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.

Tashan – Movie Review

When you start believing that life can’t get worst, it suddenly does.

This is what how an experience like Tashan can be summed up after watching movies like Race and U Me Aur Hum. Race at least had a constant oomph factor oozing out of each frame and an over-doze of twists and turns to make it watchable. Tashan looks like a mockery of the Indian audience, if nothing else. It made me believe that the Indian directors take me as a chimpanzee who will watch anything shown to him with great amazement and awe.

The movie revolves around four characters – Jimmy (Saif Ali Khan) who is a call centre executive and who learns to fire/dodge bullets as easily as someone learns to brush, Pooja (Kareena Kapoor) who works for Bhaiyyaji and who breaks into a sizzling hot number in a bikini just before submerging her father’s ashes in water, Bachchan Pandey (Akshay Kumar) who is a small time gangster and completely incapable of saying I love you to his lady love and finally Bhaiyyaji (Anil Kapoor) who is a notorious gangster hellbent on learning English and kills people with any sports equipment he can lay his hands on.

Tashan is an onion of problems. You can peel off layers and layers of them. Jimmy is so naive that he can’t make out that something is wrong when he sees a bag full of money fall off Pooja’s hands. Bhaiyyaji is one of the most irritating characters in the history of Indian Cinema and Anil Kapoor could have been nominated for the Indian Razzies, if they could have existed. Pooja is called a “bitch” so many times in the movie that Kareena’s grandchildren would be really embarrassed if they ever happen to watch the movie.

Tashan does not have a story. It seems like a rip off from Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, specially in the climax. And, oh yes, you would have to be really strong to bear the climax. Its the ultimate patience test ever created by Bollywood. The fight sequences are hilarious as you would have never seen heroes dodge so many bullets or jumping like a monkey on walls or ending up riding a water scooter in a gutter(kind of). Its unbelievable and sheer torture. Its amazing how our stars agree to do such scenes.

I would have rated the movie 1 out of five, but I would add another 0.5 for Kareena who is looking sizzling hot in all the scenes. Your heart would definitely skip a beat while watching her dance in “Chaliya” and “Dil Haara”. This 0.5 addition to the rating is also because of the comic scenes between Saif, Akshay and Kareena. Atleast they managed to make the audience laugh, even if it was ephemeral. And, yes, if you are going to watch the movie to see the latest hot pair of Bollywood in action, then forget it. Kareena is paired opposite Akshay and her love story with Saif ends in a blink in the first half.

An appeal to the director Vijay Krishna Acharya – Please come out of the mindset that Indian audience can’t digest a movie without over the top comic characters (like Anil’s) or fight sequences straight out of Marvel comic strips or without the thin waistline of the heroine on display. We are tired of giving the proof time and again, that we are ready for sensible and serious cinema.

One last word – After watching Tashan, I believe that Race should be sent for the Oscars.

Rating – 1.5/5

Director – Vijay Krishna Acharya

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Elaan, SRK and the darn tattoo

Three things caught my eye after returning from the unforgettable trip to Vizag. Surprisingly, all three related to children.

As I hurriedly went through the blogs of my numerous blogging buddies as I have been off the blogosphere for almost four days because of the trip, I came across the Blogging for a cause post on Amyth’s Blog which was a sort of an eye opener for me. Amyth has been closely associated with Elaan, which is an NGO founded in 2004 as part of an endeavor to encourage dialogue on the issues of child sexual abuse (CSA) and incest. It functioned as a youth group for 3 years before being registered as an NGO on June 7th 2007 under the West Bengal Societies Registration Act of 1961. To know more about Elaan, you can read this post on Amyth’s blog. You would be surprised to know that there is NO LAW that makes the sexual abuse of a child a legally punishable offense. The readers can also sign the on-line petition to the Supreme Court by following this link.

I said “eye opener” earlier because I have not used my blog to further a cause, so it was my great pleasure to help Amyth in whatever way I could. Three cheers for Elaan and their commitment towards the society.

On the lighter side, I have stopped so many poor souls from watching movies like 10,000 B.C. and Race because of my negative reviews, so for the time being, I would call that “blogging for a cause” too. 😆

The second news which caught my eye was the SRK-Airtel deal for “Kya aap panchvi pass se tez hain?”. Ok, so the prize money is now a whooping 5 crores, but if the grapewine is to be believed, SRK himself is getting Rs 40 crores for the deal. Ufff!!!! I almost fainted when I heard the amount. And yes, this will help SRK reach the kiddo market where Aamir and Hrithik have some very firm footings. But 40 crores?? Isn’t that the budget of a Magnum opus?? 😯

The third news was the Saif’s-love-for-Kareena-is-not-real one. I am so tired of reading about that tattoo that its not funny anymore. As per the latest(A big Yawnnn!!!!) gossip, the tattoo is not real and has to be weekly dyed. This might lead to a rough patch in the relationship. The only thing which I found interesting here is the concept of weekly dyed tattoos?? Do they exist? 🙂

Ok, so this story is not even “neanderthaly” connected to children, but I found it really juvenile and hence thought of putting it here. 😆 I think the media should give the couple and us(specially us) a break. And, those of you who still haven’t seen the tattoo, here it is. (This is an exclusive picture taken from the March, 2008 Filmfare edition)

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