Film Review: Tashkent Files
Tashkent Files is a movie where a group of people sits down in a closed room to decide if former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri died of natural causes or whether he was murdered. Director Vivek Agnihotri picks his subject carefully; to roast the beans in this election season.
Tashkent, referring to the Uzbekistan capital — formerly a part of the USSR — is where India’s second prime minister died the day he signed an important treaty with Pakistan after the 1965 war. While officially his death is said to be due to a heart attack, conspiracy theories have suggested poisoning. Either Google it or watch The Tashkent Files – every whack-a-doodle conspiracy theory finds a play at both.
To add on to the misery of the plot, a journalist Ragini (Shweta Basu Prasad) gets a call from a Deep Throat who is a big fan of Kaun Banega Crorepati. After playing fastest-fingers-first with her on the phone, he sends her a ‘super-secret dossier’ on PM Shastri’s death. There are no Pentagon Papers inside, only every theory or RTI query that is already out there on the internet.
The Tashkent Files is a propaganda film primarily and makes no bones to hide the fact. The director claims India was colonized again in the 70s and it would have never happened if Shastri was still at the helm.
However, Name was not mentioned of Indira Gandhi but references are too blunt to be ignored.
Tashkent Files lacks a strong plot and is extremely politicised. A communal speech by Pankaj Tripathi’s character is a headache to watch; he warns of a certain community poisoning the entire country and attacking India with its army.
Tashkent Files is a forgettable affair.