Raj Singh Chaudhary’s ‘Thar’, on Netflix, is a neo-Western that sets up an interesting premise and does very little with it

Posted on May 6, 2022


Spoilers ahead…

None of these characters or situations are written with any depth, and apart from veterans Anil Kapoor and Satish Kaushik, no one is capable of fashioning at least the semblance of a flesh-and-blood person on their own. 


The lay of the land is laid out in the most brilliantly poetic fashion in Thar, a kind of neo-Western directed by Raj Singh Chaudhary. (The voiceover-words are dazzling, and I suspect this is why we get the thank-you card to Gulzar.) Anil Kapoor plays the ageing-Sheriff equivalent, an inspector named Surekha Singh. He is stuck in this one-horse border town in Rajasthan, and he isn’t entirely happy about the lack of upward mobility in his career. But his wife is relieved that all he has to do is solve petty crimes, nothing dangerous. Besides, she knows he cannot deal with with hierarchical politics. Their son, however, says he will study for the IPS exam, become a cop, and lord over his father. These little “character touches” paint a picture of a man who is so not prepared for what’s about to happen.

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