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Archive for November, 2012

30
Nov

Talaash Review

Was waiting for this movie for over half a year now. Why? Because there is an immense amount of trust in Aamir Khan’s choice of films, in spite of the fact that I don’t love all his films, case in point being Ghajini. I very firmly believe that one should be a die-hard fan which I am of Aamir Khan, but one should never be a blind fan, which I am not of anyone at all. When you become blind, make a person your idol, suddenly you lose your reasoning and get into the ‘convincing yourself and others’ mode that whatever he does is good, in fact great. That’s the story of most of the fans and that is what makes such blind fans special but sadly that is also what makes celebrities not change their bad quality if it is working. Greatness lies in being able to convince a person who’s not a blind fan that he doesn’t even need to convince you of his greatness, it just flows via osmosis.

Hence, before I proceed further, let me admit that I’ve just come after watching alone the first day first show of Talaash and all I hear around me are sounds of wheels, air, birds, the sound of my feet, the sound of my car opening, seat belt tying, closing the door, wheels kissing the road and everything that I have never heard before. Without needing to convince, I’m convinced that this film is a masterpiece, the effect it has on me is intriguing to say the least. Even after an hour passing by, I’ve not been able to settle down and become the same old Ashish Lal. No, I am not saying that it will have the same effect on everyone but I’m not talking on behalf of everyone, I am and I can, only talk about my feelings and that I am doing with utmost honesty. Before I sound too awed by the film, let me try to do write my thoughts about the various aspect of this film.

Performances:

  • Aamir Khan: As I’ve mentioned above that though I’m a die-hard fan of him, I’m not a “blind” fan. Aamir is one of those few stars who put their heart and soul into the film. He puts in a lot of effort in his performance. However, there was one thing which I was not ‘critical’ about but very ‘sad’ about in case of Aamir and that is – his effort showed in few scenes in almost all his films making the performance look not very convincing in those few scenes. Obviously this happened mostly only in few scenes of his films but it invariably did. The effortlessness required in a performance lacked in those scenes. Well, before another fan bhai (just like guru bhai) of his try abusing me, let me tell you that even that kind of performance was way better than most actors in our country (except a few like Bachchan saab, Naseer saab etc.) but here my benchmark is the best in the world like Sean Penn, Al Pacino or Anthony Hopkins as I believe Aamir Khan has the potential to rise to such levels. I’m elated to say that in Talaash, Aamir Khan has given his best performance yet with utmost effortlessness throughout the film; his performance every iota of the second of the film is a class act. It won’t be wrong to say that the distance between his performance and most other stars in this country is at least a few lights years. Aamir Khan saab, you make me proud to be a part of this Hindi film industry, howsoever small presently, may the force be with you!
  • Rani Mukherjee: First things first, there was supposedly zero make-up in the film, zero means absolutely zero. Rani, you look stunning without make-up, you look sexy, hot, beautiful and attractive, make-up doesn’t deserve you at all! In fact, there is an amazing raw sex appeal when girls wear a true confidence and no make-up; no make-up can ever get skin deep, it will always remain shallow and fake. Rani’s performance is flawless, you feel her pain and her happiness alike.
  • Kareena Kapoor: In this film, she’s just perfect to the T and simply steals the show in the end, what more to say of the Queen of Pataudi.
  • All others actors were just fine, all credit to Reema Kagti and her team.

Writing: Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti has done something never done before in Bollywood, these ladies will rule the roost, more power to the women in the industry. We need many more intellectual women here to maintain a balance between the Yin and the Yang otherwise Yang will always give one side of the duality and the Yin side will never be seen. The sensitivity with which a woman treats a subject or life for that matter, can’t be touched upon by a man. The writing is extremely intense yet sensitive, only possible by the Yin. Go ladies go, there’s more to films and life than looking good and being appreciated for matching earrings and shoes. More power to the woman of substance. Harlan Ellison said “Thank your readers and the critics who praise you, and then ignore them. Write for the most intelligent, wittiest, wisest audience in the universe: Write to please yourself.” Hence, if I’m unjustly praising you too much, just ignore :).

Direction: I take a bow Reema Kagti, you are exceptional, waiting to see many more fab piece of art in future. A director should be credited for everything – performances of the lead actors to the junior artists in the background, the lights to the camera angles and from music to the footsteps sound, just everything. And everything was just fantastic. In today’s India where everyone including the masses, is bent down upon item numbers, glamour, kissing scenes, unrealistic action, style whether required or not, fake and overacting performances, comedy even if not needed, and fitting to the adage – “we’re only here to entertain” excuse for so many illogical and dumb sequences in films and sometimes the entire films, here you come as a whiff of fresh air where each and every shot that is put is required beyond a speck of doubt. Being illogical and unconvincing in films has almost become a necessity and to the west, that shows our dull mindset because films are mirror of the society. You make us proud by making something which is sensible, logical, intellectual and still gripping, intriguing, engaging and entertaining because entertainment doesn’t always mean being dumb and illogical and gyrating to vulgar item numbers.

I’ve been a percussionist and played some 7 instruments while at IIT Delhi in various competitions from drums, congo, bongo to tabla, pakhawaj, dholak and all. We were told of one thing – the singer is the hero, you’re successful if nobody notices you and you just gel and become one with the song. If someone notices you, it means that you’ve done something wrong. Going by a similar logic, all other aspects like cinematography, editing, bgm etc. were just fine because I never ever noticed them and that’s how they should be ideally. Yes, let me clear that there can be exceptions but then haven’t you heard “Exception proves the rule”.

I know you must be thinking that I am completely moved by this movie and am praising it a way too much but it comes out of true effect this film had on me and not because I’m a blind supporter of someone. My first film WITH LOVE, DELHI! (www.withlovedelhi.com) as lead made on crowd funding by three of us couldn’t even get a fair chance due to immense lack of publicity budget by the end of the crowd funding process (not that if we had publicity budget, it would have been a hit but at least it would have got a fair chance) and since then the struggle – financially and emotionally – has been intense. It feels like I am walking completely alone on this path with nobody anywhere in sight! Films like these which move you from within because of its brilliancy just goes on to establish the fact even more firmly that it’s only films that I’m passionate about and not anything else in life – not money, not attraction, not power, not fame but that passionate feeling deep within that comes when you get associated with a fine piece of cinema, nothing else to me gives a high more than this! Thank you Reema, Zoya, Aamir and all for inspiring people like me who have left everything after reaching a high point in their field (I’m just a young IIT Delhi grad, I’ve met IIT-IIM guys 40year olds owning Merc before and having kids and then leaving to become an Asst Director to earn 10k as starting salary) to struggle from scratch like any other Joe. No, this film was not a directly inspiring film like 3 Idiots but it inspires me even more and people like me who are struggling in this Big Bad Bollywood with utmost honesty and sincerity!

Our time will come, our Talaash will also successfully end one day…and then a new Talaash will begin…and then another….I want to die with one Talaash not getting over just because I died! it’s only Talaash for something which moves all of us everyday. May everyone’s every Talaash be over successfully except the last one, stay blessed!

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