Talaash: This is serious business
And then there are the subtly and beautifully embedded intrinsic quests of a father in search of reconciliation with himself, not really by self-flagellation but by being silent. Or a wife in search of her husband whom she lost to a tragic accident in their lives.
I am disappointed in myself, because it took me over an hour to realise where I had seen Talaash before.
I hadn’t seen it before, I had read it.
Talaash is very heavily inspired by, one of my all-time favourite books called, ‘The Fallen’ by T Jefferson Parker. I am disappointed because it took me that long to visualise scenes from my favourite book.
On my Twitter query to her, director of Talaash, Reema Kagti has denied having read the book which effectively means it’s a mere coincidence, albeit a huge one that almost two thirds of the story and some scenes are a straight lift from the aforementioned book. Nonetheless, while I am in talaash of this answer, there is nothing wrong even if it is heavily inspired from the book.
Talaash is an almost epic mastery of storytelling.
Almost because in the end it leaves you with your mouth open and mind confused about whether to love the climax or not. It leaves you questioning your beliefs. If you can believe the twist in the climax, then you will leave the theatre thinking that you have seen one of the best films ever.
If not, like I did not, then you will struggle to consider Talaash an all-time great, instead, it will become an almost classic for you too. If you put the belief factor aside, you will realise that throughout the film there were cues for you to understand what was happening, but you did not because you were involved in the side tracks too much.
Director Reema Kagti has shown tremendous aptitude of the grip on screenplay and visual treatment. Giving Talaash after Honey Moon Travels shows the versatility in her ability. She commands your attention throughout the movie and your eyes are like magnets to the screen. The attention to detail and sensitive treatment are the pillars Talaash is standing on.
Rani’s look is ruffled – her eyes have dark circles and her face is freckled because she doesn’t have time to focus on her physical appearance.
Aamir is playing his age – something a certain other Khan needs to learn from. He is a cop of high repute but there is no over the top praising by his team members like the entry of SRK in Jab Tak Hai Jaan.
Instead there is a simple ‘bohot suna hai sir aapke baaray mein, maza aaye ga aap ke saath kaam kar ke’ (I have heard a lot about you, sir; it will be fun working with you) which is enough to establish his work ethic.
On the downside, Kareena Kapoor looks too classy to be a low end prostitute. A downgraded look, if not a different actress, would have really helped. If we act overly critical, we can also question the honesty of genuine interest of the entire police force to solve a high profile case, which isn’t generally a reality.
Talaash demands big efforts from the cast and they deliver.
It’s great to see a vintage Rani Mukherjee performance. A perfect reminder of why she was a Film Fare worthy actress not long ago. Even though, far away from a glamorous look, she comes off as strangely hot in her sari clad housewife look. Charming indeed and much needed after a disastrous Aiyya. Her confrontation scene with Aamir on the road is really good and her helplessness in front of her psychiatrist is expressed beautifully.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is having the best year of his life.
With Kahaani, Gangs of Wasseypur and now Talaash, looks like his struggling days are over. His portrayal of Taimur is nothing short of brilliant. This is one actor I would want to see more and more in every film.
Kareena Kapoor is good, minus the unfitting perfect Hindi accent unlike other prostitutes shown in the film. Even if we ignore that, it still cannot be called a Kareena film as her other performances are far stronger.
Raj Kumar Yadav is also impressive once again. I am now eagerly waiting for his ‘Shahid’. Subrat Dutta is a star too, even though in a much smaller role.
Having said as much, the film belongs to Aamir Khan and why wouldn’t it?
This is his second venture with Excel Entertainment after the era defining Dil Chahta Hai and he has delivered another masterpiece for them. The perfectionist that he is, Khan has given one of his best performances to date.
His self-inflicted pain is obvious on his face. His eyes communicate his tiredness, his face communicates his regret. The best scene of the film, in which he is reliving the tragedy of his life and how he could have changed the whole event, is one of the best ever created on cinema. When he was happy to see his wife enjoying a senseless movie, the audience felt his relief.
When he cried, people on either side of me in the theatre cried; definitely the best performance of the year. Even better than Paan Singh Tomar and Gangs of Wasseypur.
If you plan on watching Talaash, make sure you don’t miss any part of it. Every minute is important. Don’t text, don’t tweet and don’t take toilet breaks.
Talaash is no joke; its serious business!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.