Aamir Khan must have shook hands with every single desi in Chicago while shooting for Dhoom 3.
Nothing else explains the insanely long line that turned up for Talaash at the Regal Cantera last tonight. Never have I seen such a long line for an Indian movie at a mainstream American theater.
Thanks to the Indian affinity for the front rows, I got seats in the last row. Those standing last were guaranteed bad seats in the 500+ seat theater. Some were even sitting on the steps!
Aamir Khan returns to playing the main lead after 3 years in Talaash: The Answer Lies Within. His last full length role was in 3 Idiots.
Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukherjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui co-star in this Reema Kagti directed movie. Story and Screenplay are by Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar.
Set in Mumbai, Talaash is a suspense drama about the investigation into the death of a movie star. What seems like a freakish late night road accident at the outset turns out to be a grave and sinister affair.
Suri Shekhawat (Aamir Khan), the investigating police office, is married to Roshni (Rani Mukherjee). Their only son Karan is dead by accidentally drowning in a lake. This strains their relationship and gives Suri sleepless nights.
Suri’s investigation takes him into the dark world of Mumbai’s red light area where he meets a prostitute named Rosie (Kareena Kapoor). Suri is mysteriously drawn to Rosie who time and again seductively offers to help.
Meanwhile, Roshni finds comfort in her neighboring Frenny who claims to be a medium to the world of spirits. Frenny claims to communicate with Karan’s spirit.
The trail unravels blackmail, treachery and more. To divulge more would ruin the suspense.
Is Rosie what she seems to be? Is Roshni the only one in need of therapy?
Will Suri’s succeed in his struggle with his inner demons? What happened to the movie star?
Watch the movie if you wish to know the answers!
Rest assured the answers are told well even if not everyone will be satisfied with the answers themselves.
Kudos! Element of Surprise
The biggest win for Talaash is its success in keeping the suspense under wraps for the major part. It is not easy to fool today’s audience due to their exposure to a variety of detective stories in books and movies.
Credit to Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar’s for not making it too easy to guess the ending.
The sub-plot involving Tehmur (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) adds to the whodunit element and yet stays coherent with the overall story.
I always felt that Aamir Khan’s judgment of scripts were better than his acting skills. His performance is decent with a couple of good scenes and a couple of scenes where it seemed he was trying too hard.
In contrast, Rani Mukherjee and Kareena Kapoor were more natural.
Kareena is good in the role of a prostitute, which is not very surprising considering how she comes across in many other movies irrespective of the role. Nevertheless, it works in Talaash.
Rani seemed to have relatively less screen time but comes across as a seasoned performer. She steals the show in a confrontation scene with Aamir’s character.
The surprise package is Nawazuddin Siddiqui, who is brilliant in the role of a limping crook out to make a quick buck with the noble intent of marrying his favorite randi.
Ram Sampath’s music and the background music go well with the somber mood of the film.
Out of the five songs, Muskaanein Jhooti Hai and Jee Le Zaraa are clearly top picks for me. The hummable Muskaanein Jhooti Hai stays in your mind for its retro feel.
Jiya Lage Na is also a nice song with classical touch but for the unnecessary western beats.
Ho Hum Pace
My biggest complaint is the tardy pacing of an otherwise engaging story.
There are segments with too much talk or nothingness. The placement and timing of songs prove to be a deterrent.
There are too many exposition scenes which could have been avoided.
Overall they could have chopped off 15-20 minutes and made it more thrilling.
I expect the suspense to evoke mixed reaction among the audience.
While the suspense is well maintained despite a few hints here and there, I personally would have liked a different ending.
Talaash is better than the usual Bollywood crap.
However, I hesitate to give a solid recommendation because it’s not fast enough for a suspense thriller and the suspense itself was not completely gratifying for me.
I’ll give it a guarded nod as the movie is well made and fairly engaging by the usual Bollywood standards.