The ‘Talaash’ movie reviews that I read across various sites disappointed me and discouraged me from going to watch the film. But let me share a delicious secret with you: Whenever reviews badly thrash a movie, I make it a point to watch it in the theatres. Most of the time, I actually like those movies because they are different.
2012’s best movie is not ‘Talaash’ but it is definitely one of the best and most impressive performances put forward by all of the three main leading actors namely, Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Kareena Kapoor. Credit goes to Reema Katgi’s direction and Zoya Akhtar’s script. Cheers to them – because good performances are what film goers look for when they spend their precious time in a theatre.
Talaash story: Murder on the Surface, Guilt sinks deep
The story of Talaash begins like this: Superstar Armaan Kapoor’s car nose dives into the sea in Mumbai. Inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat (starring Aamir Khan) is investigating the case. While investigating, he gets assistance from a prostitute called Rosy (starring Kareena Kapoor).
However, in his personal life, you can see that Shekhawat has many problems. He suffers from insomnia, does not communicate nor does he have a happy relationship with his wife Roshni (starring Rani Mukherji). Some of the dreams that he has represent the thoughts of the sub-conscious mind that he has tried hard to suppress. The nature of a dream is transitory, deceptive yet nothing can be more inspiring to mankind than being able to make some dreams come true.
In his search for Truth, Inspector Shekhawat is as disturbed by his dreams as he is hunting for the clues to decode the murder mystery. The couple are not at ease with each other and you can sense that there are layers of grief that have created a shutdown in their once happy relationship.
A nosey parker neighbour (we can all relate to this) comes to their new home and delivers messages from ‘Karan’ – their child who had died an unnatural death. This triggers Inspector Shekhwat’s fury but his wife begins to find peace in spending time with the Parsi neighbour who can help her receive and write messages from the spirit world.
Aamir Khan is impressive in his portrayal of an intense, moody and sensitive Inspector. His body language, mannerisms and style of investigation is interesting to watch. The performance is so restrained and I felt that this is one of Aamir’s most remarkable performances. You can see how hard he has worked into becoming ‘Inspector Shekhawat’ and he has truly succeeded.
Rani Mukerji portrays the natural grief and sense of shock that can envelope a mother who loses her child in an accident. Her maturity, immaculate balancing between role, timing and skill is evident in very sensitive moments enacted between the husband and wife.
But of the three leading cast, the one who won my heart is Kareena Kapoor who looks ethereally beautiful despite her cheap bright outfits and painted face. In her role as a prostitute, she comes across as unapologetic yet warm and open. She is at her seductive best in terms of her body language. In the scenes where she is trying hard to win Inspector Shekhawat’s attention, she totally catches your eye as a bold and beautiful woman. Her portrayal of Rosy is sensitive and intense without the alibi of innocence or sexual exploitation. She demands your sense of compassion, not attraction or passion.
There are many other fine actors in this film but it goes without saying that Nawazuddin Siddiqui is impressive in his ‘limping’ avatar. The film has a slow narrative but the dialogues and the performances are very subtle, impressive and symbolic, almost respectful of treading the highly protected secrets of the spiritual world.
Talaash Music glides in with melody and soulful notes
It was a pleasure to listen to the songs in Talaash. The track Jee Le Zaraa is so melodious and soothing that it transports you to your own secret world. Talaash music composition is soft and gliding, just perfectly aligned to a soulful script. Another track is Hona Hai Kya and it goes very well with the feel and genre of this film. Yet again, I liked Laakh Duniya Kahe because it has a bitter sweet yearning in its notes and the notes of a piano chime into your mind in a poignant way.
‘Talaash’ story is inspired by Khurshed Bhavnagri’s Laws of the Spirit World
Now this is the part that you shouldn’t skip reading: I believe that the real seed of the story of ‘Talaash’ may have been inspired from a brilliant and authentic book titled The Laws of the Spirit World, written by a Parsi lady called Khorshed Bhavnagari. This is her picture given below.
The Foreword to Khurshed's book was written by none other than Shiamak Davar, who is a household name, so to speak.
Khorshed Bhavnagari had lost both her young sons in an unfortunate car accident. She lost her will to live and that is when her sons began to communicate to her directly from the Spirit World. She began to write down whatever they told her about the world of spirits and why it is important for those who are living to constantly send their love to their loved ones who have passed away and how it is possible for us to communicate with the spirits of the loved ones in a beautiful way.
All the gems and priceless nuggets of information was written down by her and years later, she published this to help others who have lost their children in an unfortunate, unnatural way. On February 22, 1980, she passed away but her book is not just a bestseller but it is a beacon of light, hope and wisdom for those who have lost their loved ones to death.
Lets come back to the movie, shall we? After all, that is the reason you are reading this post. Are you wondering:
Does the super cop find who killed the superstar? Why does a prostitute called Rosy keep giving tips to the Inspector who is investigating the case? How does Inspector Shekhawat manage to tackle the burden of guilt and keep it separate from the reality of his work? Do Inspector Shekhawat and his wife find happiness together despite Rosy’s increasing presence in his life?
Watch ‘Talaash’ not because it offers a thrilling experience or a portrayal of intrigue. Watch it because it is closest you will come to knowing the secrets of the Spirit World. Everything is symbolic. So, concentrate, absorb and discover all that you can about the Spirit World from the subtle dialogues and impressive performances.
So, what are the secrets of the Spirit World? I know them as closely as I know myself but sorry, I don’t have the permission to share it with you now.
But one thing to keep in mind is this: it is possible to communicate with spirit souls and once you begin to communicate with them, there is no going back. It can strengthen and transform your life in the most unbelievable ways. Or it can completely destroy and consume you because of the terrible, heart breaking pain it can bring when you are trying to lead a balanced life.
So, don’t try it unless you are ready to take that risk.
Note: This movie offers one of the best and most impressive performances by all three leading protagonists: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukherjee and Kareena Kapoor in equal measure. Gear up for an intense, soulful film that comes out with a rather cheesy end.