Early Pre-Release Analysis: TALAASH (2012)

File:Talaash poster.jpg

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Film : TALAASH (not to be confused with the 2003 film Talaash: The Hunt Begins)

Director : REEMA KAGTI

Production House : EXCEL ENTERTAINMENT, AAMIR KHAN PRODUCTIONS

Cast : AAMIR KHAN, KAREENA KAPOOR, RANI MUKHERJEE

Genre : (Dark) Thriller

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ANALYSIS

There is quite little that can actually be analysed about the film. Actually, how much does the audience really know about Talaash? Let’s see :-

* Its title is not Dhuaan (a very popular misconception)

* We know its star-cast

and perhaps a few other technical details. Now that’s not much material to work on; still, this will be an attempt to “search the truth” behind this film.

Cast

The cast is something out of a producer’s fairy-tale dream. Aamir Khan. The Mr. Perfectionist of Bollywood stars in this film; what more can we actually ask? One will be hard-pressed to define the sort of position Aamir is in right now. He’s fresh off the biggest Bollywood hit in history, both nationally and internationally. A Dhobi Ghaat expanded his actor credentials. And a wait of two years has left the audiences mad for him. Quite the pot-pourri of success, isn’t it?

Kareena is arguably the leading heroine of Bollywood at the moment. Equaling Hema Malini in the box office, she starred in four back-to-back INR100 crore films (all of which found a place in the top 10 films of Bollywood) and the Chammak Challo-Teri Meri girl is now quite the darling of the classes and masses alike. In addition, its quite well-known that she is a capable actress (Jab We Met). A blend of beauty and substance makes for a perfect setting, and the audiences will definitely want to see more of her. 2000s superstar heroine Rani Mukherkjee is back to the silver screen after a powerful and award-winning role in No One Killed Jessica (2011). Acting is something that comes very naturally to this graceful lady, and whatever role she is given, she will undoubtedly excel in. She also commands a fan-base, though not nearly as voluminous or vociferous as back in her heydays, but she definitely is a force to reckon with.

Producers

Excel Entertainment has cultivated an aura of quality and deliverance, in an industry falling to quick remakes and shoddy ethics. The names of the producers, Farhan Akhtar-Ritesh Sidhwani, signify good films even if niche-appealed to the urbane audiences. Besides that is Aamir Khan Productions, the wackily versatile home production that does both a Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008) and Peepli Live (2010). Expect the unexpected.

Production

Talaash is a comparatively low-budgeted film; at INR40 crore, its budget will definitely be below that of Ek Tha Tiger, and on the same range as the Untitled Yash Chopra Project. Now, a low budget film starring big names means big profits if it clicks at the Box Office. That presents a great advantage to the distributors and the producers, and with this sort of arrangement everybody stands to gain. So no matter how the film fares at the ticket counter, rest assures that budget recovery will be the least of worries for anyone.

However, this is not to say that the film won’t boast of at least a few scene stealers; the only reason why the film isn’t massively expensive is because Aamir hasn’t charged a fee. But, he is walking away with a jaw-dropping 80% share in profits, the highest ever among any Bollywood star. And that will entail rather smaller smiles on Excel than on Aamir, but that’s a small sacrifice to pay. Its been confirmed that certain parts of shooting took place in London in a water tank at the 02 Arena, and that doesn’t come cheap. In fact, water stunts rarely do, and from what little could be gleaned from the film’s trailer, water definitely plays a pretty important role in this film.

But the major, and a really worrying bummer, is the genre of the film. Come what may, associate whatever the great things one associates with the cast and crew of this film, the public doesn’t do deep-analysis about films or histories. They want a film that satisfies them of their money’s worth. And Talaash is at serious risk of failing that. A thriller is not the most appetizing of films; a dark-toned thriller is even less favourable; a dark-toned thriller with possibly a lot of difference in it? You get the picture. Its not that there is no audience for such films, but its pretty niche. And that automatically means less moolah.

Release

Talaash sees a nationwide release on June 1, 2012. In today’s film industry, overflowing with ambitions of breaking records, such a release date is rather odd. And that’s because the release is not a major holiday. To see the track record of some big films: 3 Idiots opened on Christmas, Bodyguard opened on Eid and Ra.One opened on Diwali. All turned out big money-spinners at the box office, and the recent Agneepath is proof that to earn big, you need a big opening. Consequently, a big holiday. That factor is crucially absent from this film. Hype can only go so far, even if very huge. The film can lose out on a lot of potential revenue because of this.

It does have some consolation in the fact that it doesn’t face too much competition. The next week features Shanghai, and that is unlikely to dent the film’s collections too much unless the latter turns out something spectacular. The film’s major competition arrives two weeks later, in Rowdy Rathore, and even that should leave the multiplexes more or less unaffected. That means a not-fully-clear run, but nothing too worrisome. However, as the situation seems now, a full two free weeks would certainly have been good (much like Ek Tha Tiger is having).

Talaash is an Aamir Khan commercial release after all, and one that audiences have waited for over two years, and this is evident in the number of hits the first trailer of the film gained in a short span of time. But this hype is a double-edged sword: very high expectations guarantee big opening, and if the film clicks then the sky is the limit. But if the film doesn’t manage to please the expectations, there will be big disappointments and backlash can be severe and unforgiving as has been noticed with Ra.One. The difference is that SRK had a redeeming factor in Don 2 just two months later; for Aamir to redeem himself (if the film doesn’t meet expectations, that is), people will have to wait much longer (Dhoom 3). And that’s a bad scenario for him. It is most important that the film works, otherwise there will be problems aplenty.

Film

Undoubtedly, as a film, Talaash should excel. Helmed by the highly talented Reema Kagti, who has proved her credentials with the very good Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd., and backed by strong director-writers Farhan Akhtar and Zoya Akhtar, there is not even a sliver of doubt that the film will be lacking in any department. Great content and a well-made star cast guarantee a memorable film at least.

Another very positive factor about the film is the fact that Farhan-Aamir return together after the much-loved Dil Chahta Hai (2001). One of the most memorable class films, it turned out to be quite a success in multiplex areas (though average overall), and audiences certainly want another such quality film to take home. Seeing the track record of both personalities, its not hard to see that this film will be any aberration. Besides, Aamir-Kareena immediately reminds of 3 Idiots, and that’s one very great memory to think about; no doubt this blockbuster pairing will give another fabulous on-screen jodi. Aamir-Rani go a long way back, and their “Aati Kya Khandala” is certainly still magic, and one that audiences will definitely want re-invented. Obviously, the film won’t be so masaledaar, but the chemistry itself should be perfect.

Musically, the new Daddy Cool Ram Sampath takes over. The chart-busting DK Bose is still very much playing in people’s minds, so no doubt Ram will come off with another great album (though nothing as crass or double-meaning, of course). The trailer has also revealed great background scoring, and a good score adds great depth to a thriller and exonerates the film-watching experience.

The post-production has taken a surprisingly long time, setting off tongues as to what Aamir is actually doing with the film; the tight-lipped nature of the involved people doesn’t make matters better, but it certainly piques the curiosity. Assuredly, the crew knows what they are doing and they will come off with excellent editing (a must for a thriller). All in all, this will be cinema to soak in, to love, to appreciate; definitely it will impress as a film.

VERDICT

Taking up all the above points, its actually a very delicate tight-rope walk for Talaash at the moment. While it boasts of a very high-profile and awaited cast, and promises a great movie experience, it is actually the least fail-proof film among all the big films of 2012. The genre is unhelpful in its quest for box office success, and much is dependent on how the audience takes it up. And the film does not have a major holiday to give it that impetus. Besides, there will always be a select group of people bent on gunning down the film, and it is imperative to not allow these people to get the upper hand. Aamir’s versatility may do great things for his acting purpose, but right now his consistency and true star power are at test. Whether he passes the test or not, we can never say until the release. Here’s a sincere hope of success for Talaash, arguably one of the most awaited films of 2012.

51 Comments

  1. Bilawal
    Bilawal
    February 10, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    30cr day1, 100cr in 5 days.

  2. Aayush
    Aayush
    February 10, 2012 at 10:48 PM

    50000Cr Day 1

    5000000000000 Day 2

    500000000000000000000000000 Day3

    5000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 Week 1

  3. Bilawal
    Bilawal
    February 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    “because on the second vieweing you already know whats the twist.”

    Watching sixth sense on repeat viewing I got all the references in dialogues and enjoyed it more.

  4. Bilawal
    Bilawal
    February 10, 2012 at 10:54 PM

    references to the fact that hero is dead.

  5. Aayush
    Aayush
    February 10, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    @JTW

    I am Joking.

  6. Bilawal
    Bilawal
    February 10, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    Before suprabh gives me a lecture I want to correct myself.

    Watching In the repeat viewing of sixth sense on repeat viewing , I got all the references in dialogues and enjoyed it more.”

    1. Nirjhar
      Nirjhar
      February 10, 2012 at 11:13 PM

      Hahaha, it was same for me :)

  7. Nirjhar
    Nirjhar
    February 10, 2012 at 11:16 PM

    @Jasper

    How do you write so big posts! … I’m really amazed!

  8. Dogafull-2
    Dogafull-2
    February 10, 2012 at 11:20 PM

    Good Mystery movies even if with suspensed revealed get decent repeat value, but more importantly the craze and WOM also spreads like Wildfire and people who are not even remotely interested in the movie , watch it , if the shock is too huge.( for example if Aamir is a ghost, pun intended)…

    Check the trending of biggest supernatural mystery BO success unadjusted, the Sixth Sense.

  9. Prashant
    Prashant
    February 10, 2012 at 11:27 PM

    Nice post JTW..

    It wl do gr8 in multiplx bt in single screen i hv doubts…
    My prediction: Lifetime: 110 to 120cr

  10. Prashant
    Prashant
    February 10, 2012 at 11:37 PM

    JTW: Yup, unless its a masterpiece

  11. FS
    FS
    February 10, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Talaash is beyond Google ;)

    1. Arise_Awake
      Arise_Awake
      February 11, 2012 at 12:00 AM

      What about Rajani ;) ???

  12. suprabh
    suprabh
    February 11, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    Nirjhar,

    I would say the trending of sixth sense was because of its tremendous appriciation and because it was a good movie so even that portion of audience which doesn’t normally go to watch such movies gave it a shot.

    Peronally, I would not like to watch a mystery movie twice in the theater.

    1. Nirjhar
      Nirjhar
      February 11, 2012 at 1:42 AM

      Suprabh,

      Yes, thats also true, generally when such people find widespread appreciation abt a movie, they also want to give it a shot … sometimes it occurred to me that when a movie is garnering very good appreciation watching it becomes a prestigious sort of things for some people :P

  13. Rex
    Rex
    February 11, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Mystery movies get huge repeat value if the so called “twist” in the movie completely jolts the viewers by shocking them to the core . e.g- sixth sense, seven, the others. Like dogabhai said the WOM spreads like a wild-fire & arises an unavoidable curiosity to witness the same in theaters & hence more & more people flock to theaters.
    If the twist in Taalash clicks then there is no stopping it from a well celebrated merry run at the BO & might even dent the potential of the movies rlsing the week later…..but if its gets mixed or negative response then the run could be bumpy.

  14. Rex
    Rex
    February 11, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Suprabh, have u watched Battle Los Angeles twice in theater ?? ;) :P

    1. suprabh
      suprabh
      February 11, 2012 at 1:08 AM

      Rex the only movies I have seen more than once in theater in the last 10 years are:

      Chak De India – Twice
      Bridesmaids- Twice

      I can’t think of any other right now…Maybe just those two

  15. aman
    aman
    February 11, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    @suprabh

    What made u see Bridesmaids for the second time in theatre? :D

    1. suprabh
      suprabh
      February 11, 2012 at 1:17 AM

      Bridesmaids is probably one of the best movies of last year…It was a lot of fun and awesome comedy..I liked it as much as the hangover.

  16. dwnpiyush
    dwnpiyush
    February 11, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Will read this tomorrow. But with any actor other than AK Talaash kind of a movie wouldn’t have crossed 40Cr. But with Aamir Khan, there is no upper limit. Let’s see how it goes.

  17. Talaash
    Talaash
    February 11, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    Nice analysis Jasp.. The problem with Talaash is dat nothing is known bout d movie as such so it’s difficult to make any guess :D Nevertheless a gud analysis :-) Keep Writing

  18. Ihab
    Ihab
    February 11, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    For a thriller fan like me, I normally enjoy a very good thriller more on second viewing. I tend to discover just so many things more once the twist is revealed. This has happened to me for all the thrillers I love a lot – Memento, Sixth Sense, The Machinist, The Others etc. But I think I am among the very few who would bother watching a thriller again once the suspense is known. And I do for only those few movies which I loved alot.

    I am sure in case of Talaash, the movie will get a huge opening and will do well over the weekend but come monday, I don’t see it trending that good due to the suspense element being known. Some people might watch again but not many. 100-105 is Max this movie can do IMO.

  19. aryan29
    aryan29
    February 11, 2012 at 4:19 AM

    @jasp th wasp I didn’t read your post but it really looks Nice :)

  20. Dan
    Dan
    February 11, 2012 at 4:42 AM

    @Ihab bhai ne Figure de diya hain….matlab ab movie zyada business karne wali hain, Case @Delhi belhi…ihab bhai ko zyada umeed nahin thi…and he was predicting a first Duck for AKP, but look at DB, it is one of the movies, i recon 2011 FOR…SO TALAASH is trending. Aamir bhai ka kamaal hain yaaroon.

  21. Harsha
    Harsha
    February 11, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    @Jasp – It is a very good write up.

  22. Sanjeev
    Sanjeev
    February 11, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    It should make about 130 crores….but if it’s really very good with very positive wom then expect 150 crores

  23. amin786
    amin786
    February 11, 2012 at 8:51 AM

    nice post keep up the good work

    cant wait to see more trailers damn when is the next promo due ive watched the first trailer countless times

  24. singh_is_king
    singh_is_king
    February 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    lol
    100cr bhi muskil hoga :P
    It will be rejecteD like ra1 & kites after 1st weEkend
    Then haAth jod ke 100cr ki talaAsh kariyo :P
    Agar yaha amir ni hota toh
    30cr v muskil hota :D

  25. freezone
    freezone
    February 11, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    @Jasp.
    Nice write up.

    In Bollywood, we can trust Aamir the most. I am sure he wont come up with a bad project after such a long gap.
    My expectaton: It will cross 100 crores, not much beyond that, taking the film’s genre in to consideration.

  26. I.One
    I.One
    February 11, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    Anything less than 200 cr. for Talaash would be big disappointment.

  27. Aloof
    Aloof
    February 11, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Anything less than 200 crore for Talaash will be a big disappointment

  28. Talaash
    Talaash
    February 11, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    Infact anything less dan 250cr ll b a very big disappointment..

  29. FS
    FS
    February 11, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Talaash is beyond Crores

    Infact anything less than 200 comments on this thread is a big disappointment :(

  30. Delight44
    Delight44
    February 11, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    Any kiss less thn 15 seconds will be a very big disappointment.

  31. Dan
    Dan
    February 11, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    @singh_king….if ppl with aamir, make movies while sleeping , it will be miles ahead then RA.One Or Kites in each sense, they can never go wrong . Never. And forget about TALAASH.. it will be a milestone in the long run, mark my words.

  32. KM
    KM
    February 11, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    I’m confident that even without promotion Talaash will beat the collections of Ready……however we know that Aamir knows how to market his films and I trust him fully in regards to content.

    I think if Aamir markets this well then this will get v.close to 3i

  33. Rosh
    Rosh
    February 11, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    @Jasp, another great post. Keep it up.

    @Bilawal, lol .. should make a bet on the 30 cr day with you ;)

    @Jasp again, Aamir is getting 80% profits .. thats sure a lot, and I doubt that figure.

    Agree with most of your analysis, but the movie has no chance of flopping. The backlash from Ra.One was due to overpromotion of bad product. Knowing Aamir, the product wont be bad and the promotion wont be deceptive, so that shouldn’t be a problem, hence I dont see any backlash except the usual from haters.

    Movie looks to do around 110 cr. That is my prediction looking at how Don2 worked. Don2 had some deficiencies but was more commercial and sleek (or so it seems now) but Talaash has the advantage of Aamir Khan who has a comparatively bigger BO pull than SRK.

  34. Harsha
    Harsha
    February 13, 2012 at 1:22 AM

    @JTW – It is just that nobody evokes extreme responses the way SRK and Salman can.

    One little suggestion – You can add a line or two about technicians (specially, if someone who is involved has achieved something in past). You can reduce the intro to actors like Aamir, Rani and Kareena (whom we all know about) and add info about technicians.

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