Movie Review: TALAASH (2012)
I personally find it very gratifying when a filmmaker that I’ve been aware of from early on, ‘makes it big’ in the biz and produces an amazing piece of work. In this case, it’s a group of filmmakers returning after a very successful collaboration over 10 years ago for another original piece of awesome work. Here is my Movie Review of TALAASH…
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
In 2001, DIL CHAHTA HAI revitalized the careers of its main cast, along with being the debut of a filmmaking auteur in Farhan Akthar. In 2012, TALAASH reunites almost the same players behind the camera with Aamir Khan, and the 2nd Assistant Director of DIL CHAHTA HAI, making her debut as a Director.
An emotional charged thriller, TALAASH follows the story of Inspector Shekhawat played by Aamir Khan, during his investigation into a famous movie star’s death. This investigation sees him having to go down roads, which are inexplicable and breed more questions than answers. There’s also quiet a twist on the genre of this film as well, but that’ll be left out for Spoiler reasons.
The story is well paced, and very Hollywood in its execution and presence. The main murder mystery plot is underlined beautifully with a more personal sub plot regarding Shekhawat and a tragedy in his past. Playing off of his brooding sadness is wife Roshni played briefly by Rani Mukherji. I would’ve liked to have seen more of her, but she was good in her limited capacity.
TALAASH is a movie that’s very simple, despite being a thriller, and doesn’t try to overreach its dramatic impact. There aren’t any intense musical flourishes or big reveals with harsh chords in the background. Even the ‘twist’ ending plays second fiddle to the more emotional storyline that is written into the plot wonderfully.
With no leads, no clues and no way to explain why a movie star mysterious drove his car off of a street into the river, Shekhawat finds a prostitute with her ear to the ground, who is able to provide subtle clues into his investigation, while allowing him an outlet for his loneliness as well.
I have to hand it to Director Reema Kagti, for throwing a lot of misdirection at us for the duration of the movie. There are times during the movie when it unfolds in ways that seem predictable and cliché, but an unexpected 180 makes the impact of the storytelling techniques that much more effective.
With strong performances across the board, TALAASH makes great use of its cast. Aamir Khan as usual delivers a very subtle and restraint performance of a man torn apart, but trying his best to suppress it. It’s never over the top. Kareena Kapoor is more than effective in her role as the prostitute that helps the Inspector, in ways that he couldn’t even initially imagine. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is awesome as a crippled street urchin who gets caught up in the middle of the mystery that unravels.
Despite all this, TALAASH isn’t perfect. I would’ve liked to have seen Rani Mukherji utilized more than she was. There are times when I felt the editing of past sequences to put current scenes into context, were being spoon fed to the audience as if we weren’t paying attention through out the film. Those ‘reveals’ felt a little flat and underwhelming. There was also a subplot that was left slightly unresolved, regarding the prostitute that helped Tehmur with the exchange of money at the train station. We’re left to just wonder whatever happened to her. Some key story elements were explained and narrated by characters, while the scene was also being shown; almost like a play by play of what we were watching, which felt redundant.
TALAASH is very well made with a tight script and even finer execution. For a dramatic thriller, the story never drags and the suspense isn’t milked to death. I would have preferred some scenes to have been more effective in their impact, but over all it’s a very well made film.