Talaash

 

There are no mysteries in the age of social media…

Pic source: Wikipedia

Pic source: Wikipedia

Before you read any further: I have tried to keep this post spoiler-free and basic plot points mentioned here are already shown in the film’s trailers. However, if you are going to watch the film regardless of the reviews, I recommend reading this or any other review after you’ve seen it.

Talaash may not be the best thriller we have seen this year (my vote goes to Kahaani) but I am glad the makers (Excel Entertainment, Aamir Khan Productions and Reliance Entertainment) tried to attempt something different with the movie. It has an interesting story, great performances by the cast and an unexpected ending, which thanks to loud-mouths on social media got ruined for many including me. I feel bad for everyone who could have enjoyed the film more if they did not know about the big twist in the end. In the age of Twitter and BBM, it is a challenge for filmmakers also to make suspense thrillers that can stay strong despite the spoiler getting leaked out.

Coming back to Talaash, it is decent film that gets many things right but does not keep you at the edge of your seat. People have been complaining about its slow pace, but it worked for me; writer-director, Reema Kagti (screenplay with Zoya Akhtar) creates a mood that brings together the eeriness of a murder mystery with the personal grief that her main protagonists are going through. Inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) and his wife, Roshni (Rani Mukerji) are unable to cope with their 8-year-old son’s accidental death, which strains their marriage. Surjan’s investigation of a high-profile death case contributes to his personal troubles as he finds himself drawn to an unlikely friend, a prostitute named Rosie (Kareena Kapoor). Surjan and Roshni’s story is probably the strongest part of the film; their grief is portrayed sensitively by the two actors, especially Rani who has got a role that exploits her talent after very long. Kareena is also good in the film and I hope she continues to choose interesting characters like this, rather than insignificant roles in mega-blockbuster masala films. Regarding Aamir, he is excellent as a cop tormented by his own demons – on one hand he is a tough police officer and on the other a hapless father. Kudos to the casting director (Nandini Shrikent) for also getting a talented supporting cast on board including Shernaz Patel and Nawazuddin Siddiqui – now this man is a chameleon – from a revenge seeking gangster in Gangs of Wasseypur 2 to a pimp’s right-hand man in Talaash, he is a delight to watch.

With superlative performances by all the actors and an interesting plot, Talaash starts on a promising note but does not confuse the audience enough to make it an exciting affair. Surjan keeps finding clue after clue and the film moves in a straight line till the ‘unexpected’ climax. Now, I had a rough idea about the final twist but I was able to piece things together within the first ten minutes of the film. The makers relied too much on the twist, which also is not entirely a fresh idea. Because I had a clue to the end, I may not be completely fair to the film but it is a lukewarm thriller and the murder mystery unfolds in a dull manner, except the surprise element in the end.

Music by Ram Sampath goes well with the mood of the film but is not outstanding (why do most big releases this year have just about average music?) Cinematography by Mohanan is nice and he uses a dull color tone to give a dark and gloomy feel to Mumbai in the film.

Talaash is certainly a one-time watch for the actors’ performances and you may enjoy it more if you don’t know the spoiler. So, go for it before someone tells it to you.

PS: I got my spoiler from a well-known journalist, Kushan Mitra (@KushanMitra) who inadvertently revealed similarities to a Hollywood film on Twitter. So-called actor, producer, Kamaal R Khan (@KamaalRKhan) also tweeted spoilers to the film.

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9 comments on “Talaash

  1. Needless to say, a well written crisp review of a movie that’s been getting mixed responses. Loved the performances of the cast and though I can’t single out any one in particular, but Aamir was terrific as a cop.

    I personally loved the twist and it’s a true cop thriller at heart.

  2. I also watched the movie despite knowing the plot. And like you said, it is worth a watch for the performances. I was keen to see how Aamir Khan and the Akhtars have treated the subject. I enjoying watching movies and TV shows of the same genre and found the story too naive. There are many Hollywood and Korean movies on similar subjects and they are just outstanding. But I will still give credit to the filmmakers for the try.

  3. Considering the hype that an Aamir Khan movie generates and the kind of movies that he makes, Talaash was a let down. Aamir’s portrayal of a cop who is battling his demons on the loss of his son was also sketchy. The movie was a dead giveaway because of two scenes – The first car crash and the second when sashi calls a doc to tend to kareena, That along with Kareena’s dialogue about no being bothered about a girl who disappeared three years back .. was frankly disappointed. Read more on http://thelatesthindimoviereviews.blogspot.in/2012/12/talaash-search-within-review.html

    • Hey! The movie worked for me very well as far as Aamir & Rani’s story goes. I think the director showed their grief and struggle well keeping in mind that the film packed a lot of other stuff. In fact, the more I am thinking about the film, I am remembering the nuances and liking it more.

  4. Pingback: Best of Bollywood in 2012 | The Movie Review Blog

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