Is Netflix’s Thar Based on a True Story?

Image Credit: Supriya Kantak/Netflix

Directed by Raj Singh Chaudhary, ‘Thar’ is an Indian action thriller movie set in the 1980s. The film follows Siddharth (Harshvardhan Kapoor), an antique dealer whose travels take him to a remote village in Rajasthan, India. The place has recently seen multiple violent killings and naturally is suspicious of the newcomer. Inspector Surekha Singh (Anil Kapoor) is determined to find the killer, no thanks to the pressure from the higher-ups.

Given the continued brutal murders, Surekha wonders whether Siddharth is up to something sinister. The movie’s thrilling storyline and authentic settings make the audience question everything they know as the events unfold. Given such a stellar narration, viewers cannot help but wonder whether the movie is purely fictional or based on true events. Well, here’s what we know about the same!

Is Thar Based on a True Story?

No, ‘Thar’ is not based on a true story. Written and directed by Raj Singh Chaudhary, the movie is an ode to classic Western films as it utilizes several elements from the genre and gives it a new twist. The movie was produced under the banner of Anil Kapoor Film Company, with famed director Anurag Kashyap (Gangs of Wasseypur) helping with writing the dialogues.

Image Credit: Supriya Kantak/Netflix

The project was exciting for the writers and the producer-actor, Anil Kapoor. “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved with Thar and am super excited about the film for several reasons,” he said in a statement. “The genre itself — a noir thriller set in Rajasthan that pays tribute to the genre of the classic Western is a first for Indian cinema and audiences.” Given that the actor gets to work with his son Harshvardhan, who plays the movie’s lead character, his excitement truly is understandable.

The movie indeed follows the themes seen in said genres. A brutal murderer on the loose being chased by a determined law enforcer, set in sandy deserts. Does it get any better than this? A cursory look over India’s map will also tell you the significance of the film’s setting. Similar to how the most classic western movies are set in the western states of the USA, ‘Thar’ is set in Rajasthan, a western state in India. Furthermore, more than half of the state is covered by the Thar desert, providing a classic western feel for the thriller film. Even the movie’s name comes from the country’s largest hot desert.

With horse riders riding through sandy dunes and using guns with abandonment, the filmmakers did not leave any stone unturned to make the film authentic to the Western genre. However, that does not mean that India’s culture and charm do not shine through in the film. While the beauty and thrill of America’s western deserts come from the wild unexplored territories, Rajasthan is anything but the same.

The state’s name Rajasthan translates to ‘Land of the Kings.’ The vast expanse of the Thar desert in the state is home to several castles, in varying stages of maintenance, that once housed several Indian Kings. Some of these medieval royal structures have been featured in the movie. The village where the story takes place also reflects the local Rajasthani culture with authentic attires, dialect, and lifestyle.

While ‘Thar’ may not be inspired by real events, its inspiration comes from an established and beloved genre that has not been used much within India. With its thrilling story, talented cast, and breathtaking backdrops, the movie attempts to replicate the well-established quirks of classic Western cinema.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Thar Filmed?