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.

Can the cynics leave Satyamev Jayate alone?

Ever since the first episode of Satyamev Jayate aired this Sunday, the cynic bandwagon has started spewing its venom. Why is Aamir commercializing the issue? What purpose will this solve? Why is there so much melodrama in the chat show? Why are we showing a unique case of a woman bitten off by her husband because she gave birth to a girl child as a norm? Is he trying to enter politics? Is he promoting his next movie?

I feel disgusted by these questions!

Here is one person who is trying his bit to bring a change of heart, who is trying to give hope and courage to millions of people out there and all we could do is to come up with these filthy questions? All we can move our sorry ass is to question his motives?

He is not trying to be a messiah. He is not foolish to make such a claim in this country. We always question our stars and consider them to be money minded, never standing up for social causes. We are perfectly fine with them coming in various shows to sell their movies. We are perfectly fine with them selling hundreds of products to us. But we feel completely uncomfortable when one of them picks up a mirror and shows the reality of our society to us. Tell me, does this cynicism stem from the abhorrence you feel on seeing the perfect image of our society crumble in the mirror? Does the fact that it tarnishes the false “India shining” image makes you angry?

I was watching a debate on Star news yesterday where this gentleman was trying to point out that Aamir has commercialised the issue. So, basically this guy would have been ok if Aamir would have erected a stage near India Gate and given a speech from there and showed everything on a projector and would not have earned anything in return. The fact that Aamir’s production house earned money from the commercials during the programme was what irked this guy. He could not see beyond the money. He could not see the almost red map of India which showed how badly female foeticide has seeped in our society. He could not see the research, the data and the honest effort that went into driving the point home. He could not see the sting operation against 140 doctors which happened seven years back and which resulted in none of the doctors being prosecuted.

In India, actors and cricketers have a huge following. People listen when they speak. Amitabh Bachchan changed the polio drive by his presence. In a survey done later, the women told that they came because Mr. Bachchan asked them to. This is the power of a star – the power to bring change, the power to change mindsets. People argue that what can a 90 minute show change? The accused will never feel guilty. Yes, they won’t but what if this programme gives determination to a mother to stand up and say no to kill her daughter in her womb? If Satyamev Jayate gives even an iota of resolution to a few, then no one has the right to question the motives of its creator.

No, India is not shining. Far from it. So, let’s not fool ourselves. And if we are not capable of doing something, then lets bloody stop belittling someone who is making an effort.

Ghajini – Movie Review

ghajini

After coming out of the theatre, I asked mom whether she liked the movie. Her answer was:

Isn’t this the kind of movie Sunny Deol used to do 20 years back? 

I told her that she was a genius and this was the best one line in which the movie can be described. Somehow, the movie reminded me of those dubbed Nagarjuna and Rajnikant movies which were released in Bollywood in the 80s and the 90s. Why Oh why do you have to do this Aamir!!!!?!!???!!!!

Ghajini is the story of Sanjay Singhania ( played by Aamir Khan ) who is the owner of a Mobile service provider company. He is super rich(owns a private jet, always moves with 5 cars around him etc etc) and falls in love with an upcoming model Kalpana ( played by Asin Thottumkal ). All this happens in the past tense. In the present, Sanjay is an ultra muscular, salivating, screaming, wide/red eyed human(??) who is suffering from short term memory loss and whose memory span is only 15 minutes. He clicks photographs to remember what he was doing 15 minutes back and is searching for a Mr. Ghajini ( played by Pradeep Rawat ) whom he is supposed to kill. A medical student named Sunita ( who is apparently the dumbest Medical student in the history of world cinema) helps him achieving his goal.

Ten minutes into the movie and the horror of the upcoming disaster became apparent. Thankfully, Asin’s role is the only saving grace of the movie. She brings in stability and novelty to the almost-gone-out-of-control script. The portion of the movie which unfolds in the flashbacks is much more subtle and watchable. For the rest of it, you actually feel like watching an old Sunny Deol movie where he fights with the goons, revenging the love of his life. 

Switching on my “logic” button, the movie took quite a few liberties completely banking on the we-go-to-see-movies-for-entertainment mindset of an average moviegoer. I can understand that showing Aamir’s body was essential and in sync with the story but why was a rich businessman folding the sleeve of his shirts till his armpits even when he is in his office was beyond me ( Aamir looked more like a don than a businessman ). Why would a Medical student go to a Don(Mr. Ghajini) and tells him that there is a man after him and he should be alert when she can see four of his goons standing behind him and might apply a little brain to understand that he is no saint either? Why won’t a woman run out of her house when the electricity fails and when she knows that there are four goons in her house ready to chop her? If someone is telling the whole world that the owner of the biggest mobile service provider company is in love with her, won’t she atleast Google it once to see what he looks like?

A very very irritating background score, some very jagged shots and a cliched been-there-done-that plot. Aamir, wememento thought that we are done with such movies. Taking up the same revenge drama with a short term memory loss splashed inbetween does not make it different. And in the climax, when you move out of the hospital with the dumb medical student, reach the Don’s lair, beat up his 20 goons ( and in the process, rotated the neck of one of them by 180 degree with a punch ) and fight with the Don himself, what happened to the 15 minute short term memory loss? Or are you saying that you did all that in 15 minutes? 

The music is no great shakes either. “Tu meri adhuri” is the only memorable number. And don’t even think about comparing this one to the original movie – Memento. Infact, there are no parallels. Only the same basic thread. 

I am disappointed because I was expecting something Earth-shattering. I know I am an average stupid moviegoer, but I am not THAT stupid.

Rating – 2.5/5

Director – A. R. Murugadoss

Official Website – http://www.rememberghajini.com/

p.s. This is not something related to the movie, but in the Mall where I was having lunch after watching the movie, the following announcement was being made repeatedly – “We urge the owner of the car number XXXXXX to immediately contact the guard at the underground first level parking area. There is a child locked up in you car who is crying!!”

Sigh! What is the world coming to!

Best of Bollywood in 2007

Its awards season again and Bollywood came up with quite a number of choices in 2007. And yes, this list does not contain Om Shanti Om. The last time you heard the name of this movie on this post was in the previous line. It also does not contain movies like Welcome and Partner as I can’t understand such movies. This year the keyword was – Different. A story which does not follow the trends, where character building is important than putting a dance number to pull the crowds.

Chak de india

az_b81290_chak-de-india_chak-de-india.jpg15 August would not have been better. As I sat in my seat waiting for the movie to begin, I had my own apprehensions. By the time the movie ended, I pinched myself to make sure that I have actually seen something like this and was not dreaming. The movie was path-breaking in the sense that it opened a new door, a new thought thread which could lead to different movie ideas. It also made a loud point that – Yes, you can have an entirely new plot and don’t need to rehash older plots again and again. Two thumbs up for the daredevil Shimit Amin.

 

Taare zameen par

437px-taarezameenpar.jpgI can bet that this movie can bring tears in the eyes of the most stone hearted person. As the song “hai na maa” started, there was hardly anyone in the theatre who was not crying. I consider this movie as a ray of hope. Its a tight slap on the face of the directors who say that we make movies for money and thus have to cater to the likes of the public. It woke up everyone to the power of the medium, to the fact that a movie can carry a message which can change so many lives. There are so many NGOs which try to spread awareness about dyslexia, but what this movie did in 15 days, the NGOs were not able to do in 15 years. Thanks to Aamir Maverick Khan, the director.

 

Jab we met

414px-jab_we_met_poster.jpgAahhh!!!! the DDLJ of this decade…as I call it. In a span of 10 years one such movie comes which somehow redefines love, underline the fact that a simple movie can be entertaining, the fact that a subtle plot and characterization is required for filmmaking AND the fact that love stories can still be told differently. The only problem as I see it is that this year there is no competition for Kareena in terms of Awards, but Shahid will be having a tough fight. Ironically speaking, this is the Biggest hit of the pair after the breakup. Both of them will be seen again in Satish Kaushik’s Milenge Milenge in 2008.

 

Cheeni kum

414px-cheenikumpos1.jpgThe promos of this movie were so compelling that I had to see it. Again I found it very different and daring too. Its not easy in India to showcase a romantic movie with such a dimension and get away with it. If I let go of the over extended ending, I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. There were so many scenes like Paresh Rawal forgetting to zip his trouser after Amitabh tells him that he wants to marry his daughter and the one in which Tabu makes Amitabh run so that she can check his stamina and the one in which Zohra Sehgal keeps asking Amitabh if he went to the gym or not.

 

Namaste London

413px-namasteylondon_poster.jpgThis is the type of comedy I can understand. When the filmmaker try to find fun in real life situations and not by making actors vomit out loud and foolish PJs. The surprise package of this movie was Katrina Kaif. I didn’t knew she could act but somehow she surprised me and the role was tailor-made for her. Another hit in Akshay Kumar’s kitty which already includes Heyy Babyy and Bhoolbhulaiya from this year’s list of hits and thankfully Himesh gave some decent numbers after a loooong time. “Teri yaad” and “Rafta rafta” were way above the unbearable category of songs Himesh churns out these days. 🙂

 

Life in a metro

800px-metrohindifilm.jpgToo many cooks may spoil the broth. This is what came to my mind as I went for this movie. But the dish was made well and served well too. So many plots but well woven and well shown. Whether it be Dharmendra, Shilpa Shetty, Konkana Sen Sharma, Irfan Khan, Kay kay, Shiney Ahuja, Kangana or Nafisa Ali, everyone had a well etched character to play. The music was composed by Pritam Chakraborty who surprisingly popped up with his band in each song. grrrrr….

 

Guru

guruposter.jpgMani Ratnam splashed his talent in Hindi movies after a long gap. Its generally hard to show the life of a person in 3 hours as the director have to jump years, but it somehow worked in advantage for this movie. Abhishek and Aishwarya looked good together, specially as the older couple. 😉 Vidya Balan, Mithunda and Madhavan were perfect for their roles and the songs fitted like gloves. The love story between Vidya and Madhavan was heart wrenching and you actually feel sad for the couple. And thank God someone gave apna Mithunda a “Role” after ages.

 

Provoked

424px-provoked.pngThe real life story of Kiranjit Ahluvalia was well crafted. The public opinion was not too good but somehow the movie stayed with me after I saw it. What Kiranjit went through made me realize that even a smallest person can change the course of the future. Aishwarya was able to bring out the growth in the character from the time she accidentally murders her husband to the time when she faces the judge at the end. The scenes between Kiranjit and her cellmate Veronica were the best in the movie. Nandita Das was as usual great in her cameo.

 

Bheja fry

bheja-fry.jpgAfter Khosla ka Ghosla, Rajat kapoor again shined in Bheja Fry. There were no big stars in the movie but it stood on the plot and the cast assembled. Sarika was seen after a long gap and she is still pretty(sigh!). Milind Soman looked like he had just returned from some deserted island where he was marooned from the last 5 years. It was not the usual kind of film, was short and crispy and that is why it was enjoyable .

 

Aaja nachle

Aaja NachleI can’t let go of this one. 🙂 Madhuri’s comeback movie was something I was looking forward to from a long time and I was not disappointed at all. Again, a different movie and a great group of actors accumulated, whether it may be Konkana Sen Sharma, Rajat Kapoor or Kunal. The play at the end was unexpectedly well picturised. No matter what the public opinion may be, the movie was worth the wait for me. “Mohini” still rocks. 🙂

 

Heyy Babyy

425px-heyybabyyposter.jpgInspired from the 1987 hit comedy Three men and a baby, Heyy Babyy had something for everyone. Thankfully Sajid Khan’s debut as a director was not as “over the top” as his sister’s. The movie had good performances by Akshay Kumar and Vidya Balan and surprisingly Fardeen was also seen “acting”. 🙂 Angel was very cute and adorable and held the movie together in the first half till Vidya Balan makes an appearance. The movie had some foot tapping numbers by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy. A crowd of heroines made guest appearance in the title track and Shahrukh appears in “Dil da mamla” which is the highlight of the movie. All in all a complete package entertainer.

 

Bhool bhulaiya

bhoolbhulaiya.jpg

After being made in Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu, the script finally reached apna Bollywood. I went for this movie after people started praising it. Yes, it was spookily surprising. Till the entry of Akshay Kumar the only holding factor was the ghost, but after his hilarious entry, Akshay takes the movie to an entirely different platform. The climax of the movie is a revelation. Just watch out Vidya Balan in the climax and you will surely get gooseflesh. The song towards the end where Vidya imagines herself as the dancer Manjulika is one of the best picturised songs in recent times.

 

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