The film opens with glimpses of Mumbai’s nightlife. Cars rushing by, people sleeping on pavements, flickering streetlights as Suman Sridhar’s voice croons in the background, “Muskaan jhooti hai.” The film starts with an ominous tone and immediately you are in on the cues sent to you by filmmaker Reema Kagti.
The 2012 Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji and Kareena Kapoor starrer is a thriller with a story that has a consistent pace throughout. The film flirts evenly with both danger and an aching sadness, the sadness of losing one’s child. The opening sequence sees a car crashing into nothing and making its way into the river. But how did the accident happen if the car crashed into nothing? That we don’t get to know until very late into the film.
Aamir Khan is Inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat, a serious cop who minds his business and does his duties faithfully. An ‘accident’ has taken place and a Hindi film star is dead. Our cop is called upon to solve the crime. But little does Surjan know that in the process of making sense of his case, he would have to face his traumatic past upfront, which is exactly what he doesn’t want to do. Rani Mukerji plays Roshni Shekhawat, Surjan’s wife, who is trying her best to deal with the past her husband doesn’t want to face.
Talaash is a well-thought-out movie that knows both where its heart and brain lies. There is one slight problem though. If you have watched enough thrillers and horror films, guessing the truth behind Kareena Kapoor’s Rosie will be easy enough. However, that aspect of the movie is forgivable. Because Reema Kagti is an able director who knows how to hide the tiny flaws of her film. Plus, Talaash boasts of a stellar cast with the likes of Aamir, Rani, Kareena, Rajkummar Rao, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. The music of the movie is not just for fun (which would have been completely fine had that been the case), but Ram Sampath’s score helps set the stride of Talaash right.
Aamir and Rani deliver knockout performances playing the parents who have lost a child. There is one scene that is brutal in its honest portrayal of the grief and pain of a father who is stuck in time. After a tough day, Aamir’s character breaks down in silent sobs as he replays the sequence just prior to the moment his son drowned. In that scene, we get a glimpse of the repressed emotions. ‘What if he had not let his son wander around carelessly close to dangerous waters?’ ‘What if he had gone with him to play, he could have been there in time to stop him from going under.’ You cannot help but feel the ‘reality’ of what is happening in front of your screen.
Reema, just a film old (she had helmed Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd in 2007 before Talaash), does a wonderful job of marrying the screenplay (by Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar) and characters. Talaash is also an exquisitely-shot movie, thanks to K. U. Mohanan’s lovely camera work. Just a neatly cut, wonderfully framed movie that scores on script, performances and music.
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