After Aachar & Co (Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy), Toby (Chaitra J Achar), and Sapta Sagaradaache Ello (Rukmini Vasanth), Tatsama Tadbhava, by debutant Vishal Atreya, is another Kannada film this year with a strong female performance. The thriller is Meghana Raj Sarja’s first noteworthy project after the untimely demise of her husband and actor, Chiranjeevi Sarja, in 2020.
The actor delivers a measured performance in a tricky role, reminding us of her brilliant effort as a nurse with grey shades in the Malayalam film Beautiful (2011). Meghana brings the right amount of grace and poignancy to her character, which is quite emotional and vulnerable.
The film begins with Arika (Meghana) visiting the police station to complain about her missing husband. She tells police officer Aravind Ashwathamma (Prajwal Devaraj) that her husband Sanjay hasn’t come home after he left following a quarrel with her one night.
Tatsama Tadbhava (Kannada)
Director: Vishal Atreya
Cast: Prajwal Devaraj, Meghana Raj Sarja, Nagabharana, Balaji Manohar
Run-time: 122 minutes
Storyline: A seasoned police officer begins to investigate a case of a missing person. When the wife of the person becomes the prime suspect, the cop unravels several secrets and lies
Tatsama Tadbhava is a focused whodunit. Nothing feels repetitive in the screenplay as the film maintains its suspenseful tone throughout its two-hour runtime. As shown in the trailer, Arika becomes the prime suspect in her husband’s murder case after Sanjay’s body is found in the basement of their house.
The film maintains the tension by revealing more details about Arika while Sanjay’s hot-headed boss (Balaji Manohar) also comes under the scrutiny of the police. Once you get into a guessing game, Arika’s plight could remind you of Vidya Balan’s Kahaani. The constant stress on the timeline of the case gives a Drishyam-like flavour to the story.
The big reveal seems a tad convenient, and the film’s closing moments feel rushed. One scene, aimed at evoking laughter, sticks out like a sore thumb in an otherwise intense film.
These minor blips apart, Tatsama Tadbhava is a gripping thriller helped by a clever plot and a tightly woven screenplay. Even if you can predict some shifts in the plot, director Vishal Atreya doesn’t allow your attention to drift from the screen as his filmmaking is far from lazy. Things turn very serious in two places, providing the shock we expect from a good thriller.
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Prajwal delivers a controlled performance, doing full justice to his character of a thinking cop. While his attempt to play a ‘mass’ police officer in Inspector Vikram didn’t bear fruit, Prajwal is at ease in this film, playing a smart cop who prefers effective interrogation over brute force to fish out clues and leads. Tatsama Tadbhava is a taut thriller that leaves you thinking.
Tatsama Tadbhava is currently running in theatres