Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Notes on 'Talaash'

1. I think even a bad film is tolerable when you watch it on DVD, in the comforts of your home, not that ‘Talaash’ is a bad film. It is not. It’s another thing that it doesn’t live up to the expectations of an average movie-goer. I am not an average movie-goer and I liked it. Though, like everyone else, I too am tad disappointed how the ending unfolded. The second car accident was unnecessary, at least the way it was presented. I guess the underwater scene was important. There are so few underwater scenes available in Hindi films, a scene like this is always welcome.

2. …Despite the fact that the scene reminded me of the climax of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘What Lies Beneath.’ One film always reminds you of another film, not that the current film is a copy or even an inspiration; just that there’s a symbiotic relationships among films. Like a reader commenting on a web review of the movie, I too thought of other films, but they were not ‘Insomnia’, (the reader mentions the Chris Nolan version; the original Norwegian film is even better), or ‘The Sixth Sense’, and ‘Shutter Island’. I thought of Nicolas Roeg’s marvellous ‘Don’t Look Back’, minus the red leather jacket, the scary blind woman and the sexiest love scene ever filmed. And then, there’s ‘Shaan’; I have always maintained that ‘Shaan’ is a great thriller, if you can get past the tomfoolery by the Amitabh Bachchan-Shashi Kapoor duo in the first hour of the film. And, the cart chase scene with Mazhar Khan’s legless beggar-informer itself is stuff of legend.

3. I love the name for Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s character — Taimur, after history’s Timur the Lame. It’s ironic that a pimp’s helper should be named so; it’s not really, he is called so because of his lameness. As usual, Siddiqui steals his scenes right under everyone’s noses. Sad, he was bumped off; he deserves to have his own movie. Another irony is in an Aamir Khan movie, it’s Siddiqui who gets the film’s best scene, or shall we say, the thriller’s only action sequence, jumping on and off on the railway overbridge. It was exhilarating.

4. It’s interesting to see how film by film, from ‘Saitan’ to ‘Gangs of Wasseypur II’ to the recent ‘Kai Po Che’, this young actor, Rajkumar Yadav, continues to showcase what a talent he is. Here he matches strides with the perfectionist Khan, at time overshadowing the protagonist himself. There is scene in the middle of ‘Talaash’ where his sub-inspector character becomes the unwilling witness between an unpleasant fight between his superior and his grieving wife. He doesn’t have anything to do here, but to stand uncomfortably, and mouth an uncomfortable dialogue: “I will see you later.” The way he does it, with body language, nuances — he’s young, he’s a police officer, but he is also a husband — it’s good acting.

5. Talking about nuances, there are several instances, very rare in Hindi films, which love to over-explain everything. Okay, the whole ghost business was little over-explained (or under-explained!). There is a scene where the grieving father thinks about the last moment before the tragedy and thinks of various possibilities, which could have averted the tragedy. Of course, it did not. Hence, it makes it more tragic. And, how the editing plays it!

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