Review: 'Talaash' is a gripping tale

Thursday, 29 November 2012 - 5:40pm IST Updated: Friday, 30 November 2012 - 12:52am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Talaash is not a flawless film, but it is a fascinating tale that compels one to look beyond that which is evident. You can’t miss this one.
Film: Talaash (UA)
Director: Reema Kagti
Cast: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Vivan Bhatena, Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Ratings: ***1/2
Aamir Khan is back and yes, with a bang. Even though this reviewer is not a die-hard fan of Aamir Khan, the truth is that you can love him or hate him, but there's no escaping his films. Talaash, which was originally slated to release last year, proves once again this actor’s films are not to be skipped and completely worth the wait.
As the credits start rolling, Reema Kagti introduces us to the dark side of the city of Mumbai, which is known to be glamorous. Cinematographer KU Mohanan goes beyond clichéd depictions and showcases the actual night life of this city, which is more than glitter, parties and a fashion-crazed world. And by the end of it, you understand how each opening frame is important to bring the film to a fitting conclusion.
Minutes into the film, we see a speeding car meet with an accident. The driver is a well-known actor Armaan (Bhatena); the witnesses, three unsuspected men; the investigating officer, inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Khan). The deeper Surjan sinks into his investigation, the more he realises that there is a lot going on than that which meets the eye. Meanwhile, a parallel story unfolds, that is, of Surjan and his wife Roshni (Mukerji). While the couple hardly communicates, it is revealed that they lost their child in an accident. While Roshni undergoes therapy to get over the shock, Surjan, who spends sleepless nights, drowns himself in work when he is not thinking of the ill-fated moment in which he lost his son.
While Surjan goes on to investigate the mystery behind Armaan’s death, he comes across various seedy people, which includes a pimp, his right-hand man Tehnur (Siddiqui) and a sex worker Rosie (Kapoor). As he faces the daunting task of finding the reason behind Armaan’s murder, Surjan unveils the murkier details of an intricate mystery.
The plot of the film is what proves to be a real winner as it leads to a logical, yet questionable end. While the movie is slow before the interval as it tries to establish the plot moving back and forth in time, the second half will leave you scratching your head as you try to piece everything together along with the lead actor.
Khan is not particularly brilliant in the film, but he does complete justice to his role. To his credit, he plays the multi-layered character of a grief-struck father and an honest cop with complete ease. Mukherjee does not have much to do in the film, but her deglamourised avatar creates a strong impression. She is quite convincing in the role of a devastated mother and a concerned wife. Kapoor does not have much to do in the first half of the film, but her character takes a front seat in the second half. She is charming and looks even more convincing in the role of a sex worker than she did in Chameli. Siddiqui is commendable. He plays an important role and he plays it with sheer brilliance.
Reema and Zoya Akhtar have spun a gripping tale that will capture your attention from the very first minute and will definitely leave you surprised by the end of it. Though there are a few clichés, they can be ignored when you consider the entire package.
The music by Ram Sampath helps carry the movie forward with some soulful melodies. My personal favourite is Jiya Lage Na. The background score is fitting as it adds to the mystery. The cinematography is laudable as it portrays a compelling picture of the red-light areas of the city. Anand Subaya’s editing is crisp.
In all, Talaash successfully whets the appetite of all the Aamir Khan fans. As for the story, you can always trust Zoya Akhtar to give her best. Talaash is not a flawless film, but it is a fascinating tale that compels one to look beyond that which is evident. You can’t miss this one.



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