I came out of Talaash searching for an auto-rickshaw. There were none. Later that night, I hopped onto bed searching for a dream. Coincidentally, there were none there either. Apparently, whodunit tales with a spook amidst the cast do not make for velvety dreams. Day after day of tasks to be finished and survived with people who know it all do. They make for nightmares. Anyway, I digress. We were talking of Talaash.
So, there was a time when I would go to an Aamir Khan movie rubbing my hands in anticipation. The man who can do every role with grace, from the Punjabi advocating Thanda Matlab Coca Cola to the soft and sensitive teacher to a dyslexic child. With the latest onslaught of films like Dhobi Ghat and more recently, Talaash, I wonder if the anticipation will stay in place. Not that Aamir is my point at contention with the movie. Really. He was fine, even excellent I thought, especially in a frame towards the end when he sits by the lake and cries. Very few actors, I think, can cry like that and leave the audience touched.
No, my point at contention instead is a lot of other things. A Kareena hang-up, for instance. Now I don’t know if it is just me but throughout the movie, I failed to associate her with the place brothels are supposed to be like. Oh yes, I gather she was probably an uptown escort but dressing up in revealing clothes and lining her eyes with chock-full of glitter failed to rid her of her innate sophisticated ways. Every time she appeared, I thought of a man somewhere saying “Action” and “Cut”! Quite spoiled it for me.
Let’s talk about the supernatural element. That has been a given with thriller movies that Bollywood dished out in the 70s and 80s. When I listened to Sridhar croon “Muskaanein Jhooti Hai” with the hollow chorus resounding somewhere, I had a fair hunch about the same. Not to mention the mischief marketing that a lot of spoilsports did for the movie – I remember getting three different SMSes announcing the presence of three different ghosts in the cast. Almost a supermarket of spooks, I tell you. But when an apparent red herring in the plot ends up in a climax like this, you feel disappointed. Since this isn’t a spoiler-post I will refrain from elaboration, but you get the gist.
I had walked in hoping to do a soul-search, much like Aamir claimed in the promos. I ended up doing a soul-search, quite literally. Duh.