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Tashkent Files 2019 Review: A story that needed to be told [Twitter Reviews Updated]

Vivek Agnihotri's The Tashkent Files released on April 12

Second Prime Minister of independent India wins a war against Pakistan, goes to Tashkent, after days of high-tension talks, signs a peace agreement with Pakistan and dies within few hours. There are conspiracy theories and rumours about his death and even the family members suspect foul play. However, no post mortem is carried out.

[Scroll Down For User Reviews]

The Tashkent Files, which releases on April 12, is an extremely well-researched film which tries to ask a few uncomfortable questions without demonising any politician or a political party which may or may not have had anything to do with Prime Minister Shastri’s mysterious death and subsequent lack of investigation.

Having grown up in the 90s, the only thing our school history books talked about former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri how he was the second prime minister who gave us the ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan’ slogan. As The Tashkent Files says, there is more information surrounding former PM Shastri’s death over the internet than in official documents of the government of India.

The film makes a few startling revelations. Just how far were the intelligence agencies of the US and the then USSR involved? How deep had they infiltrated India through the politicians and media? Why was any inquiry commission not set up after Prime Minister Shastri’s death? Why was an autopsy not carried out? Why are there two separate versions of the medical report? Why the inconsistency? Why did the two witnesses who attended to PM Shastri in his last moments ‘coincidentally’ meet with road accidents?

Prime Minister Shastri’s body had turned blue-black, there were cut-marks on his body, there were dried blood marks on the body but despite this, the government of India did not think it was necessary to carry out an autopsy. Does this not raise alarm bells? The Tashkent Files brings together hours and years of research and puts out a coherent narration which leaves you angry and frustrated at what could be one of the biggest ‘coverups’ in independent India.

The film says how Shastri was killed twice, once in Tashkent and the second time systematically from our consciousness. The film mentions Mitrokhin Archives, a book which is a collection of secret documents by secret KGB archivist that talks about the truth behind Shastri’s death. The book and film make some damning revelations (not yet verified) regarding how deep had the KGB infiltrated India by bribing the politicians, planting media articles and perhaps even killing a prime minister.

Brilliant performance by the actors. Shweta Basu Prasad shines in her role of a young journalist where her character has its own share of flaws which she overcomes because she wants a logical end to a ‘game’ that was started. She does not take any moral high ground, does not go hammer and tongs against the grand old party which chose not to carry out an investigation after Shastri’s death. She only asks questions. Pallavi Joshi as a historian and an expert on Shastri also shows how history books are also filled with just one version and there could be other versions of the same incident.

Prakash Belawadi is another brilliant actor and a personal favourite amongst all the characters in this film. The film is backed with solid research and has no over-the-top narrative building which makes it a great political drama just as the election season kicks in.

I hope the film reaches out to the younger generation and they learn more about the son of the soil India lost too soon. Hope there is an investigation carried out on former Prime Minister Shastri’s mysterious death and the family as well as the country can get some closure. In the meantime, I’m buying my copy Mitrokhin Archives to learn more about India what the school history books never told me.



The movie’s reviews have quickly become the latest battle ground between the small elite coterie of politically biased critics vs the masses. Had this been year 2001, then maybe the movie reviews and critics would have had the power to decide the fate of the movie and relegate it to oblivion.
But this is 2018 and opinions have democratised and so the power to decide this is firmly in the hands of junta.

So here are the user reviews from across the internet:

BookMyShow’s reviews:

tashkent files user reviews 

Rotten tomatoes rating: 92%

Google user Reviews 93% Positive:

movie reviews 2019 of tashkent files 

ImDB reviews 8.5/10

Here’s are some honest Twitter reviews from people who have watched it


Movie released on: 12th April 2019. You can follow Vivek Agnihotri, director and man behind the movie on Twitter here

Trailer: Also watch: YouTube Trailer of The Tashkent Files movie:


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Nirwa Mehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

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