Aamir Khan is known for pushing the boundaries of conventional Hindi cinema, be it with his films or the unique marketing of it. Known for making enough noise about his films in the past, this time around he created a very conspicuous suspense around the promotions of his suspense drama Talaash by maintaining an extremely low key affair. It can only be a supernatural phenomenon for the mastermind Aamir Khan to go completely tight-lipped about his film right until its release, and should we say this way too he only promotes one key element of the film?
Talaash opens up to a Mumbai nothing like the Mumbai seen before, aided by the background piece Muskaanein composed by the maverick Ram Sampat and the beguiling cinematography of KU Mohanan. Reema Kagti's depiction of the seedy by lanes of Mumbai sets the mood of the film. Each frame is pictorial and perfect.
The brooding pace is broken by a sudden accident from a speeding car of a high profile personality Armaan Kapoor (Vivan Bhatena) under mysterious circumstances. The cause of the accident remains a mystery known to none but the investigating officer Surjan Singh Shekhawat (Aamir Khan) is hell bent on solving the case.
The insomniac that he is, Surjan spends nights within the seedy lanes and red light areas trying to solve the case leaving back his wife Roshni (Rani Mukerji) to cope with the loss herself. The loss here is that of their son in an accident which changes the lives of the once upon a time happy couple completely. While Roshni takes to psychiatric help to heal herself, Surjan immerses himself in heaps of work in order to escape his sleeplessness.
The more he tries to get close to the case, the more mysterious it gets. As characters and plots crop up at every corner the mystery gets more and more mind-bending, the revelation of which is for you all to witness.
For all the rumours floating around, Talaash is nothing like the stories doing the rounds, it isn't also like Kahaani at all. Although it borders around Shutter Island theme, it isn't like that film itself. It isn't even a murder mystery that leaves you exhausted or breathless with something or the other happening every time.
Talaash, on the other hand, is an intricately woven story of the stark realities, human emotions, pathos and psychological drama. The film for once leaves you to wonder about the plausible yet impossible end and makes no bones about the paranormal track it takes.
Reema unfurls the stories and its multiple sub plots very intelligently and deftly brings them all together towards the culmination. She does, however, leave enough fodder for a murder mystery junkie to pretty much guess it all even before it happens. That's where the disappointment sinks in. The movie also takes an unabashed slow pace for suspense and maintains it right till the end. Although in the second half, the derailment from the main murder plot does make you wonder why Reema loses track.
If you leave these problems aside, there's almost everything spell binding in the film. There are scenes that leave you in awe and show you the marked improvement of Reema Kagti as a director who last made Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd years ago. Together with Zoya Akhtar, she comes up with scenes like the brilliant intercutting of the flashback scenes of Surjan's son's accident, the interaction between Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Aamir Khan reminiscent of their Sarfarosh scene together, the chase sequence of Nawazuddin and eventually the underwater sequence of Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor.
Aamir Khan this time around, doesn't astound with his acting prowess however, still fits the bill just well with his restrained performance. Kareena Kapoor as the prostitute Rosie does a brilliant job outdoing her own set benchmark of Chameli. Rani Mukerji as the wife doesn't get much to add to the film but even at that, she essays her part well.
The rest of the actors also make an impact in the film, Shernaz Patel, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Raj Kumar Yadav all perform well.
Music by Ram Sampat is lilting and almost perfect for the proceedings in the film. The background score too aides the plot. Cinematography is near perfect.
Talaash is a deftly woven suspense drama that may either blow your mind or leave you disappointed. In either case, it's the process of the culmination which makes for a delightful definite one time watch.