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It Was A Tightrope Walk

Neeraj Kabi says that his role in Talvar required him to find a perfect balance between the different perspectives given the sensitive case it is based on

The response has been wonderful. I have been receiving very encouraging messages from all over India. What is more encouraging is that people are connecting the films I have done, like Ship Of Theasus, Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! and now Talvar. After watching Talvar, some said they stayed in that zone for two whole days. We have thus achieved our objective as the story has touched the audience.

On bagging Talvar


I received a call from the production team. Then a brief was given to me by them and then I met Meghna. I said ‘yes’ to her in our first meeting as she was very clear about what she wanted me to do and about the story.

On research

I never start working without doing research. I am not an instinctive actor; I am a preparatory actor. I need to know everything about the film, I need to read the script, I need to know what roles the other actors are playing, what kind of relationship my character will have with them. Then, of course, there is the physical body of the character. I don’t like to be a caricature of an actor. I need to play the soul. So I did immense research on the person and how he behaves. Like, I wanted to know what kind of relationship the father had with the daughter. In this case, he was very close to her and loved her immensely. Also, there were small things, like the first story says the neighbours noticed that the father was not crying, and in the second story, they said the neighbours could hear him sobbing loudly. How will one react in such a situation? I needed to do a lot of research. Acting is not about reacting, acting is about responding. And you have to know what the context is, or else, how will you respond?

On the story

Researching this film was easier than the research I did on Detective… because details were available. There are three perspectives to the story – one by the Noida Police, then the CBI and then another group of CBI officers. It took me a long time to do the research but I didn’t want to go wrong. The way I needed to sound, my facial expressions, the way I exchange notes with other people, I had to be very careful. Also, there was a thin line between the three stories because each one was shown in a different way, using the same characters. Moreover, the audience is aware of this story and they are very sensitive about it. It was a tightrope walk.

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