Seeing reflections of Mumbai under the red light, Talaash is a tale of love lost, fatal attraction and above all the quest to solve a perfect crime. Suspense at its core, Talaash explores Mumbai’s underbelly like never before. Aamir Khan plays an investigation officer, Inspector Shekhawat who receives a phone call early in the morning informing him about death and an accident and how everything starts to unfold from there. The case turns into a life-altering chase for Inspector Shekhawat when he is forced to reel under the repercussions of a broken married life with wife Roshni played by Rani Mukherji and come face to face with his suppressed grief. Being on his investigative quest and fighting it out with personal struggle, Inspector Shekhawat meets a sex worker Rosie played by Kareena Kapoor who further adds shades of mystery to the puzzle. What looks like a simple car accident investigation turns into a haunting mystery as further investigations show many anomalies were stringed to the death of the victim.
Aamir Khan returns to cinemas with his first big starring role in three years with the suspense drama TALAASH which opened in theaters worldwide yesterday, Friday, November 30. The award-winning actor and producer sat down to talk about his latest motion picture as well as his career. Khan discusses what Talaash is about, working with Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherji, whether he is a perfectionist, his take on the “3 Khans” phenomenon, and more.
ASIANCE: Do you gravitate towards movies about social messages?
Aamir: Not all of my films have social messages. You might have seen Delhi Belly, I don’t think there was any social message in that. Or Fanaa, or Ghajini, no social message. Those are emotional stories or love stories. It’s not true that I only do movies with social messages. I do films that excite me. I do films that touch my heart and move me. They may or may not have a social message. But that’s not why I am doing films. I’m doing a story because it touches me.
ASIANCE: What is Talaash about?
Aamir: It’s essentially a suspense drama. The reason why I chose Talaash and the reason that it attracted me was because not only is it a great suspense story where when I heard the script I couldn’t tell what was going to happen next, it’s also an exciting story and it held that suspense for me. But at its heart it’s a story about coming to terms with loss. It’s a very emotional story at its core. And each one of us has either lost somebody close to us or we are afraid of losing someone close to us. So losing somebody close to you is a reality for all of us. That’s how life is. So here is a film which apart from being a suspense drama is a film which helps you, perhaps, to come to terms with loss.
ASIANCE: How did you like working again with Kareena Kapoor and Rani Mukherji?
Aamir: It’s been great working with both of them. Both are very fine actors and both are very good human beings. I get along really well with both of them. It’s great fun to work with both of them. When you work with a good artist there is a certain chemistry that you share which makes a scene come alive. You have a certain give and take and that helps your own performance. I think that happens with Rani and Kareena and they’re both fantastic actresses and people will really enjoy seeing the two of them together in the film.
ASIANCE: The press always writes about the “3 Khans” and your interactions with each other. Why is it an important news story?
Aamir: I don’t get the importance. Is there a war between me and Shah Rukh right now? Not that I know of. So it’s of no consequence to me. I hope Yash-ji’s film gets every success it deserves and more. Yash-ji passing away is a big loss to all of us. I’m hoping this last film of his has a deep impact on everyone. And I wish all the best to Salman who has a film coming out at Christmas. So I’m hoping both films do well. I’m hoping Talaash does well also.
ASIANCE: Are you happy with your string of successes?
Aamir: Filmmaking is a tough job. I am fortunate that for the last so many years my films have been doing well and people have been liking the films. I’m very fortunate and grateful for that. I’m happy that the right projects have come my way. I got to work with some really talented writers and directors, as a result the films have turned out the way that they have. Filmmaking is a team effort and the director plays a very important part, the writer plays a very important part. But along with that there is the cameraman, the sound engineer, the music composer, lyric writer, other actors – so many people come together to make a film. So when a film does well, it’s a result of the team doing good work. So I’m fortunate to have worked with talented people.
ASIANCE: Are you a perfectionist?
Aamir: I don’t think I’m a perfectionist. I don’t think anyone can be. I do enjoy my work and therefore I work with a lot of love and care and I don’t leave any stone unturned from my side. I don’t think anything can be perfect, especially in the creative field. There’s no such thing as perfect. In the creative field it’s all about what the vision of the director is and what happens organically in that moment. In another moment, that same thing will happen differently. That’s the reality of creative work. So there is no such thing as perfection in creative work.
ASIANCE: Do you follow box office figures for your films and does that drive you?
Aamir: At the outset, I am not looking at figures. Figures I look at in retrospect, it helps me gauge how well a film of mine has been received. It’s one of the yardsticks that helps me. But that’s not the only yardstick and certainly it’s not something I keep in mind when I’m selecting a film. Had I kept the figure in mind, then I never would have made films like Lagaan. These films went on to become very successful, but at the outset there were not any logical reasons for them to do big business. So there’s Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Sarfarosh, Taare Zameen Par – all of these films I would have never done if I thought “oh, I have to do 100 crore.” All of these films take up a fair amount of my time, even if I’m not acting in them. So I’m the last person to look at figures at the outset.
And numbers don’t tell everything. Even if a film does huge business, you can ask people how did you like the film and seven out of ten may say “hmmmm, timepass.” You can take another film which has done one-fourth the business and eight out of ten say “what a fantastic film!” So numbers can be deceptive. What success means to me is that when we as a creative team sit down before it releases, do we feel we succeeded in making what we set out to make? How close have we come? Ideally, success is when you are happy with what you have made.