Movie review: Talaash: The Answer Lies Within

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An advice: If you are going thinking that this movie is going to keep me on the edge of seat every now and then, then sorry. This is a suspense drama and asks the viewers to be patient. It builds up long. Many confuse the movie as a search for the murderer which it is not. This is a film on the inner struggle of the man who finds it difficult to accept what’s going on. It’s psychological in nature and not a crime drama. Crime in the film is the skeleton but Aamir’s dual fight is the flesh and blood.

 

When a wait for Aamir’s movie culminates in this way you just know it was worth the wait as always. A film packed by a tight script, remarkable performances, blended music, excellent cinematography and apt editing makes Talaash: The answer lies within a treat to watch.

A suspense drama which builds on for three-quarter of the story and when climaxes it leaves you appalled. Not in your wildest dreams you will guess how the suspense will be revealed. There are no traditional hints which will make you believe five different results. Only when it is revealed you know what was going on.

The story is about the personal struggle of inspector Shekhawat played by Aamir who chases two truths- one inside his self and the other out side in the physical world. Rani Mukerji plays his wife Roshni and a prostitute/call girl/informer is played by Kareena. Nawazuddin Sidiqui plays a beggar Taimur who accounts or a subplot.

There is a car crash resulting in death of a famous actor. The car crashes in to the sea. Aamir son also dies in water who he thinks he could have saved. The water imagery comes alive every now and then.

How he overcomes his two major botherings- struggling with his innerself and the solution of the car crash case make the story.

Kareena plays Rosy and plays it to perfection. Her dialogues, performance and body language are all great. Rani plays the wife quite good whereas Nawazuddin plays the beggar who wants to make it big by blackmailing the actor’s friend. Nawazuddin’s performance stands out in the film.

One of the two things that is outstanding in the film is editing. The editing of the movie is brilliant. Story is more or less linear till the suspense is over. And the editor handles the climax shots remarkably. Mixing the words which meant one thing when they were said and other when suspense reveals, the juxtaposition of different shots and words from the earlier scenes, the leitmotif of water, the inner struggle of Aamir, all have been organised so well that you can’t complain.

Each word that the protagonist remembers later on and how his own words (‘lagta hai ki sab kuchh mere saamne hai par main dekh nahi paa raha’) come true at the end have been put up very nicely. Kudos to the editor and the cinematographer.

Camera guy has taken nice shots and is worthy of a special mention.

Another outstanding thing in the film is music and background score. Ram Sampat has blended it so beautifully that the music dissolves in the narrative. For any suspense or horror film the success depends on the background score and Sampat has done a great job. Neither the songs are forced nor they are meaningless as is the case with most of the movies nowadays.

Lyrics are beautiful and are not intrusive. They take the film forward and are an integral part of the film.

One let down in the film is its dialogues. Farhan Akhtar could have done better. Dialogues are not natural and flowing. The words at many places leave a lot to be desired.

Aamir’s stature as one of the best actor of the industry has been justified at more than one place in the film. Whether it is his fingers expressing anxiety when Kareena calls him to sit in her side or the scene where he cries holding a letter, Aamir shows how to act. The same scene if done by an SRK will focus on his face making weird adjustments to express anxiety but Aamir’s fingers are all you have to see and you can see how he is struggling to come to terms with a reality which will unfold in next few seconds.

Reema Kagti’s direction is a treat. Makeup-less Rani, ever charming Kareena, the lame beggar all have been handled the way try should have been. The film flows from one quarter to another. No jerks, no interplay of useless plots in order to confuse the audience, no intruding music & dance sequences, she gets it just right.

This film had all the scopes of slipping an item song (Aamir could have gone to the brothel where a bar dancer would be dancing) but Kagti is not interested as she knows the way to present the story.

When the film starts you are made to believe that the car crash is the main story and Aamir’s personal issues are a sub plot which will start and end but that’s not what happens. As the film is reaching the last 30 minutes you realise the subplot is the main thing and the main story is a support plot.

The beauty of the story is that both the plots hold each other well and result is great. The fight with the self is the main story. An unending search for the unknown and perhaps non-existent truth forms the whole story. Will Shekhawat get there, will he be able to solve the case on the personal as well as professional front and how will he do that is what forms the story.

A human’s struggle with his limitations and a fight when the reality is so unreal and truth appears irrational is what Aamir’s character portrays.

Overall a must watch for the sheer beauty of the handling of such an intricate genre. It is not a romance, it’s not horror, it’s not a bond movie either. It is a psychological war that a human fights with himself in his own limited ways of looking at things.

The best part of the film is that even if you know the suspense at last, you will be willing to watch it or the second time.

PS: Don’t watch it at Big Cinemas as they gave us a 20-minute break between the two halves which was getting on my nerves.

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