Tarka (ತರ್ಕ)

Tarka (ತರ್ಕ) is a Kannada whodunit that was the debut of director Sunil Kumar Desai. Shankar Nag is a murderer on the run from the cops. He manages to hide in a house by threatening the lady of the residence (Vanita Vasu). He is in for a shock when he discovers the murdered body of her husband (Devraj) in her cupboard. In exchange for hiding in her house, he helps her dispose off the body. Soon after, they start getting calls from a mysterious person who claims to know about their heinous deeds.

Though released in 1988, Tarka manages to be a good mystery to watch. Shankar Nag delivers a straight performance, that is thankfully devoid of his swagger. The movie sticks to a tight plot and there are no songs or distractions of any kind. As the viewer learns more about the shady pasts of the protagonists, new connections are formed and the mystery only deepens. As in most mystery novels, here too the viewer can never really pin the culprit since the creator has not revealed a crucial piece of the jigsaw puzzle. Once that is disclosed in the final climax, everything falls into place nicely. Tarka is an enigmatic little gem from the 80s.

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4 thoughts on “Tarka (ತರ್ಕ)

  1. vaidya 2012-01-31 / 02:33

    “Shankar Nag delivers a straight performance, that is thankfully devoid of his swagger.”
    Really? If there is one person you’d expect to perform as per the role, that’d be Shankar Nag (and of course his brother who did nothing other than perform the role). Masala movies like the CBI shankar ones are a different beast, but those are not what make Shankar Nag.

    • Ashwin Nanjappa 2012-01-31 / 07:30

      Vaidya: I have seen a few of his movies, bombastic ones like the Sangliana series. These are the kinds of Shankar Nag movies the TV channels used to air frequently. I guess I have to try to catch his other movies, like the Ondanondu Kaladalli, which I remember you reviewed sometime.

      • vaidya 2012-02-02 / 01:14

        Yeah. Those are so not Shankar Nag. Works like Ondanondu Kaaladalli (the plot on Wikipedia is by me :)), Accident, Minchina Ota are what define him better.

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