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Aamir: Talaash is more realistic and sensitive than Singham

Last updated on: December 5, 2012 19:11 IST

Aamir: Talaash is more realistic and sensitive than Singham

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Ankur Pathak in Mumbai

Has Aamir Khan's highly anticipated Talaash failed to elicit the sort of response his films generally do?

The actor doesn't believe so.

Aamir, who plays a cop investigating a car crash as he deals with his inner demons in the film, is positive about box office collections and firmly believes in the repeat value of the film -- the main reason for the phenomenal success of his last major release, 3 Idiots.

Aamir tells Ankur Pathak that Talaash is exactly what he intended the film to be.

Has the response to Talaash matched your expectations?

I am very happy with the way the film has been received by people. It has matched my expectations.

Our weekend collections has been very good. I was delighted to note that the collections on Monday were also very good.

The kind of emotions I was going through while making the film, I think the audience went through the same while watching it and this has made me very happy.


Image: Aamir Khan
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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'Talaash is not a thriller'

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What separates Talaash from other Bollywood films? Would you call it mainstream at all?

Talaash is more realistic and sensitive than a masala film like Singham or Khiladi 786.

Our film showcases strong inner battles within characters and deals with their demons.

Our film cannot be compared to mainstream films. Those films are out-and-out masala movies, which have been successful in the past and will continue to do big business.

The promotional strategy of the film has been criticised. People have felt that an emotional drama was misleadingly marketed as a racy thriller.

I have repeatedly said in my earlier interviews that it is not a thriller.

A thriller, by definition, has a quick pace, which Talaash doesn't. It has a very slow, intriguing flow, which is what is needed in a suspense drama. So, it is not that we promised something and delivered something else.

Every film has a different requirement and we accordingly tailor the promotion strategy. In my films, we try to prepare and excite the audience depending on the genre of the film.

The marketing team came up with a genius plan and you can see that with the kind of opening that the film has received.

And do keep in mind that this Friday wasn't Diwali or Christmas or a post-IPL season weekend. It was any other Friday and the massive opening is all credit to the marketing team of Talaash who came up with a strategy that I totally approved of.


Image: Aamir Khan
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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'Even people who knew the climax enjoyed it'

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The film may eventually lose out on revenue due to lack of repeat value. As a marketing strategist yourself, didn't you see that coming?

I believe it has repeat value. Collections only give you a part of the picture. I am looking at collections coupled with audiences' response. That is what tells you the real story, and so far it is going great.

Some people just don't like a supernatural film and I understand that. Luckily, 90 percent of the audience liked Talaash and I am absolutely satisfied with that.

Many people from the audience didn't reveal the climax which is what we requested. But Talaash is such a film, that even the people who knew the climax went to watch it and enjoyed it.

There are reports of people going for the film for the second time, which is outstanding. This has shown that a well-made suspense drama can have repeat value as opposed to the stereotype suspense films.


Image: Aamir Khan
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
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'Talaash was not a universal film'

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After doing a blockbuster like 3 Idiots, why Talaash? Did you initially believe Talaash had a universal theme?

No. We knew that Talaash was not a universal film. It is quite niche and we were aware that it would not connect with everybody from every age group.

Talaash is not a very accessible film. Still, it has done massive business. But I do agree that not everyone likes it; audiences have been polarised.

I have attempted a supernatural film here and I was aware that not everybody will buy the story. Those who have, loved it and have come to see it again. For those who haven't, the subject matter is probably not for them.

Dhoom 3, my next film, is a highly mainstream film which kids as well as elders will enjoy. It has a very universal appeal which Talaash lacked.

Critics and audiences have compared the film to The Sixth Sense.

It is similar. See, I couldn't tell you it was a supernatural film, right?

Did you want me to? Wouldn't that make it too easy for you to guess? Even The Sixth Sense didn't tell you it was supernatural. You discovered that it was.

We wanted the same reaction for Talaash. I cannot place all my cards in front of you before the film releases. 


Image: Aamir Khan
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
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'I'd like to give most of the credit for the film's success to Reema Kagti'

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Who would you like to credit the most for the success of Talaash?

I'd like to give most of the credit for the film's success to Reema Kagti, the director. She has written an outstanding script and has managed to convey it successfully from paper to screen.

Besides her, every department, right from sound design to the camera person, deserves equal credit for the film's success.

The entire team deserves a grand success party and I'll speak to Ritesh (Sidhwani of Excel Entertainment) to arrange one very soon.

Does this mean that you will do more suspense dramas in future?

There is no scope or plan for any kind of sequel. But as a genre, I love suspense. I am a great reader of Agatha Christie novels.

Nothing excites me as much as reading a classic suspense novel or watching a suspense film. It keeps you on the edge and your mind is constantly engaged.


Image: Aamir Khan
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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'I don't believe in spirits'

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Is the film actually inspired by a real-life incident that happened with co-writer Zoya Akhtar?

Yes, the story was indeed inspired from a real-life incident.

Zoya became hysterical and was paranoid when a few months later, a prominent actress lodged a police complaint describing the exact incident. I have full faith in Zoya and am positive that she wouldn't fudge a story like this ever.

These are inexplicable occurrences in people's lives. I don't believe in spirits, but Zoya's incident was the basis on which the story of Talaash was developed. But, then, I don't believe in Superman but I enjoy Superman movies.

Have you personally experienced any kind of paranormal activity?

No. I haven't faced any but such things have happened with other close friends who I have absolute faith in. My sister is a firm believer too.


Image: Aamir Khan and Rani Mukerji in Talaash


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'It is not necessary that the film is liked by every critic out there'

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Have you followed the critics' response to the film?

Reviews have been largely positive. We have got a star-rating of 3.5 to 4.5 which is considered very good.

There have been a few which have been negative but then even a Taare Zameen Par and a 3 Idiots received negative reviews.

It is not necessary that the film is liked by every critic out there. And this is exactly why filmmaking is so much fun. Everyone has a different interpretation and a new way of looking at it.

As an actor whose films are eagerly awaited, what have you learnt the most from your Talaash experience?

What I like the most about Talaash is that its success instils faith in creative people who feel empowered to try new, experimental cinema without any fear.


Image: A scene from Talaash
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar

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'I'm not chasing figures, only excellent scripts'

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Does Aamir Khan have any regrets in life?

Everybody has regrets. But life needs to be lived and the best you can do is learn from your mistakes and move on.

What do your wife and kids think about the film?

My family really loved the film. A lot of people have got the film exactly the way we intended to. That's enough.

In a nutshell, what is Aamir Khan's criterion for picking films?

Like Rancho (his character from 3 Idiots) said, don't run after success, chase excellence. That's the funda of my life.

I cannot anticipate if my films will be a part of some Rs 100-200 crore club. I have done risky films, be it Rang De Basanti or Taare Zameen Par.

I'm not chasing figures, only excellent scripts. How much they are worth, you can tell by Talaash's box-office receipts.


Image: The Talaash poster

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