Talaash can be watched. But only once

** No Spoliers **

There are several well constructed and bewildering moments in Talaash, the stand out being the introduction of Shernaz Patel as Feni Mistry . The queerness of her personality in her introduction scene is quickly replaced by a reasonably mature albeit abnormal personality, sadly.

Let that not deter you because Talash is a very well made movie. Slowly brewed, gripping, especially in the first half, the movie is carried forward by Aamir Khan’s intensity more than anything else. The movie is also a very gentle reminder of how good an actress Rani Mukherjee is and how she has wasted her career. The movie further reminds you that Kareena is beautiful, has oodles of expressions, and is extremely lazy about acting. The others are props. Much as is being said about Nawazuddin (it’s fashionable to talk about him), he is just about fine in the movie. And if you set the bar by his recent performances, below average. Shernaz is a disappointment, unexpectedly. Rajkumar Yadav – good but wasted. Almost everyone else exists to give Aamir a chance to act some more.

In a world where bundling is becoming a common phenomenon, Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar have managed to compensate for the discounted script with some good background score (Ram Sampath) and good camerawork. The movie maintains the feel and the ambience and the colour pallettes of a good suspense thriller. The music is good and maintains the pace of the movie. Songs are not distracting. One of the full-length songs (“jee le zara” in the background) could have been trimmed for the movie.

The last 10-15 minutes of the movie are an unqualified torture on your senses. One thing that I am strictly against  is thrillers trying to round off everything and then continuing on for some more.  Simplicity is such a difficult thing.

You cannot avoid getting pissed at the gaping flaws in the script. And it’s very difficult to unleash your fury at Reema and Co unless you are allowed to criticise most of the focal diversions in the movie. So, I will skip to the biggest problem with the movie. It’s a movie that can not be watched twice, much as it is a movie that you would not mind watching once.

So, go for it. Before someone as idiotic as Kamaal R Khan spoils the movie for you.

Movie Review: Bodyguard

Oops! I did it again. Another Sallu movie. Another almost First Day First Show. Well, it was the second show. Yes. At Chandan. Yes, the movie left a few things to be desired. No. The Chandan Experience was perfect.

Before I say something about Bodyguard, let me remind you all that I absolutely enjoyed Dabangg and I did not enjoy Ready at all. So, if you’re one of the purists who cannot differentiate between Dabangg and Ready because apparently they both were trashy movies for you, stop right here. You should not watch Bodyguard. Having got that out of the way, let me also tell you that this movie is going to hit the 100Cr mark, for sure.

Salman’s intro shot in the movie is as interesting as it should or could be. The title song is a wacko with Salman winking and flexing his biceps as the key dance step, Katrina Kaif making a customary item song presence through the song. Immediately after, Salman gets into gravity defying stunts and action sequences which are so unreal that you cannot but fall in love with the dude. As greatbong pointed out in his Singham review, there are only two people who can pull that kind of stuff – dhai kilo ke haath wale sunny paaji, and maine ek baar commitment kar di to wale salman bhai.

Then, with almost a pitch perfect beginning, something seems to fall apart. Which is, that Siddique decides not to continue with the same over the top treatment of the movie. Rather, he decides to put in emotions, drama, college fun, etc. He decides that he will let Kareena (Divya) play a prank on the superstud bodyguard. She has a preachy friend by her side. Salman has been given a ridiculously fat Rajat Rawail as a comedian flunky. Why on earth do you need a comedian flunky if Salman is already there? His earnestness while doing the most ridiculous scenes makes up for all the comedy I ever need out of his movies. Remember the “tera hi jalwa” ringtone based fight sequence in Dabangg. Yeah. That one.

Kareena gets all emotional while Salman continues to carry the movie on his shoulders. Rajat Rawail kills the sense of humor of the movie with his weight and cheap humor, while Salman continues to carry the movie on his shoulders. Raj Babbar and Asrani ham the crap out of the movie, while Sallu carries the movies on his shoulders. And in between (before the interval) and towards the end, there are two more extremely endearing fight sequences. The kinds where one of the bad guys is kicked hard and while he is still in the air, two more bad guys are punched, only to allow Sallu some more time to crash kick the first guy again. Awesomeness! Aditya Panscholi does his friendly hamming. Mahesh Manjrekar too. All the usual masala. Couple of songs booted here and there, which are working, but are not in the league of Dabangg music (or usual Himesh Reshammiya music). Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is there. Mika too. Shreya Ghoshal too. All boxes ticked.

Towards the end, is where the surprise really lies. Usually, you expect a grand fight with Salman resulting in massive disaster for the bad guys. In this movie, that happens. And then some shit happens with Salman. I will not reveal the mega plot twist. But that mega plot twist itself makes the movie a massive torture in the last 10-15 minutes of the movie. See it to believe it.

Back to Chandan Experience – Movie was supposed to start at 12:30. Did not start till 12:50 or so. In those 20 minutes, there were die-hard fans trying to break the door open (to Chandan’s credit, the doors are quite durable), brought the large size movie hoardings of Bodyguard and Mere Brother ki Dulhan to ground before tearing them into pieces, whistled, cat-called, hooted, booed. And then the door received the loudest ever cheer for opening, that any door might have received ever. At that time, the end credits of the previous show were going on, but the enthusiastic crowd did not mind cheering Salman in the goofiness based end spoilers either. Every song, there was an “interactive” crowd that would take off their shirts, or start dancing in the isle. At the end, there were a bunch of 15 odd kids that climbed the screen area and decided to showcase their Sallu bhai dancing skills right there. Before the show, we also spotted a dude who’d come in Sallu bhai getup (shiny black coat with sunglasses and the whole drill from the Desi beats song), and was getting himself clicked in style in front of a Mahindra Xylo. Life, as they proverbially say, was good.

EndView – Not bad. Not great either. I’d prefer a Dabangg over this. The elitist reader base of this blog would most likely not like the movie. But then, who cares. The movie’s going to make another 100Cr+ for Bollywood. By the time Salman is done with another few such movies, including Dabangg 2, the debate about who’s the biggest “Star” would be settled. Aamir needs script. Shahrukh needs senti, dialogues, script, and a whole lot of marketing. Salman, though, needs only himself!

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