Talaash Review – Not Unwatchable

(by Naveen)

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.

The Suspense!

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.

19 Responses to "Talaash Review – Not Unwatchable"

  1. gandhiji   December 1, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Sounds like it will be better than 3 Idiots. (that’s not saying much)

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    The biggest advantage Indian film-makers have is the population.

    Even a small fraction of global Indians is enough to turn any Bollywood movie into a ‘hit.’

    • Naveen   December 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm

      I liked 3 Idiots.

      It was a goofy story with a message and it delivered.

      But I guess we all have our opinions.

      • shadowfax_arbit   December 2, 2012 at 2:38 am

        Looking forward to Talaash. No tickets available 🙁

        Good review Naveen!

        I also liked 3 Idiots.

  2. iamthechampion007   December 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Saw Talaash.

    The movie is skilfully directed by Reema Kagti.

    But the suspense element turned out to be exactly the one i guessed.

    And that didn’t work 4 me.

    The suspense element was also something that we have seen seen in numerous movies before.

    So that turned out to be a disappointment 4 me.

    Performances by Rani Mukerjee and Nawazuddin Siddiqui were really good.

    Rajkumar Yadav in a small role as Inspector Devrath who assists Aamir Khan was impressive.

    Kareena Kapoor was ok..Which brings us to Aamir Khan who plays the central character Inspector Surjit Singh Shekhawat.

    He was really good in some scenes and so-so in the rest.

    Overall, the movie is a one-time watch but could’ve been much more had the script been tighter and the suspense more shocking.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    I did not watch the film, Naveen did.

    He had a very late night and is probably sleeping.

    He”ll likely respond to your point on the suspense etc.

    • iamthechampion007   December 1, 2012 at 10:13 am

      More than a suspense drama, it worked as an emotional drama 4 me…

    • iamthechampion007   December 1, 2012 at 1:17 pm

      OK…This is just my take on it.

      The suspense might have worked for Naveen.

      After all, opinions differ from person to person.

      • Naveen   December 1, 2012 at 10:13 pm

        1. The suspense didn’t work for me as I have clearly mentioned in the review. It was a downer and I would have liked a different ending.

        2. What I appreciate in the review is the fact that the suspense was fairly well maintained for the most part.

        3. In this genre the audience typically tries to guess the suspense and some of them obviously get it right. Also as I mentioned in the review the problem with genre is many possible endings have already been exploited over the years and the audience have become good at guessing. It is like horror movies these days, they just dont scare you anymore.

  3. schatrath   December 2, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Naveen must have watched a different Talaash.

    I just watched it last night, and was blown away.

    I you liked Kahani, you will more than likely love Talaash.

    Aamir khan doesn’t grace any film unless the script is air-tight.

    Go watch it again Naveen and this time make sure to keep your eyes open.


    • Naveen   December 2, 2012 at 12:56 pm


      Kahaani was a superior product – more gripping, fast and with a very satisfying ending.

      Talaash with its languid pace and wishy washy ending doesn’t come in the same league as Kahaani.

      I will not judge based on a PR machinery + Media generated image of the actor. Remember Ghajini?

      Talaash is max 1-time watch.

      Keeping ones eyes open is not as important as keeping an open mind.

      After all Aamir Khan kept his eyes open all the time in the movie and what did he see? 😉

    • aober4   December 2, 2012 at 3:18 pm

      @Sonny: “Aamir khan doesn’t grace any film unless the script is air-tight.”

      Ghajini had a script?

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Excellent point, Sweetie!

      Ghajini had a script – A Stolen Script!

  4. badri34   December 2, 2012 at 4:29 pm

    Nice review, Naveen.

    I was planning on watching Talaash.

    But now I’ll wait for DVD.

  5. Sathyaish   December 9, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    Shameless plug.

    My review of the movie here: http://sathyaish.net/movies/Talaash.aspx

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: My review of the movie here….

    My Content Analysis of Sathyaish’s Review here…:

    Words used ——– No of Times
    Aamir Khan ————– Once
    Kareena ——————- 3 Times
    Rani Mukherjee ———- 2 times
    Great(ly)—————— 11 times
    Really ——————– 10 times
    Very ———————– 9 times
    Like ———————– 8 times
    Mature ——————– 4 times
    Superb ——————– 2 times

    **and above all**

    I ————– 21 times

    BTW, did SI hear someone say sotto voce, An Idle Mind is a Devil’s Workshop? 😉

    • Sathyaish   December 9, 2012 at 11:00 pm

      I could definitely improve it.

      I admit, I didn’t edit it at all. 🙂

      SearchIndia.com Responds:

      Sweetie, I was not criticizing!

      Had too much time on my hands this evening and your comment came in handy! 😉

      • Mnx542   December 10, 2012 at 12:45 am



        just read your review. Nice work. What I liked most was the fact you didn’t even mention what the story is about. That’s good. But I have one doubt.

        You mention in your second paragraph about Night Shyamalan’s Sixth Sense. I’ve seen the move and it leads me to wonder if that’s a potential spoiler because audience nowadays are becoming good at guessing, probably because of the exposure to several thrillers/whodunits.


        “Words used ——– No of Times
        Aamir Khan ————– Once
        Kareena ——————- 3 Times
        Rani Mukherjee ———- 2 times
        Great(ly)—————— 11 times
        Really ——————– 10 times
        Very ———————– 9 times
        Like ———————– 8 times
        Mature ——————– 4 times
        Superb ——————– 2 times

        **and above all**

        I ————– 21 times”

        Peak of joblessness? 😛

        • Sathyaish   December 12, 2012 at 11:38 pm

          Hi Mnx542,

          Thank you for your appreciation. I really like it when someone says I am nice or what I did was nice. So, thank you.

          I also agree with you that the Sixth Sense reference may be a spoiler. I have removed the link from the text for now. I will add back the link to the movie when the movie is out of the theatres and is on DVD/television.


          Did you write a Ruby/Python script to make that dictionary of word count?

          I mean, you could’ve written it in any language but Ruby/Python allow you to do that in two lines on the command-prompt/within the interpreter.

          For other languages, esp. the strongly typed ones, you’d have to fire up an IDE and compile. So, I wonder.

          I think you did it manually, though. Because I misspelt Kareena once and you’ve counted that in.

          I am curious.

          SearchIndia.com Responds:

          Sweetie, didn’t the wise ones say something about Curiosity killing the Cat! 😉

          • Sathyaish   December 13, 2012 at 1:29 am

            I’ll take that for an answer.

            Thank you for the paragraph formatting. 🙂

      • Sathyaish   December 10, 2012 at 3:56 am

        Ah! I get it.

  6. Vinith   March 2, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    The movie was alright overall, with nice acting.

    As for the suspense, even I would have liked a different ending. Anyone who has seen Sixth Sense might be able to guess the twist in the plot, like I did, which left me disappointed.

    Personally, I would have liked it more if the movie didn’t have any songs at all except for the song that plays during the credits..!!

    Btw, I watched the new Liam Neeson movie Non-Stop. Certain things don’t make sense though. But the ultimate motive of the killer left me disappointed.

    The movie starts off slowly and just when I was thinking it doesn’t build up enough tension for a thriller, the movie shifts into higher gear and had me glued to the screen. It flew high till the point at the end when killer and the motive is revealed.

    The biggest plus point of the movie is that it keeps audience guessing the killer’s identity till the end. I was intrigued with the happenings on the screen that I didn’t bother playing the guessing game. It’s not an easy thing today to maintain the suspense till the end.

    Liam Neeson isn’t the same invincible man we see in Taken. Here, he is an alcoholic, paranoid and for the most part, is trying hard to save the plane from a psychopath.

    Would have liked a stronger motive.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    I had thought of seeing Non-Stop today but my throat isn’t alright. So skipped it.

  7. Vinith   March 2, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Have u seen Love, Sex aur Dhokha?

    Looks interesting. Unique in many ways.

    There’s an official upload of the movie on YouTube. Planning to watch it some time.

    SearchIndia.com Responds:

    You write: Have u seen Love, Sex aur Dhokha?

    In real life, Yes; On the screen, No! 😉

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