Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Friday, November 30, 2012

Talaash: Gripping Cerebral Entertainment

Talaash is a gripping story that never tries to be over-the-top or larger-than-life and yet it is imbued with complex layers of human relationships that webs its charm on You the viewer. As you will unsew the jigsaw puzzle, you'll realise that everything is interlinked and nothing is forced to titillate or indulge in an undue scream for attention. At the same time it is not conventional entertainment and one needs to have the patience and sensitivity to delve into the plight of the principle characters to enjoy the suspense element of the film which is layered with the emotional drama punctuating the personal lives of the lead players. 

Aamir lends a great deal of emotional and physical strength to his character which is oscillating between his professional assignment and the personal loss of losing his eight year old son in a freak accident. There's no ornamentation or undue masala herogiri to his police inspector avatar. He tucks his t shirt inside the jeans which wouldn't be advised by any suave designer but one has seen tough cops doing the same in real life. The capability of a great actor is judged from the manner in which he communicates without saying anything. Aamir does that brilliantly in Talaash. The scene where he breaks down in the end or how he confides in Kareena are testimony to sheer magic. 

One would expect Aamir to be the mainstay of class acting in the film, but he also has Nawazuddin Siddiqui to share the spoils as well. Nawaz, the slightly disabled small time crook captivates attention with his smoldering eyes, crisp dialogues and a stunning chase sequence towards the climax of the film ensures that he carves out an important place in the film. He is an unlikely yet an important cog-in-the-wheel in the mystery.  

Kareena Kapoor's over hyped Heroine didn't do much to bolster her acting credentials since the film didn't do justice to her enormous talent. But, Talaash finds her in top form and she looks delightfully beautiful too. She shares a crackling chemistry with Aamir even though they are not involved in a conventional romantic relationship. Her body language carries a delectable uninhibited elan that one could associate with a street walker. 

Rani Mukerji wasted her wonderful talent in Aiyya but she redeems herself in Talaash. The vintage histrionics that one associates with Mukerji are in ample display. Like Aamir, Rani too stuns with minimal dialogues and lets her expressive eyes do the talking. Also, she looks far more beautiful with the economical  make-up in Talaash unlike the over-done-garish make up of her previous film. 

Talaash is being touted as a suspense drama but there's more to it than summing it up in a genre. The suspense of the mysterious accident (or was it a murder) on the sea face is conjoined with Aamir and Rani's battered life post the death of their only son in an accident. Kareena plays an unusual role in the triangle-love-story and also impacts the sea face accident case. 

The story screenplay by Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar is one of the finest in Indian cinema in the recent times. It is non linear and the complex dimensions add gravity. The opening credits sequence invariably reminds you of the opening credits sequence of Luck By Chance where a homage was paid to the film world. In the opening sequence of Talaash, the audio of Muskaane Jhooti Hain wafts along seductively and the 'real' Bombay stands up with its never-say-die spirit, unabashed street walkers and lonely ambitions chug along in a mad crowd of humanity.

Even though the story, screenplay is brilliant and Anurag Kashyap-Farhan Akhtar brand of dialogue are superb but still the slow pace of the film is a slight deterrent. Maybe the duration could have been trimmed by fifteen minutes. Anand Subaya's editing is seamless and the narrative blends well with the context of the setting of various scenes. Ram Sampath's music is one of the highlights of the film. Jee Le Zara, Muskaane Jhooti Hain, Laakh Duniya Kahe and Hona Hai Kya are brilliant songs with fantastic lyrics by Javed sahab. Ram's haunting background score is almost a character in the film itself.    

Talaash is story telling at its best. Without a doubt it is one of the best films of the year and maybe the last decade as well. But as I've said before, it is not a film that may find appreciation from everyone. Even though it is a story that has a universal appeal and anyone can relate or at least empathise with it, but still it is different from staple entertainment that finds mass acceptance. It is cerebral entertainment at its best.

Star Rating: ****


  1. Few films challenge the intellect as well as the emotions. This must be one of them.

  2. Faridoon, have sent a mail few days ago. Hope you checked it

    - maddyvoldy

  3. I just watched it. Awesome movie!!!

  4. amazing moviee...aamir best actor ever...script is amazing...like ur review...i loved it...watched it in toronto.....cerebral entertainment....nice category to put it in...best movie of year....

  5. Sad that you guys can't tell the difference between an "off-beat" film and a "good" film.

  6. I was a bit disappointed with the pace of this film given the genre. It wasn't bad, but I was expecting much better. I was expecting to be at the edge of my seat waiting for things to unfold. Instead I was sitting back saying "come on, get on with it". A good number of people sitting around and/or in front of me kept checking their phone to see what time it was. Clearly I wasn't the only one who was a bit disappointed with the pace of the movie. If you interview anyone from the team I hope you bring this comment of mine up and I hope you push back a bit when they get defensive. I remember even during ZNMD they were quite defensive when you mentioned the slow pace of the film, though to their defense that pace suited that film for me.