Movie Talaash: The Search Suspense That Finally Disappoints!

As his forte Aamir Khan has made his blockbuster appearance after a gap of almost three years since the release of the super movie 3 Idiots in 2009, and his magic worked for the much awaited Talaash; The Answer Lies Within that released on November 30, 2012 all over. Talaash has grossed the sixth highest Box Office earnings of the year over the release weekend and is confirmed a hit. Aamir Khan, this time coming with a big mustache, plays a cop and gives a powerhouse performance for his loving admirers yet again.

If you enjoy an absorbing suspense buildup to the extent that it makes the end irrelevant then Talaash is the right movie for you. We had said a similar thing in the review of Kahaani, but Kahaani was almost flawless and the intended power of the climax twist did not get diluted due to the ‘technicality’ whereas Talaash is not flawless and it ultimately does not stay loyal to the genre of suspense. The Talaash climax is kind of a state-of-the-mind affair—you like it or not like it as per you mental setup. Therefore, for some of you the climax would be mind shattering while for others it would be plain disappointing. And, if you are smart enough your disappointment starts at least half an hour before the end and your disappointment climaxes with the move climax. Maybe because of this the reviews of the move have been mixed. 

The values are stupendous though in this superbly crafted movie. It is almost a film noir or neo-noir with its artistically maintained black mood and a psychological tinge. Photography is brilliant creating the atmosphere of suspense and confusion with the visual mix of light and shade and darkness, lilting music rendering full support to the atmosphere and deft editing giving the cutting edge. The slimy lanes and inhabitants of Mumbai’s dark underbelly have been captured masterfully.

You do get intrigued from the very start when a car suddenly makes twists and turns in an empty Mumbai road in the dead of the night, hits the pavement and jumps into the sea. Police inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) takes up the investigation and discovers that the victim of the mysterious car accident is a movie superstar. 

Following various leads Shekhawat and his aide Kulkarni (Raj Kumar Yadav) keep visiting the Mumbai red-light district—the pimps, the madams in charge and the prostitutes. But investigations get delayed as the subplot involving Shekhawat’s personal life catches up. 
Aamir and Rani
He and his wife Roshni (Rani Mukherjee) both suffer from depression since their only child got drowned in a freak motor boat accident recently. But while Roshni regularly visits a psychiatrist her husband who cannot sleep at night and considers himself solely responsible for the accident seems entirely reluctant to help her and in fact seems to be the real cause of her depression. A neighborhood lady adds an occult angle to their already miserable existence.

Kareena Kapoor
As for the main plot Shekhawat hardly makes any more progress despite capturing and interrogating Tehmur (Nawazudding Siddiqui), the limp errand boy of the pimps and a crucial link to the case. However, Shekhawat’s sudden meeting with the beautifully mysterious hooker Rosy (Kareena Kapoor) and the desperate antics of Tehmur keep you intrigued and guessing. Just when things look most complicated and you gear up for a treat the movie makes the genre-shift and your disappointment starts. Till the climax and much beyond that you only engage yourself finding what answers lie within or without. 

Nawazuddin Siddiqui
Characterization in the movie is left far behind the desirable mark. Even Aamir Khan in the protagonist’s role does not find a fully defined character to fit into while Rani Mukherjee in the wife’s role is almost wasted. Husband-wife relationship is portrayed most pathetically. The only two fully defined characters of Talaash are that of Raj Kumar Yadav and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Of the two Siddiqui steals the show with another effortless and superlative performance as the limp errand boy who finally wants to capitalize on a new-found opportunity. However, on the overall plus side several scenes of the movie including the climax do touch the deep chords in your heart and move you.

Finally it is a tremendous opportunity lost for Director-writer Reema Kagti. Talaash had all the ingredients and the mood to be a suspense classic. Unfortunately it could not turn out to be. Talaash is straightaway two stars less than Kahaani.