An unusual whodunnit saga.
Tatsama Tadbhava (Kannada)
- Cast: Meghana Raj Sarja, Prajwal Devaraj, Sruthi, TS Nagabharana, Girija Lokesh, Aravind Iyer, Balaji Manohar, Mahathi Vaishnavi Bhat, Rajshri Ponnappa, Harshil, and Varun Srinivas
- Director: Vishal Atreya
- Producers: Pannaga Bharana, Spurthi Anil, and Chetan Nanjundaiah
- Music: Vasuki Vaibhav
- Runtime: 2 hours 2 minutes
The secret behind any delicious meal is adding the right ingredients at the right time while cooking. Also, make sure that it is neither overcooked nor undercooked.
But what does cooking have to do with the mystery thriller?
Well, let’s find out exactly why Tatsama Tadbhava has such a strange connection with cooking:
The film opens with Arika (Meghana Raj Sarja) filing a complaint with the police that her husband has gone missing for hours. This is in the year 2004.
Soon, the frame cuts to the present time where Arika is seen celebrating her daughter’s 18th birthday.
In no time, the daughter’s sudden curiosity over her mother leads the audience to learn about the mystery behind the 18-year-old murder case. In fact, Arika’s missing husband was found dead after three days in the basement of his own house!
The whodunnit saga starts with Arika becoming the prime suspect with loads of twists and turns up until the climax.
Usual but unusual
While one can find such similar whodunnit mysteries in abundance in both foreign and Indian movies, the screenplay along with the lead performances in Tatsama Tadbhava are unique and present a fresh look at the done-to-death process.
The movie is all about finding the real culprit while up in arms against a brilliant mind who has committed the “perfect crime” to go scot-free. Though the makers claim it to be a work of fiction, it certainly gives the impression of a collective inspiration.
However, as the saying goes a suspect is innocent until proven guilty, and so is the mystery behind this mystery thriller.
The crux of Tatsama Tadbhava, too, is universal — a smart cop using his best abilities to break the suspects mentally and crack the case. Will he finally succeed, or he get outsmarted is for the viewer’s discretion in the end.
Meghana & Prajwal shine
The film does a world of good to both Meghana Raj Sarja, who makes a comeback after some time, and the talented Prajwal Devaraj.
Meghana as the prime suspect with a surprising twist to her character is pleasantly surprising to experience.
So is Prajwal who plays the smart cop with a different approach. Unlike the majority of on-screen police investigating officers, Prajwal Devaraj as Aravind Ashwatthamann is calm and composed with a thinking/analytical mind.
According to him, solving a case is like cooking a perfect meal where ingredients and timings and the whole process matter a lot.
Not surprisingly, he makes a breakthrough in the murder case while cooking on a fine day!
Well, it serves the sole purpose of watching the film for entertainment that guarantees a decent edge-of-the-seat experience.
Though Tatsama Tadbhava is not one of a kind, it certainly is an unusual whodunnit saga packed and delivered to good effect.
(Views expressed here are personal.)