|Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor in 'Talaash'|
A lot has been said
about the supposed twist in the plot of ‘Talaash’ which many found hard to take
seriously. I have no such issues with the script. Paranormal events, whether
real or not are completely believable when used right. Madhumati (1958), The
Sixth Sense (1999), Volver (2006) are all great examples of the genre. Hell!
Even ‘Om Shanti Om (2007)’ did it better. But my issue with this new thriller
is quite simple. It thinks that the audience is dumb. Because there is no other
reason that the writer-director would make us watch the last 15 minutes of the
film, carefully explaining and retelling each event that we saw in the past 2
hours. I have never understood this trend in Bollywood and still fail to see
the relevance. Why don’t the producers actually increase the repeat value of
the film by not using these methods instead?
‘Talaash’ for me is essentially
the story of the police officer, Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) and his
journey to find peace after the accidental death of his young son, Karan. The
investigation of the mysterious death of a film star, Armaan Kapoor (Vivan
Bhatena), is just so that he can complete this journey. There is also the
damaged relationship with his wife Roshni (Rani Mukherji) with whom he refuses
to communicate and the sex worker Rosie (Kareena Kapoor) who gets into his head
for unknown reasons.
The film’s best quality
is the first scene, which in itself could summarize the whole story. Beautifully
shot, it sets the benchmark too high for the rest of the film. From there, the
director Reema Kagti could have taken the story anywhere and she decided to
make it a murder mystery. But sadly she also put the sub-plot about the neighbour
Frenny (Shernaz Patel) which only demystifies the film. What this film needed
desperately was some really tight editing to make the audience feel both thrill
but also genuine emotion for the protagonists. Instead I felt a strange concoction
which was neither sadness nor intrigue.
I would have loved to
see a bit more of Rani though. The tension that she brings on screen through
her strong yet subtle performance should put Aamir Khan to shame, in my humble
opinion. While Rani’s Roshni is someone I can imagine sitting in my next door
apartment, there is theatricality to Aamir’s performance as a distraught father
which makes it hard for the audience to feel sad for him. Yes, there are tears
but it does not make anyone’s heart wench. Kareena does what she does always.
There is nothing special about it. There is no effort put in the performance,
from either the body language to the spoken language.
The star of the show,
for me was Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the limping Temur. The kind of authenticity
and humour he brings to the character makes Aamir’s cop and Kareena’s
prostitute look like caricatures. Also, the completion with which his love
story with the out of work prostitute Nirmala (Sheeba Chaddha) is told makes
for the only really emotional scene in the story. Other than the one outburst
of Roshni, of course.
|Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Temur|
The music by Ram
Sampath is breezy and best sampled during the credits, looming around your mind
as you watch the darkness on the streets of Mumbai. The cinematography by
Mohanan is brilliant, and uses every possible way to showcase this city, from
the beautiful Marine Drive to the crowded Dadar station and Virar special.
I love the story by
Zoya Akhtar and Kagti but I am not a fan of how they translated it on screen.
The screenplay is loose and makes this high tension drama turn into a confused
film about a bunch of things. Is it the story of innocence lost? Is it just a
thriller with a paranormal answer? Is it about the insomnia suffering cop with
a broken family life? I think if the writers and the director had answered this
question before starting out with the film, the result would have been clearer,
wiser and more entertaining.
Labels: Average, Hindi, Thriller