Sunday, December 9, 2012

Talaash- a search of your beliefs!!!

Waiting for a movie from the time since it first made news about its making is a much usual phenomenon for me when it comes out to be one of Aamir Khan's. And during all this waiting, avoiding every other news, previews, stills, scenes, etc is a completely deliberate act for me. For me, watching a movie without knowing a bit of it and being completely unprepared for whatever is coming on to you in the movie is the best preparation that one can have. Being unbiased about the storyline and everything is the key to a successful outing to a movie. This is something that I practiced for Talaash, the Aamir Khan starrer movie.

There are times (it has become somewhat frequent, these days, with newer breed of film-makers operating) in bollywood when you come out of the movie and you are not sure about how good or bad the movie was. You think over it, you recall the scenes, you relive the movie inside you and then you feel that it has started to grow inside you, and once that growth starts, its real hard to stop it from shaking you from the inside. Talaash is one such experience.

Talaash starts as a murder mystery in the form of a mysterious road accident that kills a leading film-maker drowned in the sea inside his car. The case comes to a police officer of high repute in his circle who starts the investigation and in the way of that meets different people, different situations and different circumstances leading him finally to the end of the mystery, the end that is not quite the end to the mystery only but also comes out to be an end to many of his questions. There is a point in the climax of the movie that it suddenly ceases to be a mystery thriller and becomes a psycho-social drama and the main plot of the murder mystery becomes a side plot of the movie. The best part of the movie to me was this transformation in the climax.

Talaash, is a not a story about the search of an intense, silent police inspector (Aamir Khan) disturbed with his son's death about a mysterious death, being helped in the process by a prostitute (Kareena Kapoor) and being questioned by a grieving mother and lone wife (Rani Mukherjee) for his over-indulgence and a suspected extra-marital affair in that search. It is the story of a father's search about the reality of his self-imposed guilt of being guilty of his own son's death. It is a story of a lone wife's search of her husband that she lost in a tragic accident that occurred to her family. It is a story of a couple coming in terms with their child's death finally and accepting it as an accident that was a fault of none.

The thing that confuses everyone in the end about whether the movie was good or bad is that in the end it leaves your mouths wide-open and minds confused with something that questions your belief system. This twist in the climax, as already said, was best part for me but must be difficult to swallow for many. This is the time when you realise that the plot that you were totally into for the last two hours was only the side plot and all the side plots of the story start to join themselves together one by one and becomes the main plot. This required a strong screenplay and thats what Talaash is all about.

Reema Kagti with her second directorial venture after Honeymoon Travels has lived upto and even crossed her own mark that she earlier set for herself. She, with Zoya Akhtar has provided a strong screenplay to their own story that is totally able to bind you to the seats for the total duration. Ram Sampath's music is more than just audible with a fairly nice lyrical work from Jawed Akhtar.

Aamir Khan as a moustached intense police inspector is once again redefining himself. His lack of smile, sleepless nights, crying with his guilt everything is lovable here. The scene where he is reliving the circumstances of his son's death and the alternatives that he could had done then is just brilliant. Rani Mukherjee with her non-glamourous, saree-clad housewife's role is telling you why she right there in top a few years back. The freckles on her face, the dark circles below her eyes make the theme of the movie totally alive. As one of my friend said that only after coming to Calcuta he actually realised the hidden sex-appeal a bengali woman holds inside her in her desi-looks, Rani Mukherjee with her looks in Talaash reminded us that she was also a bengali, a 'Bong-Bombshell' as we call them!!! Kareena Kapoor has also done total justice to her role and I don't think in present day breeds anybody else could have done it better than her. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is once again brilliant here with his 'bechara' role once again where he is beaten by everybody and in the end dies without doing anything. After Kahaani, Gangs of Wasseypur and Chittagong he has once again pulled back a great performance.

All in all, Talaash is not a great movie, not something that breaks records at the box-office with its glamour. Its a movie that hits you with its lack of glamour and still takes you away with itself into deep thoughts, into deep questions about your beliefs.


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Alok said...

I saw this film late and actually just saw your review. My feelings are almost exactly the same. To me the main story was that of the death of the son and the guilt of the father. The kareena kapoor sideplot was only there in so far as it "proved" to him what his neighbour had said - "woh dard mein doobe logo ke paas kheenche chale aate hain, kyunki unhe lagta hai ko who bhi hamare jaise hain" (a wonderful, almost poetic expression comparing despair and death). Once he does accept this he gets the emotional catharsis in the end. I thought it was beautifully done. like you, I also loved the scene where we see the flashback of what happened to his son when he is driving the car. wonderfully edited with background music and acting all coming together to have an emotional effect, that is the true power of cinema.

The only flaw (and I think it spoiled the experience to some extent) in the film was the characterisation of the kareena kapoor character and her portrayal. It completely missed the tragic element which was necessary for the whole thing to have that thematic coherence about dard mein doobe... etc. I had read somewhere What is a Ghost? A tragedy doomed to repeat till the end of time? A character which could have conveyed this sense of tragedy would have made this a masterpiece. Still it is a wonderful film, certainly one of the best of last few years.

Alok said...

That definition of the ghost is actually from this trailer: