Rating : 8/10
Release Date : 30th November, 2012
Time : 140 minutes
Director :Reema Kagti; Writers :Reema Kagti, Zoya Akhtar; Music : Ram Sampath
Starring : Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Rani Mukherjee, Shernaz Patel
This is a film as much about coping with a loss as about its main plot, and it unfolds in a slow, steady, leisurely, manner, never letting you escape its foreboding grip and inveigles you with the strength of its characters and their superlative performances.
Aamir, a renowned, upright police officer in Mumbai, is struggling to cope with the loss of his eight year old son in a tragic accident. Other casualties of the loss seem to be his ability to sleep and his relationship with his wife, a brooding, silent Rani. He is assigned a case which seems straightforward yet inexplicable, the death via a car crash of a film star, a case which, as per his juniors, is destined for the ‘A-final’ list of unsolved cases in the city. Its this case, and his hunt for clues which leads him to Mumbai’s red light district and he meets among others, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, the crippled, gossipy go-to man of a pimp and Rosy, one of the top girls of the same pimp.
It’s a treat to watch Aamir, who feels every inch a tortured soul, battling with his own guilt, his own demons and the memories of his son. Unsmiling, silent, taut, body bent, as if braced for another impact, eyes darting from one place to another, usually expressionless. Searching for clues. Tired with life. Unable to live on. He is truly one of the greats of our generation, able to change form despite his superstar status.
The other superlative performance is from Nawazuddin. From the smallish role in Kahaani, to the lead in Gangs of Wasseypur 2 to this role as the man who knows everything, who yearns for a better life and alternates between playing helpless victim of circumstance to the man who is determined to play his own game, complete with his love story.
Kareena is at her bewitching, enticing best. Coquettish, always smiling, she senses Aamir’s pain and wants to help. Perhaps wants something herself too but its never completely clear what and even Aamir struggles to figure her out and despite his best efforts isn’t totally immune to her charm.
Rani, quiet, almost with her own personal cloud of gloom around her, lends her smallish but important role its own dignity. And Shernaz Patel as the nosy and freaky neighbor completes the list of fine performances.
I enjoyed the pace of the film. Its focus, its sticking to its two, often intertwined plotlines and refusal to deviate in any other direction, which included item numbers, lipsynch songs or other moments of comic relief. There is a sense of humour but it chooses to make an appearance in only a few select moments. I enjoyed the atmosphere, the sense of gloom, driven by the tragic happenings of the past and a sense of impending, further loss of life. The music is excellent, totally in keeping with the mood.
Human beings are complex, often beating ourselves up, blaming self when bad things happen, torturing the mind with ‘what if’ scenarios. There are several unfair things that happen, that we struggle to cope with, find fair explanation for. I sometimes feel the biggest fallacy is we try to make everything conform to reason, a strict rationale. While in the world around us there are thousands of inexplicable things that occur on an everyday basis. Life can be strange and perhaps that’s what Aamir’s quest is about…