‘Tarla’: Cast & Crew
Director: Piyush Gupta
Cast: Huma Qureshi, Hardik Thakkar, Kukul Tarmaster, Morli Patel, Sharib Hashmi, Bharti Achrekar, Garima Agarwal, Purnendu Bhattacharya, Raghav Binani, Vedansh Jaju, Aashriya Mishra, Lokesh Mittal, Veenah Naair, Rajeev Pandey, Hridansh Parekh, Laxmi Rawat, Lata Shukla, Amarjeet Singh, Premal Yagnik
Available On: Zee5
Tarla (Huma Qureshi) is a woman who wants to achieve something significant in life. Apparently, her family is insisting on getting her married. Though Tarla's husband, Nalin (Sharib Hashmi), is all set to stand by her side with her choices, gender duties result in her imagination and desire taking a back seat. Despite being a pure vegetarian, Nalin's extreme liking for non-vegetarian food is a matter of surprise. She started preparing vegetarian delicacies that followed the taste of non-vegetarian food items and gave them a run for their money. After teaching her neighbour’s kid to cook, she started giving cooking classes, and this was the turning point in her journey to start a tribe in the world of cooking. Will she be able to finally do something worthwhile in her life? Will her husband eventually get blown away by societal patriarchal norms? Will the two ever be able to lead a happy life? Well, for all that you’ll have to watch the movie.
Huma Qureshi did perform the character with utmost sincerity. She didn’t make the dialect overpower her performance. She stuck to minimal usage of Gujarati words, which otherwise would have looked very forced on her part. Also, the emotional arc of the character was held onto quite nicely by Huma Qureshi, who was good not only in the serious or teary-eyed scenes but was equally good in the quirky and funny scenes. That depth in the character was really good. However, Tarla Dalal in real life was much shorter than Huma Qureshi in height, and that, sort of, made the physicality aspect go a bit haywire, but I think that bit can be given away to cinematic liberties as long as the overall performance was worthy.
Sharib Hashmi was at the top of his game. It was wonderful to see him portray a lead character after a long time and not just play the second lead. The innocence that he managed to bring to the character is what made the role look so realistic. The ending monologue that he delivers in the climax is sure to touch your heart and make your eyes moist. Even though the entire film is based around Huma Qureshi’s character, not for once do you feel that Sharib Hashmi is playing second fiddle. It’s a really heartfelt performance from him, which is sure to stay with you for long.
None of the other supporting characters have any standout performances.
‘Tarla’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects
‘Tarla’s writing by Piyush Gupta and Gautam Ved is its biggest downer. While they’ve managed to get the emotional highs and lows perfectly well, they’ve also made the story so predictable that you’re left with nothing to wonder about as you know pretty much everything that’s going to happen from start to end. There are also some discrepancies. The story spans for quite a few years in the middle but the ages of the 3 kids remain pretty much the same. How come? Also, how come the storyline of the in-laws is never shown even for once after the wedding is solemnised? Having a span of 12-13 years of marriage, at least one or two shots could have had them even. These could be too little of details to get into, but an OTT audience does look into every aspect, and such things hit out like glaring points.
The direction by Piyush Gupta makes the film worth enough for a one-time watch. The story is utterly predictable yet when you’re presented in a feel-good and coming-of-age manner, you do end up forgetting your worries of the world and immerse yourself in the mushiness of the film. ‘Tarla’ manages to do that. You know what’s going to happen, you know the nuances, you know the emotions as they’re very real, yet you sort of enjoy it till the very end. You’re rooting for the obvious and when that happens, you’re elated. A sense of closure and completion is what you get. What more can you expect from a director?
As the film is set in the 1970s-90s, the cinematography by Salu K. Thomas starts building up pretty well at the start, but pretty soon it just becomes quite a regular outlook and feel. In the later parts of the movie, not much effort is put into making the scenes look and feel nostalgic. That drains a bit of the fun in watching a biopic.
The music of ‘Tarla’ is quirky yet it’s not something that’s going to get a place in your playlist for long. The songs by Suhit Abhyankar, Nilotpal Bora and Rohan Vinayak make sense with the storyline but sadly, without the context, some of the songs wouldn’t even survive. So that’s definitely a letdown.
The editing of the film by Gaurav Aggarwal is definitely crisp. Despite being quite predictable, the story never sags to the extent that you’re feeling bored. It keeps you in that mushy feel-good bubble till the climax. Also, the length is short which is why the film doesn’t look too stretched as well.
‘Tarla’: Can Kids Watch It?
‘Tarla’ is a decent slice-of-life film which doesn’t deliver much more than it promises. The performances are noteworthy, the story is memorable but it overall is quite a predictable screenplay where you know what all is going to happen at pretty much all junctures. The trailer also wasn’t able to incite that much intrigue about the film. That also hurts the film’s chances at earning a big pay day. To add to that the minimal promotions of the film also is going to make it suffer. It’s nothing more than a feel-good film. Overall, it’s an Average Watch. I am going with 2.5 stars.