Opening scene: it is night-time and we see a car driving aimlessly and crashed into the sea. Later we meet police officer, Surjan Shekhawat with thick moustache, examining the scene. The accident looks suspicious and he is determined to investigate it further. Back at home we meet his wife, Roshni, and learned about their own grief: they lost their son which affected their relationship. To start a new life, Surjan and Roshni moved to a new apartment. However, things turned spooky when Roshni meets her medium neighbour who contacted her dead son. She told her husband about it, but he won’t listen stating it’s probably bogus. Later at night while investigating, Surjan was approached by a mysterious escort named Rosie who is likely connected to the accident he is working on. Can Surjan and Roshni find what they are looking for?
Taalash is Bollywood’s attempt on making a supernatural thriller and on some level it actually works. Directed by Reema Kagti, the movie has a great buildup suspense with good storytelling and interesting lead characters. The supernatural element is also not as jarring as I predicted, it actually makes the movie fun to watch. However, the downside for me is the mediocre subplots. For instance, I don’t care about the accident’s back story: an actor mysterious death is linked to his shady past. Next there is Tehmur, a bum who is connected to solving the accident, but unfortunately his subplot is a mess and uninteresting. Reema Kagti and Zoya Akhtar failed to link Tehmur to the plot and find a less predictable way to connect the dots and not prolong this one character, which feels too Bollywood-ish to me.
Speaking of the lead characters, I think each of them were great in their roles. I must say being a fan of the three actors this movie is a treat to watch. Aamir Khan as the remorseful police officer was completely immersed in his character, and that moustache don’t lie either! Rani Mukerji as a mother who longs for her son is heartbreaking to watch at times but needs better character development. Where else Kareena Kapoor simply enjoys playing Rosie the female escort.
There were times when I cringed while I watched the film. The train station chase was blah and the underwater end scene was… weird to say the least. I wouldn’t even go and say the movie’s plot is original because it is not. I can pick references from other movies (the opening credit reminds me of Thailand’s Shutter) and go on and on. However, when I look at Taalash from a bigger perspective, the film is actually enjoyable even if it’s a mashed-up of movies I have seen before.