Meghna Gulzar: After hearing this case, children were asking their parents; ‘Would you kill me?’
After being sentenced to life imprisonment by a lower court in 2013, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday acquitted Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the Aarushi Talwar-Hemraj double murder case.
BT spoke to Meghna Gulzar, who directed 'Talvar' (2015) produced by Vineet Jain and Vishal Bharadwaj, it's a Junglee Pictures' venture --- which chronicled the case from multiple points view. The filmmaker spoke about how this case impacted society and the fact that she is relieved as the "wrong has been redeemed."
Your film 'Talvar' was applauded by the critics and audiences alike. What's your reaction to the High Court verdict, acquitting the parents?
There is relief. I am just grateful. We don't make films with a motive and this (verdict) has got nothing to do with the film. Knowing the story and the details so closely, what happened in the session's court was a miscarriage of justice. I think wrong has been redeemed. There is still a vacuum. There is such big loss which can never get repaid or fulfilled. Their child is gone. But even so, the fact that some sense of justice, some sense of truth has prevailed is very heartening to talk about today.
What were your personal thoughts on the case when you were making the film? As a director you had researched the subject threadbare and were closely following it?
I didn't interact with the parents while making the film because I needed to keep my objectivity intact. We showed the film to the family only after it was complete. I didn't let my personal emotions come in the way; they were bottled up till the movie released. It might seem hard to believe it, but that's what happened. I processed the story as a real event. Once the film released it took three to four months for me fall asleep peacefully. It was extremely draining. To keep all your emotions in check while making a film like this was challenging.
What kind of an impact do you think this case has had on society and people's psychology?
It was very scary at two levels. One, it shook the foundation of the most sacred institution; the family, because you were talking about parents murdering their child. I remember when the story made headlines, it turned into media frenzy and everyone believed that the parents were guilty. After hearing about this case, children were asking their parents; 'Would you kill me?' We know of these stories. Secondly, you would shudder to think --- if you ever get entangled with the police or the judiciary...God help you! If it has to, then it can go south really badly with no hope of recovery. So, it was a very gloomy scenario to be looking at. But fortunately, that light has broken right now and that is a very big thing.