In search of some good sense: Talaash

No spoiler alert, really. But shoo if you liked the movie.

So I watched Talaash. We all did. And it was spectacularly disappointing. But here’s something I realized while talking to someone. Not only was the movie a bad idea from the point of view of cinema, but also if one is to view it as a psychologist.

Think about it. The movie effectively rubbished the idea- and indeed the effectiveness- of medicines to handle mental illness (which is not always equal to retardation). Rani Mukherjee, who was depicted as a grieving mother refused to taker her meds, and instead found peace at a seance. Now I’m not an Aamir Khan fan, so I’ll just say that that’s pretty annoying for a man whose movies are supposed to teach us all a good happy lesson about life. Such as the thing about taking our medicines when a guy with an MD tells us to.

Through this simple act of her finding solace after communicating with her son’s spirit, the movie manages to ingrain into the psyche of the Indian viewers that your psychiatrist is a bumbling fool, medicines are useless and the real cure lies elsewhere. It de-recognises that Rani Mukherjee is suffering from a disease that needs to be cured, and nullifies all curative scientific methods! True, this is not a message that would strike everyone at the end of the movie- I mean its hardly the main focus, but somewhere, the idea does get embedded that medicines are useless.

The coup de resistance, ofcourse, is when Aamir Khan himself buys into the whole charade

A little bit of conversation and research on this topic revealed to me that Farhan and Zoya Akhtar- who produced and co-wrote the movie respectively- have an uncle (their father’s sibling, to be precise) called Salman Akhtar who happens to be a psychoanalyst! Oh, the irony of that and ah the awkwardness that ought to have ensued.

No, but seriously. I have expectations from these siblings (Farhan and Zoya, that is) and their best friend Reema Kagti. They’ve all given us some good, intelligent, real cinema. And while I am completely willing to accept that this may just be them foraying into a new genre, I still expect them to act responsibly. Psychological disorders and psychological trauma are not something that can be dealt with lightly. They are serious problems.

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