Sunday, December 02, 2012


Its been a while since I wrote a film review. I used to review often in my Tamil blog 'Kuppai Valai' and once moderated a film review group blog Thirai Vimarsanam.

Please do not read any further if you haven't watched Talaash yet (its very good, you should watch it).

I think one of the traits of a good reviewer is to be dispassionate about the story and judge the movie based on what the film makers wanted to do and see if they have succeeded. But there are times when a director takes on a project so ambitious, no amount of explaining the screenplay can make up for poor execution. Exhibit A: Dasavatharam movie.

In Talaash, the film makers have succeeded in what they wanted to do. People expect Aamir Khan and the brilliant Akhtars to distinguish themselves from the crowd and they have done so again. Props also to the director Reema Kagti for daring to treat the audience as adults.

Talaash is a suspense investigation movie on the lines of Sherlock Holmes and the recently well received Kahaani. The director's job here is to subtly narrate two versions of the same story, the 'truer' version of which unravels at the end. And with the additional information, the story makes sense from the start and the audience can chuckle about missing the hints.

In Talaash, acting is great, dialogue is not distracting and there is no musical style singing and dancing. Assuming important parts of the movie were shot in Puducherry, I couldn't spot any bloopers. The director has chosen not to have an explanation section at the end, like in Sherlock Holmes, Life of Pi or Kahaani, where a character spells out what really happened. Kudos for that.

We can appreciate the lyrics in background songs, cinematography and picturization having realized the 'true' story. Four stars for Talaash.

I have enjoyed pretty much every Hindi movie I have watched in the last two years. Delhi Belly, Zindagi naa milegi dubara, Kahaani, Cocktail, Burfi and now Talaash. I hope to return to the film festival circuit and watch more, different movies on TV/DVD in the near future.


1. Surjan is schizophrenic or has a related disorder. Roshni is the caregiver. She regularly meets a psychiatrist to discuss Sujran's treatment. Sujran thinks its for herself. She knowingly indulges that voodoo-lady.

2. Surjan during the investigation, hears about Simran's death three years ago and imagines her to be present and talking to him in his night wanderings. People often notice him talking to himself.

3. The case of Armaan's accident is never resolved. Its A-final. Sashi, Simran's 'ghost' and Sanjay had no role in the accident. Sanjay arranges to kill Sashi and Themur.

4. Surjan like any investigator, works on the clues. His confuses his conclusions as coming from Simran. Checking mortuaries, hospitals for a missing person is standard practice. Sashi's girlfriend could explain his death and had to be looked for.

5. Sujran having realized that Simran is long dead, but still not realizing he is schizophrenic, is panicked by the returning image of Simran and drives off the beach road. Sanjay was trying to control the vehicle before his death.

6. Surjan later comes to terms with his hallucinations and exhumes Simran's body like he should have done upon first hearing about her death.

7. The director tricks the audience by placing Simran's image in places where she wasn't. The director of Kahaani was also criticized for this technique. Exhibit B: Three girls going off with Sashi (though it may have happened 3 years ago), raid on the brothel, killing of Themur. Though Themur may have realized, in the last minutes of his life, that Simran's death was the lynchpin in Sashi's (and his) blackmailing gameplan.

8. The Dada letter was planted by Roshni to help in curing Surjan.


Anonymous said...

Hey Balaji, good effort!
But I am pretty sure that Simran is resposible for Armaan's death! remember the dog Pinky initially woofs a few minutes before the accident..? and it's owner later expalins that the dog sensed something wrong..?

Balaji said...

yes, possible.

but i'm assuming Zoya Akhtar doesn't believe in ghosts either. She and Reema Kagti sure wanted to use the myth that dogs can feel ghosts.

the rational explanation is that the dog sensed speeding driver before the pedestrians did.

was Armaan troubled by the death of Simran? was he also Schizophrenic? ... we don't know. its A-final :)

Ashok said...

Talaash mistakes:

The movie concludes that Simran was dead and rosy was the ghost of simran

1)When shashi was taking the 3 girls(including simran/rosy)it was scene after death of armaan kapoor as rosy was teasing him "Tere pasine kyun chuth rahe hain shashi" when shashi was staring at the policemen.
This is not technically possible as shashi himself saw simran's death in his apartment when armaan, nikhil,sanjay left her on the road...

2)Temur also saw rosy/simran when calling to blackmail sanjay kejriwal as rosy was standing beside him and she commented ,"kisko pata tha tu bhi dedh shyanna nikalega".

Ashok said...

Let alone that the muvi was a nicely woven mystery but I always believed Aamir was the perfectionist but he proved he is a human in this movie..... This was a apparent mistake which does not gel with the basic fundamental of the movie....

Anonymous said...

Ashok good catch..but i think when simran says 'tere pasine kyun chuth rahe hai" sashi did not respomd to it coz he could not hear simran since she was already dead ..i guess it was deliberately done to trick the audinece ...same thing when she comments on tehmur..audience is led to believe that she is sitting next to them and talking but in reality she is already dead.....on the howl nice movie coz i was tricked and kept on guessing till the end..cheers

Sonu said...

Can any body guess how aamir khan knew the place where to dig for kareenas body. Being schizopheranic its not possible that the haullicinations led him to the correct place.

Vijay HL said...

did temur see kareenas ghost when he was shot in the stomach. If not why did he retreated back and jumped off the under construction building.

How did aamir come to know about shashi's girlfriend and y did he take her to set her free. there are other girls in the brothel also then y didn't he set them free?

Kumar Mangal said...

Guys amazing thriller movie........lots of intelligent sub plots that leave audience wondering....

Till the end audience keep on thinking that shashi was blackmailing armaan and his friends for being witha pros... but actually he was blackmailing them for her death.

The whole audience jumped off their feet on that particular seen wen aamir sees the ghost of kareena at the back seat...........

Just amazing. Wow

Shuchita said...

Sonu, Here is the answer to the grave's mystery

Rosie/Siran had told Aamir about her grave. The place where flowers were spread. She had told her 'ye meri jagah hai. agar main kahi nahi milu toh yahi miloongi'.

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