<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Reema Kagti. Starring Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raj Kumar Yadav, Shernaz Patel
Anticipation mounts every time Aamir Khan comes out with a new movie. He could be producing it, directing it or acting in it but everyone goes to watch. Unfortunately, with Talaash there will be a touch of disappointment. Apart from a somewhat impressive twist at the end, the movie is strictly okay. But Kareena Kapoor is pretty awesome. This review does not contain any spoilers about the plot or twist in the film.
The movie begins tipping you off that this is a low production values movie. A car accident on a Mumbai sea face where the driver curves the vehicle onto the pavement and into the sea looks like a stage setup and isn’t very convincing. A high profile actor is the victim at the wheel. Inspector Surjan Sekhawat (Aamir Khan) is the Chief Inspector handling the case. Why did this car mysteriously swerve off a clear road into the ocean? That’s where the suspense starts.
Well slowly builds would be a better way to put it. You see Talaash a bit slow paced. It deals with the accident, a turn of events that takes Surjan into the red light area of Mumbai and some underworld dealings. While the investigations are on we also get a glimpse into the serious and a tad depressed Inspector Surjan’s life: he has a wife, played by Rani Mukerji, and a son called Karan who, through the use of flashback, we are told of how he died in an accident. And hence the parents’ depression and growing apart.
Kareena Kapoor plays Rosy, a randi (prostitute) who takes a shining to the mysterious Inspector with a moustache and offers to help him out in more ways than one! Perhaps Aamir’s role is supposed to be subtle and well… boring. Because Kareena’s role is simply stellar. She flirts, she retorts, she philosophises, she emphasises and mesmerises us as the somewhat intriguing young whore with a good heart and bewitch-me eyes. In every scene with Aamir, she steals the show. In fact, without her the movie would simply drone on. You can’t really express much interest in the good Inspector’s family problems and his wife’s penchant for séances to speak to her dead boy.
The only other person-of-interest is Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s seemingly-innocent-but-actually-felonious character. And that’s all to this good actor’s credit. This story without the somewhat farfetched – but nonetheless unique for Indian cinema – twist would have been at best B-grade in the hands of another set of actors. Some scenes are handled well, like the ones in the brothel, others look a bit sloppy and cheap and some just go on pointlessly like the dream sequence Aamir has about Kareena. Farhan Akhtar has written the dialogue and Anurag Kashyap has written ‘additional’ dialogue. At times you can actually tell who wrote what.
Why Aamir and Rani are living in a Parsi colony doesn’t quite add up but there’s a thank you mention at the start of the film to Boman Irani who probably helped them get the venue!
I’m not divulging most of the story, cause it’s a suspense thriller and I don’t want to get nasty messages saying I didn’t give ‘spoiler alerts’ and anyway the story isn’t that brilliant so I might as well leave you something to get into.