Naachiyaar ★★★½

bala's inspecteur lavardin; bleak knot of social dread wound around a central cop/detective figure who both provides the moral catharsis of detective fiction and a sour commentary on that genre, depending on which eye you squint at the movie with. if it feels a little rushed (both in its 98 minute runtime and as a relatively low budget, quick turnaround production) that's not really a complaint per se, there are moments and gestures of real power here and the way it manages to be both queasy and hopeful in the end is fascinating.