Tarkieb (2000) is a murder mystery which I had seen in the Mayank cinema of Jaipur when it was released. I had approached the theatre to watch it because I am fond of mysteries / suspense thrillers. However after watching it, I felt that it was a badly made thriller, a complete letdown at the level of script and its presentation turning the good story into an average movie . Even then I was not fully disappointed with the movie because it proved to be a good entertainer due to the mindblowing performance of its hero, i.e., Nana Patekar.Tarkieb (trick / method) starts with a headless female body being found in a river by some people of the washermen community. The police loses interest in properly investigating the murder after the investigating officer (Deepak Qazir) gets a threat from the murderer over phone. The case file is closed with even the identity of the victim remaining hidden. Under the pressure of some women’s as well as human rights organizations, the chief minister assigns this case to the CBI. Now the investigating CBI officer – Jasraaj Patel (Nana Patekar) sets to work with his assistant Gangaraam (Tiku Talsania). First, he finds out the identity of the victim who turns out to be Roshni Chaubey (Tabu), a motherless girl from a modest family containing her retired father (Vinod Naagpaal) and two younger sisters. Now the needle of suspicion starts moving from person to person, covering all the people who have come into contact with Roshni during the past some time. Roshni was a nurse in a military hospital at Pachmarhi and the list of suspects consists of Captain Ajit Varma (Milind Soman), a doctor in the military hospital; Dr. Kamal Dogra (Ashutosh Rana), a courtmarshalled military doctor; Mohan Multaani (Aditya Pancholi), a businessman; Bishan Nanda (Akhilendra Mishra), the ex-contractor of the military canteen etc. Jasraaj Patel obtains some necessary information from Roshni’s close friend and roommate – Preeti Sharma (Shilpa Shetty) and examines all the suspects minutely, finally unravelling the mystery behind the murder and catching the culprit. Some credit of his success goes to a blind shopkeeper – Nainsukh (Raghuveer Yadav) also who helps him in this regard.
There are two pr-requisites of making a good suspense-thriller – 1. The story is knitted well, 2. All the events are logically connected to one another, leaving no unanswered questions in the end for the audience. Unfortunately, Tarkieb does not come true on this criteria. The story is good but when the movie is over, unanswered questions are left for the audience. Plus except one suspect (Dr. Kamal Dogra played by Ashutosh Rana), the other characters have not been developed properly to qualify as genuine suspects. Had I been the writer of the screenplay or the director of this movie, I would have created more suspects and made the revelation of the culprit more logical and convincing. The candidate selected by the filmmaker to be the real murderer is not the best candidate in my view. Better candidate was available in the story. Besides, the script is not well-knitted. All leads take the investigation to nowhere. The script and the direction, both are letdowns.
The movie is dull at many places and had it not been for Nana Patekar, it would have been a disastrous affair. However the filmmaker did at least one prudent thing – he chose Nana Patekar for the lead role of the investigator. And Nana has handled not only his role but also the whole movie very well. He has not allowed the movie to go boring and produced entertainment for the audience through his sheer talent without getting much support from the script. However the writer – Moinuddin who is the dialog writer too, has specially written hilarious and impressive dialogs for him. Nana’s entry scene is also quite impressive. With the help of the supporting actors like Raghuveer Yadav and Tiku Talsania, Nana has turned this average movie into an entertaining one for the most part of it. His fans will love his performance in this movie which is a brilliant combo of comic timing and quick-wit. He tickles the funny bone of the viewer every now and then while carrying out his investigation. His dialog delivery in his unique style enhances the impact of several scenes.
Talking about others, Tabu’s talent has not been optimally utilized by the director whereas Shilpa Shetty has been wasted completely. Shilpa’s only contribution to the movie is the popular item song picturized on her – Dupatte Ka Pallu Kidhar Ka Kidhar Hai. Ashutosh Rana, Aditya Pancholi and Akhilendra Mishra have delivered routine performances whereas debutante Milind Soman has failed to impress despite his dashing personality. Raguveer Yadav and Tiku Talsania have entertained the audience by their humorous performances. Vinod Naagpaal is routine. This is the weakness of the director (Esmayeel Shroff) that several members of the supporting cast appear to be unskilled and over-acting.
Except the chartbuster Dupatte Ka Pallu, Aadesh Shrivastava’s musical score has nothing to boast of. However the lyrics of Nida Faazli are beautiful and touching and the Shaayari associated with the song Kiska Chehra is appealing for the romantic hearts.
Technically the movie is up to the mark. The art direction, the cinematography, the editing, the background score etc. are all satisfactory. The action sequences have been executed well. The story has been set in Pachmarhi and the cinematographer has captured the beauty of that hill station very well.
I recommend this movie as a nice one time watch which should be seen with a low expectation. However, for the admirers of Nana Patekar, it is a very big treat. Nana has carried the complete movie on his stout shoulders and he is unarguably at his hilarious best here. Leave aside the murder mystery friends. Just watch it for the brilliant performance of Nana Patekar. Unlike the director of this movie, Nana won’t disappoint you and will keep you smiling for more than two hours.
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