Director: Reema Kagti
Producers: Excel Entertainment, Aamir Khan Productions and Reliance Entertainment
Writers: Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti
Cast: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Rani Mukerji, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raj Kumar Gupta
Music: Ram Sampat
Rating: * * *
Plot: A Bollywood superstar is killed in an accident under mysterious circumstances. Police Inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) takes up the investigation of the case. As he digs deeper into it, he finds himself entangled in a web of confusion and mystery which becomes worse due to his troubled married life with Roshni (Rani Mukerji) and the constant haunting of his dark past.
Shekhawat’s investigation gets him in contact with a prostitute Rosy (Kareena Kapoor). He also gets to know that a roadside criminal Taimur (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is linked with the superstar’s death. Will these two leads be enough for Shekhawat to solve the case?
Review: (No spoilers whatsoever) In every whodunit thriller, the suspense at the end needs to be both shocking as well as convincing. In the case of Talaash, while the writers (Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar) manage to get the shocking part right, they disappoint with the conviction of the finale. This is the biggest reason, along with others, for Kagti’s film falling in the strictly one-time-watch category, which is surely below expectations.
‘Muskanein Jhoothi Hain’ song sets the right mood for the film right at the start. Apart from the lyrics, the picturisation is truly praiseworthy! The main point is brought soon which leads on to an intriguing narration in the first half as the case gets more complicated. The pace is deliberately kept slow but that in no way gives rise to boredom. In fact, it helps in building up excitement, mostly due to the sub plots. Some of artistically crafted scenes are a work of brilliance from the point of view of both writing and filming.
Unfortunately, the script starts going downhill in the second half with more importance being given to Shekhawat’s personal life than the case in question. The prolonged scenes between Shekhawat and one of the main characters test your patience. Lastly, the all important suspense at the end doesn’t live up to the excitement. Of course, there is no doubt that the final revelation will shock you and might even jerk you out of your seat but it lacks believability and conviction. (Personally, I feel the final outcome is harmful for the intellectual development of India!)
For the way she has filmed the story, Kagti deserves applause though. She is just let down by the proceedings of the second half that stop the film from being a commendable thriller. Another disappointing factor is that the main ‘hero’ is hardly given any heroics to perform. This is largely felt at the ending moments.
Mohanan’s cinematography is one of the biggest plus points. He has even captured the dark underbelly of Mumbai with perfection. Ram Sampat’s background score adds thrill. The editing is adequate. Songs don’t have much scope in such a film. ‘Muskanein Jhooti Hain’ is the only track that has a strong effect.
Aamir Khan succeeds in carrying the film on his shoulders. However, he is not at his best. The writing should be blamed for this for keeping his character too serious and depressed at times. Rani Mukerji does full justice to the character of a traumatic wife and mother. Kareena Kapoor is the one who steals the show. She perfectly moulds herself into the character of a prostitute and even manages to speak through expressions.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui once again shows why he is currently one of the finest character artists. He deserves many more films! Raj Kumar Gupta, Shernaz Patel and Sheeba Chaddha give mature performances in supporting roles.
Overall, Talaash is good but unfortunately it falls in the could-have-been-better category. Due to the hype and Aamir’s popularity, the film will garner very good collections at the box office.