- A movie poster of ‘Talaash.’
This week’s big Bollywood release “Talaash” (meaning “search”) stars three acting heavyweights: Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherjee.
Mr. Khan plays police inspector Surjan Singh Shekhawat, who is investigating the death of a film star. He and his wife Shreya, played by Ms. Mukherjee, are going through a tough phase after the death of their son. Ms. Kapoor plays a prostitute called Rosie who meets Mr. Shekhawat during the course of his investigation.
Billed as a thriller, “Talaash” also explores the dark side of human emotions, which suggests it isn’t a typical commercial Bollywood flick. Director Reema Kagti, however, thinks otherwise.
Here is what critics had to say about the movie, which was released worldwide on Friday:
Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama was full of praise for the movie. “You haven’t watched a suspense thriller like Talaash on the Hindi screen. Ever,” he writes, adding that it “keeps you guessing till the end.”
Mr. Adarsh says the plot has all the elements of a thriller: conspiracy, tension, suspense and tragedy, accompanied with “razor-sharp” dialogue. The movie blends these elements and takes the suspense to “a new altitude altogether,” he adds.
The critic thinks Mr. Khan dominates the movie, but Ms. Mukherjee and Ms. Kapoor also deliver performances that should see them mentioned in award ceremonies next year.
Mr. Adarsh gives “Talaash” four-and-a-half stars out of five.
NDTV movie critic Saibal Chatterjee says “Talaash” is “not to be missed.” The film, he says, “relies more on the intricacies of the psychological drama than on the disquieting impact of visceral shocks.”
He praises the screenplay, co-written by Ms. Kagti and Zoya Akhtar, saying “there isn’t a single scene that comes across as superfluous.”
Mr. Chatterjee was impressed by the actors, noting that Mr. Khan “underplays his hand to accentuate the introspective nature of the troubled man,” while Ms. Mukherjee plays her role with finesse and a great sense of empathy and Ms. Kapoor is “at her seductive best.”
The critic rates the film three-and-a-half stars out of five.
Aseem Chhabra, writing for website Rediff, thought the film loses track toward the end, when there is a big revelation, as it tries to over-explain what is happening.
That was the movie’s “one big flaw,” Mr. Chhabra writes from New York.
Overall he was satisfied with “Talaash,” praising the mature way it handles the troubled adult characters, adding that it makes Mumbai look dirty, used but also enticing and thrilling.
“‘Talaash’is not a Hollywood style edge-of-the-seat thriller, but there is enough in the film to make us feel uneasy. At all times we feel the pain of our protagonists and sense a certain danger that lurks around them,” he says.
Mr. Chhabra added that Ms. Kagti brings the best out of Ms. Kapoor and Ms. Mukherjee, reminding him that both are very capable actors who are eager for good work. “I wish Mukherjee and Kapoor would get more solid, intelligent roles.”
He says Mr. Khan makes the right decisions when choosing his projects, but is sometimes distractingly hesitant in his performances. “Khan is mostly believable in ‘Talaash’… but then in a few scenes it appears as if he is thinking too much, showing signs that he is aware he is acting.”
The critic gives the movie three-and-a-half stars out of five.
Critic Raja Sen notes the somber, well-assembled movie “starts off well, but simmers far too long before it gets to the boil.” He adds that “Talaash” is “better put together than a lot of the films we see here, and definitely strongly acted, but ends up so, so much less enjoyable than it deserved to be.”
“Perhaps the trashier approach may have worked better for this material. Or, at the very least, made for more fun,” he says, adding that the dialogue is also poor: ‘Even in the good scenes, the dialogues jar, sounding either b-movie or trite or incredibly textbook.”
But he was particularly impressed with the performances of Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Raj Kumar Yadav, who play a scavenger and a cop, respectively.
Mr. Sen gives the movie two-and-a-half stars.