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When was the last time Indian audience have witness an intriguing
noiri-sh suspense drama without any cheap thrills? Probably not in
recent times (for starters Kahaani is a suspense thriller). Talaash is
one such celluloid experience that will captivate you to the last reel.
The film is a dark,complex psychological yet there are layers of
emotions which makes it more compelling..Add to this there is an Occult
angle to the mystery..
The film starts with a darkish depiction of Maximum city with eerie background music followed by a car coming at high speed which suddenly takes a turn and gets drowned in a river. It is later known that famous cine-star Arman Kapoor died in that car accident (or murder or something??) Inspector Shekhawat gets the charge of the case. At a personal front Mr shekhawat and his wife are trying to come to terms with untimely loss of their son. The two incidences get connected at a point which changes the life of the protagonist. Without revealing the story I can say clearly the detailing is commendable and you can see the dots getting connected.
Reema Kagti in her second directorial venture proved her understanding of this medium and fluidness in handling of complex themes. Talaash is one of the most complex films of recent times with layers to the narrative and characters. At the same time it's a thriller and an emotional drama of a father coming to terms with his child's loss. The emotions and vulnerability of Inspector Shekhawat is genuinely expressed which one can identify with. Everyone of us have lost a near or dear one at some point of time we will (recently I lost my mother) and after that the mere existence becomes difficult. At those moments mind and brains starts behaving weirdly and one starts accepting irrationality which gives one inner peace. Talaash explores one of those phases of life when everything seems at lost yet one has to move on with life. Without giving away any suspense I would say Kagti's (& Zoya akhtar) script webbed in a beguiling suspense drama around that complex phenomenon. Kudos to K.U Mohanan's camera-work (who was recently being part of award winning pulp noir Miss Lovely) brilliantly captured the by-lanes of Mumbai. Mumbai becomes a darker character in this mystery. The fear of danger lurking around the corner can be sensed and it seems no one should be believed. Subaya's editing and Ram Sampat's flawless music add on to the proceeding and help in building the circuitous narrative. Sampat's music is brilliant with Akhtar's lyrics especially "Lakh duniya kahe tum nehi ho" is mark of a genius and someone who have lost a dear one will surely relate to the lyrics. It brings tear to one's eyes as one look back at life. "Jiya lagena" songs has a good video which gels with the fusion music. There are moments which had excellence written all over it like one in which Shekhawat is trying to recall his child's accident and ponders how his way of handling the situation in a different fashion would have saved him from drowning. The eerie background score and blurred camera work in few of the sequences justifies the end when the truth comes out.
The end is heartening which leaves a lump in your throat, yet the urge to watch it again remains. May be in the second viewing one will find another aspect of the story.
Aamir Khan again proved that he is the only superstar who wants to associate with quality cinema. This film doesn't have the regular masala appeal wala entertainment. While all other stars are playing it safe Aamir ensures that his film has some meat which will be remembered down the line. His performance as Inspector Shekhawat deserves awards and accolades. He flawlessly portrays amenability of a depressed soul who has been caught in a web of mystery. His sequences with Rosy showed his versatility as an actor. Kareena Kapoor is effective as escort Rosy. The role is sensitive and something not on the lines of a typical mainstream heroine but Kareena effortlessly fits in it. Rani Mukherjee is just about perfect as Shekhawat's lonely wife. Another actor who steals the show is Nawazuddind Siddiqui as Taimur who has proved his mettle this year with GOW & Kahaani and now this one (Those few privileged soul who got the chance to see Miss Lovely would have already labeled Siddiqui as finest actor of recent times). He is one of the central characters of this mystery and delivered his best. One will remember this character long after the movie is over. Shernaz Patel & Raj Kumar yadav are ever reliable actors and suits the bill. Subrata Sen as Shahsi leaves his mark in a small role. All the other actors did a decent job.
On a whole Talaash is a rare suspense drama which would be loved by connoisseurs of good cinema. This film will open new window to this genre and hopefully more complicated psychological themes will be explored in the near future. One thing is for sure Talaash will be remembered in the long run as a fine cinematic experience that remained true to the style and content till the very end without falling into traps of commercial arena.
Coming to the end of the film there has been criticism from some sectors claiming it to be "unrealistic" but then who told them the film depicts hardcore reality. The film just tells a story of coming to terms with loss and that also a gripping one with usage of "after life" concept to build the narrative. The end is sensitive.With untimely loss of your near and dear one you would feel or crave for some answers as to why "You" and the answer lies within...And in this film Mr & Mrs Shekhawat at least got some explanations in their quest(Talaash)..