Talaash Movie Review by Sputnik

Director: Reema Kagti

Cast: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Shernaz Patel, Rajkumar Yadav

Synopsis: Armaan Kapoor, a film star, dies in a car accident and Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) is the cop handling the investigation. Surjan and his wife (Rani Mukerji) are going through an emotional crisis since their son’s death. Rosie (Kareena Kapoor) is a prostitute who keeps helping Surjan in his investigation. The movie is basically about closure.

Some scenes are very good like the interrogation scenes or Aamir’s interaction with the brothel owner or the scenes between Aamir and Kareena or the scene where Rajkumar Yadav gets stuck in between Aamir and Rani’s confrontation. The kid’s death scene and the scenes of Aamir imagining how he could have averted the boat accident are excellent. The best scene of the movie however is the climax scene in the car.

Now the flaws. The movie is basically inspired from The Sixth Sense. Not sure why they had to get inspired from a movie that is so famous in India. There is a scene where Shernaz Patel tries to tell Aamir something which seemed straight out of The Sixth Sense. There is a chase scene involving the limping Temur (Nawaz) which kind of drags a bit. Part of the scene seems inspired/copied from Mazhar Khan’s scene from Shaan – not sure why they had to do it. Just after a brilliant climax scene there is a totally ridiculous rescue scene and thereafter another stupid audience spoon feeding scene. It almost undoes all the good work until then.

Aamir Khan is excellent as Surjan. He is perfect in almost every scene whether he is brooding over his son’s loss or angry or frustrated. This is one of his career best performances. Rani Mukerji sans make up is also very good whether as the woman concerned about her husband or the mother grieving over her son’s death. Kareena is excellent as the hooker whether it is her looks or her speaking seductively as if toying with Aamir’s character. Nawazuddin Siddiqui is good as Temur but don’t know why he had to walk with a limp. It seemed like such a caricature. Rajkumar Yadav is also good as Surjan’s assistant. Shernaz Patel and the rest of the cast is ok.

Story/Screenplay by Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti is pretty good except for the above mentioned flaws. Dialogues by Farhan Akhtar and Additional Dialogues by Anurag Kashyap are good especially interrogation scenes and dialogues of Kareena. Jee Le Zaraa song sung excellently by Vishal Dadlani is picturized very well. Jiya Lage Na sung very badly by Sona Mohapatra should have been avoided in the movie. Background music is decent but it could have been better. It is good in some scenes but it seemed very gimmicky in some scenes.

Reema Kagti’s direction is very good except for the final few scenes after the twist. She builds up the suspense very well. The movie is a bit slow paced in between and could have been edited better. Some people have already revealed the twist online but the twist scene still works very well in the movie. People who are intelligent or those who have seen The Sixth Sense will be able to guess the twist pretty early on. Whether one likes the movie or not will depend a lot on whether they are ok with the twist or not. The movie is for those who like serious movies and who do not mind the slow pace.

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44 Comments
  1. FS 7 years ago

    Yup, the climax scene of car is the best scene… The movie should have ended then and there itself… the mystery was solved by then but just to clear the relationship issues they dragged a lot with wrong message as well

    Btw Good review Sputnik…

    • Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      Thanks FS.

      Spoiler Alert

      Movie ending with the accident scene would not have worked at all with the majority of our Indian audience. People would have said it is another Dhobi Ghat – already there is walking through Mumbai crowd similarity.

      But the “rescuing” scene was so WTF and agree with you they dragged it. There should have been no “rescuing” – it should have been self escape and movie should have gone straight to the “letter” scene.

      • Ritz 7 years ago

        spoiler alert

        But then the rescuing was important as it is Kareena who does help aamir in return (of taking revenge on other guys thru his help)- the letter/kid talking to them was courtesy Kareena I though. She says so “mai aapke kuch kaam a sakti hu”.

        • Author
          sputnik 7 years ago

          Dog getting to know early on is good but I did not like the background music in that scene and I did not like the cycling guy’s acting. They should have shown it as casual scene – instead it looked staged.

          Spoiler Alert

          See he already finds out the truth about Kareena in the car and he already knows he was being helped by her. So that itself should be enough for him to start believing in something he was initially dismissive about and check out the letter.

          Yes, agree with you about the movie not explaining about the other accidents on the same road.

  2. Ritz 7 years ago

    ” Rajkumar Yadav gets stuck in between Aamir and Rani’s confrontation. The kid’s death scene and the scenes of Aamir imagining how he could have averted the boat accident are excellent. The best scene of the movie however is the climax scene in the car.”

    Yes, I liked those scenes.
    I also liked initial scene of accident when the dog gets to know it early on – the tension built was good. Also Kareena’s scenes with Aamir on beach are very good.

    spoiler alert

    Movie has a loose end – does not explain how and why other accidents happend on the same road as the hawaldar says early in the movie to Surjan ..”pichle 3 -4 saal se ussi road pe…”

  3. Ritz 7 years ago

    “Nawazuddin Siddiqui is good as Temur but don’t know why he had to walk with a limp. It seemed like such a caricature.”

    He had leg injury during the shooting of the film.

    http://www.bolegaindia.com/gossips/Nawazuddin_Siddiqui_continues_shooting_despite_his_leg_injury-gid-21486-gc-6.html

  4. Ritz 7 years ago

    On background music – @Sputnik Agree on what you said .
    Some scenes without background music are more effective. They should not have had any music.

    Indian movies do tend to have heavy dose of background music even when it is not needed. European movies use background music in a apt and minimal way which is effective.

  5. Author
    sputnik 7 years ago

    I must say this though. I had said the 7:15 pm show was sold out but the 10:30 pm show was not full. There were quite a few seats empty. So everything was back to normal.

    And I saw some people mocking and making fun of the movie after coming out.

    People laughed at the “Gulaabi Bhains” from Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola. They were laughing and making fun of all the OTT action from Khiladi 786.

  6. mate 7 years ago

    It’s always a pleasure to read your reviews Sputnik sir. And It’s a very good review as usual, straight from the heart.

    • Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      Thanks mate

  7. hithere 7 years ago

    Sputnik – Thanks. I saw your comment elsewhere. It was never claimed a psycological thriller? It was always suspense drama.

    Saw JTHJ – It could have been a decent movie had they done away with masala elements and some trimming. Most of the dialogues were logical and tonally very real but then they do Sir Jesus(uneven) so often.

    • Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      I think the trailers gave that impression coupled with the tagline. Aamir clarified that it is suspense drama and not a thriller but he probably should have said that it is a supernatural drama.

      I think JTHJ had three main issues.

      1) The length of 3hrs was too much. It dragged like anything.

      2) The prayer twist was not used well in the screenplay.

      3) The memory loss/gain thing was so cliched and belonging to a 70s/80s movie and was not required in the movie at all.

      • hithere 7 years ago

        They actually didn’t need that retrogade Amnesia to come to climax of the movie. I think Anuska’s stint at army camp could have been handled more maturely. There are other immature stuff but most bollywood movies are laced with such

        ps – If you say supernatural, you give away half of the suspense.

        ps1 – I haven’t seen Talaash.

  8. Yakuza 7 years ago

    Saw yesterday .. I already read some reviews so i set my expectations accordingly and it worked very well for me. This is story of father who lost his kid in an accident. This incident completely shattered him. movie is about discovery and transformation of hibernated father about life and its secrets. This movie is more of philosophical thriller encapsulated with elements of crime suspense. Overall movie worked for its strong emotional ingredients and exceptional story telling. Just set your expectations right and go for it. Not exceptional movie like TZP, RDB or 3I , but definitely one more feather on Aamir’s cap.

  9. Yakuza 7 years ago

    About the supernatural stuff .. that depends on how you see the movie and its message. Life doesn’t stop and shouldn’t stop when your loved one leave you behind, where ever they are (this world or that world), they will stay happy only if you will remain happy. This was message of movie and supernatural stuff was just a mean to convey this stuff.

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      this message is there in all kjo/chopra films. then why do you detest them?

      • hithere 7 years ago

        treatment. As I said in “a separation” comment few weeks back. We make lot of emotional and dramatic movies. But we don’t make them right.

        • Baba Ji 7 years ago

          treatment differs depending upon the genre of the films. Yakuza is talking about he message/concept there ,not the treatment. I said in my post also that talaash treatment is good in the Vikram Bhatt world as Raja Sen said. Some may not like this world itself.Thats a different argument.

          • Yakuza 7 years ago

            Baba Ji .. This is what i said in my views above .. “Overall movie worked for its strong emotional ingredients and exceptional story telling” .. Obviously with exceptional story telling i am talking about treatment of subject.

            There are many who are saying that this movie should be promoted as Horror than Suspense .. Ohh really ?? You think Horror aspect in this movie was more than other elements ? Wouldn’t audience would felt cheated much more if they set their expectations as Horror movie and found nothing ? I think movie was promoted rightly .. this is primarily emotional drama encapsulated within crime suspense, and this is how it was promoted.

          • Baba Ji 7 years ago

            this is what you said ” This was message of movie and supernatural stuff was just a mean to convey this stuff.”

            clearly,you cared more for the msg than the treatment from this comment.

          • Yakuza 7 years ago

            No baba Ji .. i always cared for treatment mainly. Messages are available all over literature. Movies are about telling story in entertaining way and Talaash succeed here. You are trying to make fun of its supernatural stuff .. but i found this angle a unique way to explain the philosophy of life.

  10. Lolland Dweller 7 years ago

    I think it’s more a comedy movie. These guys said it best http://bit.ly/UxWPxp

  11. Yakuza 7 years ago

    BTW on funny note … “Andheri raat mein diya tere hath mein” was better suited title for Talaash .. 🙂

    • Ritz 7 years ago

      haha, Dada Kondke was known for double meaning titles. His marathi film titles are hilarious.

      • Author
        sputnik 7 years ago

        Just read this – Suparn Verma tweeted this.

        “Censors objected 2 a Dada Kondke film title Roz Meri Marlo he said I hv 3 heroines Roz, Meri & Marlo u can put their name in any sequence 🙂 “

        • hithere 7 years ago

          LOL @ name in any sequence

  12. hithere 7 years ago

    ** some minor spoilers**
    Of the flaws, I kind of agree with last one. Movie could have ended after the climax or come directly to almirah opening scene with letter for closure. It would have increased repeat audience to clarify some of the scenes.
    Liked the movie very much. And it was tonally consistent. I think people may become restless for couple of slow scenes between Aamir and Rani (after intermission).

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      I was chatting with sneha the other day and she said the first half is perfect but ghost angle looks awkward and hence ppl got disappointed with climax. May be its bcos the tone of the movie otherwise is not surreal like say a raaz 3.

    • Ritz 7 years ago

      spoilers
      Now this sounds kind of lame concept but my guess is why after that climax accident aamir goes on and finds the remains of rosie and burns her is as per tradition (and this has been shown in earlier movies) Uski aatma ko mukti dene ke liye. Even kareena says to Aamir she was waiting for him to come in her life – “aapka intezaar kar rahi thi”.

  13. Author
    sputnik 7 years ago

    New Reema Kagti Interview.

    Congratulations on your second film, Reema. What is the kind of feedback you are receiving for Talaash?

    All kinds actually. I just received an SMS in the morning, which read: “Madam you have dubao’d Aamir Khan!” (Laughs out loud) Then there have been people who have got the spirit with which I have made the film. They have texted me saying how the film has stayed with them. That’s gratifying when you know that something you’ve made has meant something to someone.

    Was the twist the starting point of the script when you and Zoya Akhtar started writing Talaash nine years back?

    The starting point actually was something Zoya saw on the road, which she came and told me and could not explain. We were 10 years into our friendship and I knew she didn’t tell lies. We kind of became obsessed with it and then a few days later Honey Aunty (Honey Irani, Zoya’s mother) came and said that her friend’s daughter had experienced a similar incident on the same stretch of road. I tried to explain the phenomenon rationally because I am a rationalist. I personally don’t believe in the supernatural. So, finally what you see in the film, for me, it is the metaphor of the unknown. The film is actually about the internal journey of this man trying to be at peace with himself, by conquering the demons.

    Is that why there is this feeling of a constant juggle between plot development and character building?

    Oh yes! Not just in the writing stage but also in the edit. We were doing this constant trade-off between plot and character. I wanted the suspense to be like a smokescreen for the internal journey of Inspector Shekhawat (Aamir Khan).

    Don’t you think the twist splits it into separate films? The one before is a thriller and the one after, a horror film.

    I don’t think it was ever a thriller. I have been trying to tell this to everyone. It’s a suspense drama. Drama because there’s so much emotion attached. And the twist to me is a small plot point, not the film.

    But the way you show that small plot point changes the genre completely…

    Only that underwater scene which is very romanticised and very different from the rest of the film. Outside of the script, I felt that these two people, Rosy (Kareena Kapoor) and Suri, had fallen in love with each other and that stare at each other under the water kind of sums up their relationship.

    Why does the junior cop tell Aamir that there have been many such accidents on that road? Given your twist, how is that possible?

    It works in my imagination of the world of the film where innocent people get affected. Like a subtle message of karma. See, the person who is causing all the mishaps herself wants to be saved and finds this man who is a good man and wants to help her without anything in return. He, of course, does get something out of it in the end.

    After you reveal the twist, you show scenes to justify the twist but nothing prior to that really gives an indication…

    There are subliminal clues everywhere. See, not everyone will guess the twist as they watch the film. Some guess it earlier, some a little later, some when it’s actually revealed in the film. All depends on the different perspectives of the different audiences. Also, we shoot the person concerned in a little dreamy manner, often using the tilt-shift lens unlike the rest of the film, which is shot in a very realistic way. Plus the character doesn’t speak to anybody else. See, in a focus-group screening when we showed the film without the clues, the film just didn’t work and so we put the clues back in. It was never an easy call, though… a challenge at every step.

    Everybody has been sharing the twist on their Facebook walls and on Twitter and texts. You must have seen this coming…

    Of course! There’s nothing we could have done to avoid that. From our side what we did do was actually spread a few rumours of our own. Then there were lots of other people with their versions of the twist. Finally it reached a point where audiences were not sure which rumour was correct. That was our only way of countering the problem in this day and age of social media.

    There was talk that the film had been pushed back from June to November because of its similarities to Kahaani. When that is not the case, why this delay in the release of Talaash?

    Not all the shooting went to plan. We thought that the underwater sequence could be pulled off in India. But we couldn’t. Then there was a personal loss for me. I lost my dad and I had to take some time off before I could come back on the project. There was a fire on the sets of Aamir’s TV show Satyamev Jayate, delaying his schedule. Then the edit took longer than we expected. In fact, I was editing the film till end-October. So, I won’t call the release delayed but that we took our time till we were happy. And here I would like to thank my producers to have allowed me to do that.

    A common complaint is Talaash doesn’t showcase Aamir Khan the superstar enough. There was no such expectations from a Dhobi Ghat but here they were going in expecting a Ghajini or a 3 Idiots…

    While those films are great, I do believe that we can’t be making only one kind of cinema. For a film industry to stay healthy, we have to keep choosing a wide range of subjects in the mainstream space. Aamir was the driving force behind Talaash. He said ‘yes’ to the script and made the film happen. I know there are huge expectations from an Aamir Khan film. But he knows that too and he knew that with him we could make a success out of a subject like Talaash.

    There is no stylistic similarity or director’s stamp in your two films –– Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd and Talaash…

    See, Honeymoon was my first film and I cut my teeth with it. It was like a quantum leap for me in understanding cinema. It’s okay if every idea leads me to a new style.

    So when are you off to Goa to play some poker?

    I am trying to get away for some time now but there is a certain amount of separation anxiety associated with Talaash. Soon, hopefully! (Laughs)

    http://www.telegraphindia.com/1121205/jsp/entertainment/story_16273516.jsp

  14. Author
    sputnik 7 years ago

    “Only that underwater scene which is very romanticised and very different from the rest of the film. Outside of the script, I felt that these two people, Rosy (Kareena Kapoor) and Suri, had fallen in love with each other and that stare at each other under the water kind of sums up their relationship.”

    WTF. No wonder that scene sucked.

    “See, in a focus-group screening when we showed the film without the clues, the film just didn’t work and so we put the clues back in. It was never an easy call, though… a challenge at every step.”

    “We were doing this constant trade-off between plot and character.”

    This explains that they changed the movie a lot and why there are logical loopholes.

    “From our side what we did do was actually spread a few rumours of our own. Then there were lots of other people with their versions of the twist. Finally it reached a point where audiences were not sure which rumour was correct. That was our only way of countering the problem in this day and age of social media.”

    She is accepting that they spread all the other stupid rumors.

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      sputnik – “This explains that they changed the movie a lot and why there are logical loopholes.”
      those scenes made the film tonally inconsistent 😉

      “She is accepting that they spread all the other stupid rumors.”

      now if ppl do critise talaash for not being the suspense thriller and so on,are they to be blamed or reema?

    • Ritz 7 years ago

      Aamir in an interview well before the movie release said they purposefully spread the rumors via fake sms – to confuse viewers and to protect real climax.

    • Author
      sputnik 7 years ago

      “We are said that he is depressed, but he seems depressed only when he is at home or rather, when he is with his wife. Now, that’s possible considering that the discomfort generally increases when one is with the person who knows one’s secrets the most. But then, he also invites friends for meals and subordinates for drinks. So, he is not an exceptionally pained man as we are made to believe, he is just as sad as anyone of us who goes through a particular traumatic experience and is averse to being reminded about it.”

      The movie clearly showed that Aamir was hiding his grief even from his wife. He is the one who is telling his wife to move on. So why would he show his grief to his subordinates? He would pretend to be normal before them.

      ” Then, we are said that he is an “encounter specialist” – and there isn’t even one encounter in the entire film. Forget that, there isn’t one moment when he even comes close to shooting someone. Well, if Ms. Akhtar & Ms Kagti think that the most specialised job of encounter specialists is to interrogate people, then we are really falling incoherent with definitions.”

      If someone has seen enough cop films they would know that there is a good cop bad cop routine where one cop would try to be nice and tell how the other cop is so bad. It was just a interrogation technique.

      “Then, in another scene Tehmur and Nirmala are discussing their escape plan and Simran / Rosie is seen eavesdropping. Isn’t she a ghost? Why does she need to hide eavesdrop on conversations”

      Ha Ha good point.

      I now think they initially had the ghost track similar to The Sixth Sense where the ghost did not know that he/she had already died. That can only explain Kareena’s character still hanging out at the places where she used to and talking to Shashi in the car when he can’t hear her or hiding while eavesdropping .

      The ghost part is most half baked part of the movie. If the ghost could make herself visible/invisible, open doors and all. So what was it doing waiting for three years is a valid criticism. And Shernaz’s statement that “that the ghost is visible only to those who are deeply pained” does not have to be taken as a rule.

      Since there actually was a ghost the Fight Club comparison is not even valid.

      • Baba Ji 7 years ago

        “. If the ghost could make herself visible/invisible, open doors and all. So what was it doing waiting for three years”

        she was waiting for aamir who needed to believe in ghosts so that it could pacify him to move on in life.

        • Ritz 7 years ago

          Being a ghost she can kill people but there more to her than just killing people which maybe she cant do being a ghost. She cant fix everything being a Ghost.

          In the private moment in Hotel Lido she tells to aamir do some important work of her – get her friend out of brothel and rehabilitate her – aamir does that.

  15. Ankur 7 years ago

    Reema Kagti is now blocking people on Twitter who criticise her, the film or disagree with her interviews! Being unable to take any feedback or questions on her statements!

  16. I.One 7 years ago

    Now that we are still stuck up with Talaash, here are some general thoughts which came to my mind when I watched movie. Took a bit time to recollect these thoughts because the movie itself was forgettable –

    1. How come the police of a caliber of Mumbai Police did not take any action against the hotel and its manager (the hotel was in substance a brothel). In fact the lead himself visits the same hotel for you know why, with the ghost hooker.

    2. There were few more such cases which dint go anywhere on that particular road in similar such accidents. Does it mean, when the incident happened the door when the earlier “human” hooker felt from, was opened by some other ghost and they mistook the hooker as a lesbian who had left the original ghost hooker on road and in turn later our new ghost 1st takes revenge on the original ghost in their world and than comes again to the human world to seduce the lead for her revenge. If this was the case than I must say it was very creative.

    3. Instead of making the lead fall in love with her and taking revenge on the last guy on her list, by drowning him and his lover in water and than saving him through seductive act (husssshhhhhh, lengthy process), she could have just killed the last guy. Anyways there are no hearings for ghosts.

    4. Another way could have been to give a message to the lead that “Hey dumbos, look at the telephone records of Sanjay Kejriwal and that agent.”

    • Baba Ji 7 years ago

      your 2nd point is simply WTF. i dont know how and what made you arrive at that? the earlier mention of accidents was merely a coincidence thrown by reema to confuse the public that it may have to do with the rest of the case.

  17. Author
    sputnik 6 years ago

    I can’t believe I missed mentioning the underwater scene being inspired from What Lies Beneath. I had seen What Lies Beneath long time back and I remember a underwater scene but did not remember in detail and I did not bother much because Raaz already copied the movie.

    Anyways here is the video from What Lies Beneath.

  18. Anjanpur685Miles 6 years ago

    “Dog getting to know early on is good but I did not like the background music in that scene and I did not like the cycling guy’s acting. They should have shown it as casual scene – instead it looked staged.”

    Saw the movie again – the scene is alright. Everyone(almost) has that kind of reaction when a dog cries in the night. And there is a single car coming at fast speed towards him after that..

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