Talaash – Movie Review

*The post does not contain any spoilers*

TalaashAamir Khan always manage to ruffle an unparalleled euphoria with the release of his movies. When an actor works in one movie a year, sometimes the hype acts as a deterrent even though the movie is exceptionally well made. Talaash is one such case.

The movie begins with the death of superstar Armaan Kapoor. His car rushing on an empty road suddenly veers towards the sea and he drowns to his death. Enters inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) who is handling this high profile case with too many loose ends. Trails start going cold one after another and the leads are pointing nowhere. Armaan was not drunk that night, neither was he high on drugs. Surjan who has his own ghosts to fight in addition to this case is completely stressed out. He and his wife Roshni (Rani Mukerji) are drifting apart due to a personal tragedy. Surjan cannot sleep at nights and amble through the streets of Mumbai. It is during such a stressful night that he meets Rosy (Kareena Kapoor), a prostitute who works in an area near the site of Armaan’s death.

There are other tracks in the story like those of Tehmur (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a handicapped man living in the red light area  who hold clues to the jigsaw. The stories start converging as the movie proceeds and leads to a satisfying climax. Although I was able to guess it a few minutes before it actually happened, it came as a shock to some people.

A murder mystery need not be fast paced. Talaash is not an edge of the seat thriller but it grasps your attention from the first frame. The movie moves at a leisurely pace, establishing the characters and their dilemmas. Surjan’s character is going through a major turbulence in his personal life while handling this case. I heard a few people saying that the movie is a bit dull and slow but I do not agree. I found it well balanced and having a script which focused on character development – a term which most of today’s Bollywood script writers do not understand.

I believe that a major achievement of any movie can be when the audience forget that they are watching stars in action, when the audience is drawn into the movie, forgetting that they are sitting in a cinema hall. The movie worked for me in that sense as well. Even though the movie is almost 2.30 hours long, I was hooked and did not feel the passage of time.

kareena+talashAamir has done exceptionally well because simple things are more difficult to enact. The pain Surjan is going through is stark and comes out as a raw wound. You feel pity for him. Rani plays Roshni in a restrained manner showing no histrionics. There is this scene in one of the songs where the couple is clicking a family photograph with their son. The family looks completely conventional with no traces of stardom on the lead actors. Despite Aamir and Rani’s superior performances, it is Kareena who stands out as Rosy. Her scenes with Aamir are beautifully done, especially the ones near the beach at night. I loved her dialogues in those scenes, the aura she creates while she shares Surjan’s anguish and her own.

It is a movie that I will count amongst the best which came out this year. The background score was great and set the mood and built up the suspense. Although I would have preferred no songs but surprisingly the songs were good enough and did not deter the pace.

I sincerely hope that the hype does not kill the movie because it is well made and enjoyable. People might have slightly different expectations from an Aamir Khan movie but this kind of well crafted and well enacted movie deserve its run and should be encouraged. I would give it a 4.5 out of 5.

Parting shot – If you loved Ek Tha Tiger and Son of Sardar, it would be better if you stay away from this movie.

71 comments on “Talaash – Movie Review

  1. just back after watching the movie.a very different amir khan bollywood movie.loved kareena the most and yes amir played the stressed out parts well.I was glad to see rani in her natural skin

  2. 😆 at your parting shot! I think that one line is enough to convince me to watch this movie 😛

    Just wanted to make one thing sure before heading out to watch it – can you guarantee that Rani doesn’t appear even once in the movie in that dreadful Aiyaa shakeupum avatar? *shudderupaming uncontrollably* 😦

    • Hahaha! Yeah, that could have been a one line review of the movie.
      Rani is completely natural in the movie, so go ahead. everything will be fine.
      And you did not like her in Aiyaa? I think she was the only good thing in the movie. She played such a fine dog!

  3. Well I have some different views of for this movie. Yes, the background score, acting of aamir, rani is good. Even the script is good & the pace is also fine. I found the pace a little slow at times. The ending/climax of this movie is unrealistic. You have seen the movie & I hope you get what I mean by the unrealistic part. 🙂 For me, this was not THE Aamir Khan movie. Yes, its way way watchable that SOS, Ek Tha Tiger, but I am disappointed.

    • Well, I did not find it unrealistic. 🙂 I wish I could tell you why but I believe in everything that was shown. I have been a witness to it myself. Now Shhhhhhh.
      I expect Aamir to do realistic cinema. The rest of the Khans are busy running after money and doing insanely stupid movies, so if there is someone who is being sensible, it makes me very happy.

  4. I heard mixed reviews of this movie. But since you have said so many nice things about it, let me give it a shot.

    Yeah I agree to some of the bits of you said… even if I am yet to see the movie. Aamir and Rani look the part of an average couple without stardom coming into the picture. They are among the rare breed of Hindi film actors who can pull it off. As for Kareena, I think she has grown wonderfully well as an actress over the years….and has started looking better/carrying herself better. Her Rosy is a far cry from Chameli (even if both characters are at two ends of the spectrum).

    • Thanks Ash. I am sure you will like it.
      I think given a good director and a nice role, Kareena can do wonders. She is coming out of her Poo image.

      • Watched it some days back. Loved it.

        Like you, I guessed the climax before it actually happened. The moment the pimp’s girlfriend asks Aamir “which Rosie are you talking about”… everything fell into place. And in fact the clues are all over the place from the beginning itself, if you think about it.

        I loved the movie. And I jumped in my seat in the last scene where Aamir applies the brakes on seeing Kareena… even though I guessed what was coming. That was brilliantly executed.

  5. Ooh, nice, sensible review. Sounds just like the kind of movie I would love. Didn’t pay too much attention to Talaash before (I find films with police uniforms off-putting), but now I will try and watch!

    • I agree. I too stay away from Police uniform movies but this was a suspence movie with Aamir in it, so there was no way I was going to miss it. 🙂

  6. After I read you review.. I went & watched it yesterday.. I really liked it..
    If Aamir is working in one movie at a time & making these type of movies then it is actually worth waiting a year for his movies.. isn’t it???

    • Thanks Arch. Yeah, I watched Life of Pi but did not get time to write about it. It was a beautiful movie. It was one of the novels that are impossible to make into an interesting movie. Guess I was wrong. 🙂

  7. Right after watching the movie yesterday I visited your blog expecting a review & voila! 😀 But my comment didn’t post! 😦 Anyway, I liked the movie. Agree with you in all the aspects. Very aptly put. 🙂 Unfortunately, I didn’t have any personal experience so I still think it was unrealistic. Hope you would reveal your secret sometime. Some of my friends gave away the secret so I couldn’t stop laughing! : Nonetheless, it was a good watch!

    • I am glad that you liked the movie. 🙂
      Well, that is how it is with these kind of experiences, I think.
      I don’t think I will ever reveal that. I really do not like talking about it. 🙂

  8. Great review. Watched it yesterday and now came back for commenting. I agree with everything you have said about the movie. I think maybe people are going to watch with the wrong sort of expectation. I loved it absolutely. I loved the character development, the scenes between kareena and aamir at the beach. Kareena is just so awesome. Every movie I see of hers, my admiration goes up a notch.

    I got the suspense some time before it was revealed and suddenly all the dots connected like the opening of Harry Potter’s bank vault in Gringotts! 🙂

    • I think a lot of people who are not liking the movie went to watch it with wrong expectations.
      Kareena is good, given a good script and a director that can handle her.
      I too got it when a certain character was killed by falling off a building. That is when it clicked for me. 🙂

  9. I read somewhere that when Nawazuddin entered the frame, the whistles were louder than when Aamir appeared on screen. This movie has all the right actors as well as characters I think. A very good review Amit, hope to catch it soon 🙂

  10. Most are giving 3 out of five for the first half and two out of five for the second. I havent seen the movie but its the ending which is not appealing to most. And you are right – those who love Son of Sardar can not enjoy meaningful cinema..

    • In the end, when I came out of the cinema hall, I was more than happy that I went to see the movie. I do not understand when people say that the ending was unrealistic. Really? I am surprised. 🙂
      It is a movie with good performances and a fine story and that is a lot coming from Bollywood.

  11. If the typical masala movies – which 90% of them are – in the Bollywood are rated 3, this one might get 4.5 as you suggested. I saw the movie yesterday and probably would give it a 2.75 or max 3 out of 5.

    Aamir Khan is not meant for cop roles (he has proven that in the past as well). Ideally any new comer in his 30s would have done a better job than Khan in this particular movie. That would have slashed the budget by several crores as well. Rani Mukherjee has nothing much to do than show a grieving face while I though Kareena is just made for that role.

    However, I salute Aamir for picking only those roles and stories that stand out distinctly. Other Khans and heroes should learn from him. Keep it up Aamir!

    Don’t go with too much of expectations, but definitely it’s a decent thriller with too many twists and turns 🙂

    • Ajith,
      I disagree with a few points in your comment but I guess all of us cannot like the same things.
      Considering the current Bollywood crap we are served, this movie was a welcome change and it worked for me.

  12. Have not watched it yet, but a mate saw it and has said it is a good movie.. I do admire aamir khan whenever he does a movie they are good ones and he is a class in his own for sure , other then the rest of the actors..

    SO hopefully I shall watch it over the weekend sometime

      • Yes, it is worth a watch. You can always depend on Aamir to do quality movies.
        Son of Sardar, Ek Tha Tiger, Dabangg etc etc are the kind of movies which are made for only one purpose – Making money. There is no ‘art or filmmaking’ in them and they play havoc with the sensibilities. That’s why the advice.

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