule (Shweta Prasad) publishes the article regarding the conspiracies surrounding the death of former Indian prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. This article raises the questions amongst masses and forces the government to form a committee to investigate the truth behind this alleged event; is it really a natural death, or a well planned assassination.

The trailer of the film has given the exact idea about what to expect from this one. And this film delivers the same in a really compelling and grounded way. I was desperately avoiding watching this film as it is widely deemed to be politically motivated in light of the concurrent 2019 general elections. But I finally went to watch this film without having much idea about its content, it made me feel how ignorant (I am/we are) about our own political history. The film goes deep into the darkest chapter of our political history. In 1966, when India’s 2nd prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri went to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to sign a peace pact between India and Pakistan. And just after 8 days, Prime Minister Shastri dies of a heart attack in Tashkent.

Even if the film is politically motivated and biased against a certain political party, it does educate the people about that event, which is the most appreciated thing about this film. The film is good at delivering the content but loses the balance between the documentary and the political thriller. Even the screenplay of the film seems dull in some places. If we ignore some of the technical issues and its political motivation the film shines like anything.

The film stars Naseeruddin Shah and Mithun Chakraborty in lead roles. Besides leads, the film also stars Mandira Bedi, Pallavi Joshi, Rajesh Sharma, Vinay Pathak, Prakash Belawadi, and Pankaj Tripathi. The film has got a totally talented caste, and hence we get to see some really powerful performances. Some of the monologues in the film just steals the show.

Verdict : It is a must watch for its hard-hitting content and some really powerful performances.

Rating : 4/5

Check the trailer here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgWylHdfIdo

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The Post (2017) – Movie Review

Honest.. Amazing.. Courageous..

The Post is the period drama film directed and produced by brilliant Steven Spielberg, a winner of three Academy Awards in directing. The film stars versatile actor Tom Hanks, a winner of two Academy Awards, and talented Meryl Streep, a winner of three Academy Awards in acting. Just how one can miss this film!

The film tells the true story of the journalists from ‘The Washington Post’ who believed in the integrity of journalism and strived to publish and reveal the top-secret classified documents (Pentagon Papers) regarding the involvement of the United States government in the Vietnam War, about which government continuously lied to their people. The film closely shows the struggles of The Washington Post’s first female publisher Kay Graham (Meryl Streep) and its editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) to publish this undisclosed information, for which they must risk everything they’ve got to tell the world the truth to keep the light of honest and courageous journalism alive.

The film cleverly traverses through the crux of this sensitive event and the people involved in it. Like the last year’s release Dunkirk (2017), this film also talks about the event and not any central character(s). The film strictly focuses on the series of events which leads to the revelation of the government’s conspiracy, and not on the actual conspiracy or the consequences of this publication by several media houses into unprecedented judicial battle. The plot of the film is intriguing and informative. The film has some undoubtedly top-notch performances and seeing the works of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks together is always a treat.

Verdict : For interesting and educating story with amazing performances, it s a must watch drama film.

Rating : 4/5