Some films blip your radar before filming begins and the anticipation is so high, that the product seems to take eons to come to fruition, others you have the fortune of finding out about only months before the release, yet have the same effect, Talaash has been that for me. Not necessarily because the film will be something new but more that it’s an opportunity to see some familiar faces on-screen in a film that reads rather interesting. Can’t say I’m in a serious brooding cinema mood but for some talents, missing their performances simply isn’t an option.
Talaash: The Answer Lies Within is a joint productions of Excel Entertainment and Aamir Khan Productions and directed by Reema Kagti.
Official Synopsis: A cop, a housewife and a prostitute get entangled in a mystery that links their lives in unexpected ways.
Cast: Aamir Khan, Rani Mukerji, Kareena Kapoor, Raj Kumar Yadav, Shernaz Patel
Cast Comments: The announcement of this trio working together, arched my brows, though it’s not the first time for any of them, nor, does it appear there is a conventional love triangle entanglement, which sets my mind at ease. Seems like ages since Khan and Mukerji played a couple, for the last in my memory bank is 1998’s Ghulam with the famous “Aati Kya Khandala” track. Since then, Aamir Khan has gone on to become undoubtedly the most versatile and arguably the best actor in his generation. This is a debatable fact, though I believe it comes down to range and flexibility. Every actor has their limit and Khan has been able to stretch that a little farther than his counterparts. From Lagaan(2001) to Mangal Pandey (2005), Rag De Basanti(2006) to Fanaa, Ghajini(2008) to Three Idiots (2009), Aamir Khan makes movies that not only sell tickets but move hearts, portraying roles that are indelible and palpable. He’s an actor that can be trusted to deliver, despite the project or his level of involvement [see: Dhobi Ghat (2011)].Khan’s adult career spans from the late 80’s, with him hitting full recognition through his performance in Raja Hindustani(1996).
Rani Mukerji burst on the scene with Khan then opposite King Khan in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (1998) and rode pretty high for close to a decade, then dropped just as quickly. This decline, however, had zero to do with lack of talent but a string of poor projects riddled with clunky execution then a bruising of little to no confidence from audiences and directors. Now, she’s inching her way back to solid working status and this role is a great way to cushion that– a film opposite star power and prolific talent. As always, my hopes are high for this actress, for she has such natural talent coupled with earnest determination, hard work and admiration for her work.
Kareena Kapoor, I’ve spoken of several times, therefore, professionally, my thoughts are limited. I will say, she’s an actress that chooses roles based on their appeal to her. Not every role or performance has been stellar, however, her motivation to continue making films and stretch herself is commendable. And I do not foresee that changing now that she has married long-time live-in love, Saif Ali Khan [The pair married in a “surprise” October wedding after 5 years of dating].
Adding to the lot are theatre talents Raj Kumar Yadav and Shernaz Patel. Both have limited filmographies but Patel can be seen in Mukerji hit Black (2005) and Bhansali film, Guzarish (2010). Overall, I’m just impressed the industry is enveloping actors outside the filmy world and extending itself to involve actors from all areas of the craft.
Premiere: November 30
Thoughts: Not into horror films, on any level but a good thriller? Yes’um! Therefore, Talaash appeals to me on several levels, the writers (Farhan Aktar, Zoya Aktar and Anurug Kashyap), the actors, and lastly, genre. Haven’t seen the preview myself (want no overt spoilers), but from the stills, I get the impression the Khan-Mukerji couple lose their happy family due to a tragic accident or violent act involving their son, which sends Khan into super sleuth cop mode, Mukerji becomes grieving long-suffering wife and Kapoor is the dangerous adulterous balm made to tantalize Khan’s wounds. Kapoor and Mukerji are cast to type which could swing either way, for I hate the idea that matronly equals boring or negative just as much as the idea that voluptuous begs seductress. One of my all time favorite Mukerji roles was Sashi Biswas in Yuva(2004) and she’s giving off that vibe here, albeit eight years later. The bitter, boring, depressed housewife can, however, drown next to the lusty, illuminatingly plump and sexy lounge singer, though I hope this doesn’t occur here. Have to admit I am concerned the relational bits will become cliché but the draw is to the personal growth of the main characters and the crime drama angle. The subtitle is meant rather, literal here, whether personal or professional (in Khan’s case), therefore, what these characters seek isn’t unattainable or outside there grasp but much closer than they think. Ultimately, emotional clarity and rejuvenation will be the key factor in rebuilding what this couple lost and before the mystery unravels, healing will begin. My expectations for this film aren’t lofty but it’s always rewarding to watch films that determine to showcase human beings, being human. Living, loving, hurting and conflicted. Confronting the worst within themselves and others, yet, choosing to embrace truth and integrity.
[stills courtesy of labeled sites]