Indian Western ‘Thar’ a New Netflix Release is More Mood than Plot

Thar, a new Netflix release, belongs to a distinct subversive genre. Long shots of desolate desert. A grisly murder, a severed ear. A fatigued cop, Surekha (Anil Kapoor), about to retire in a few months. And then, a stranger enters the village, a city slicker named Siddharth (Harshvarrdhan Kapoor), a seller of antiques in Delhi. The year is 1985, the place Munabao, a hamlet in Rajasthan. Deceitful men, ambiguous motives, a forlorn landscape — this is a Western winking at noir or country liquor-sniffing No Country for Old Men.

Clocking in at 109 minutes, Thar is more mood than plot. (And) For a film centered on horrific depravities, Thar is quite sheepish about most scenes of violence…It’s so stale and closed and easy that it feels quite fittingly that the filmmakers had run out of ideas. Towards the end, Surekha is where he was: contemplating an uncertain future, much like the sheriff in No Country for Old Men. The only difference is that the poetic coda of Tommy Lee Jones’ character bookended a modern masterpiece. Here, the climactic shock (and Surekha’s parallel defeat) reminds you of a lazy pun: a ‘cop out’.

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