DNA of Bollywood hit: Controversy, King Khan (Aamir, not Salman), brave director

‘Talaash’'s Reema Kagti gives Emirates 24|7 the director's cut

Much before the week-long promotion kicked in, ‘Talaash’ has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.

From claims of ‘Talaash’ lead Aamir Khan being the second choice, to his high-handedness on the film set, there have been numerous controversies that plagued this suspense drama.

With just a day left for its theatrical release in Dubai, ‘Talaash’ director Reema Kagti spoke exclusively to Emirates24|7 and clears the air about the top five stories about her film. 

The first, and most popular, was the one that suggested that Aamir was not the first choice for ‘Talaash’, and that it was Shah Rukh Khan.  “Not true,” responded Reema.

“I mean, it’s a bit media generated. We (Zoya Akhtar and her) always wrote the script with Aamir in mind. And, when we finished the script, Ritesh (Sidwani, the producer) had approached him and at that point he was busy and he had said he wasn’t going to hear any narrations for two years.

“Faced with that we did approach some others but nothing really came of it. And, when the two years were up, Ritesh approached Aamir again and he was listening to scripts at this point. We narrated the script. And, he was on board.”
Then, there were talks about how she and Aamir fought a lot on the set over creative differences.

“Not true, again. I think we got along really well actually,” she said.
In fact, many reports even claimed that the delayed release of the film had a lot to do with Aamir’s insistence for a second edit, as he was unhappy with the first.

The most highlighted reason, however, was his reluctance to allot time for ‘Talaash’ as he was focusing more on his telly talk show ‘Satyamev Jayate’.
“Not true. I mean there were a number of reasons. I don’t think it was fair to say that we got delayed because of one reason.”

Like any movie, even ‘Talaash’ had its fair share of hiccups. Apart from the shoot taking longer than Reema had anticipated, she also had to take time off as she suffered a personal loss.

“Even during the filming, there were two underwater sequences that needed attention. I got the first one but the second I wasn’t able to shoot in a way that I was happy, so I decided not to.

“And, we had to plan a shoot in London, which we hadn’t originally. It came at the fag end of the project. At that time the producers (Ritesh, Farhan Akhtar and Aamir) knew that they’d be compromising on the release date, but they supported me and allowed me to do it the way we needed to.”
There was also a fire on the set of ‘Satyamev Jayate’ that delayed it further. “But Aamir was a vital part of the film, and when we needed to adjust to certain things, we had to.”

‘Talaash’ also stepped into the spotlight over reports claiming it was similar to Vidya Balan-starrer ‘Kahaani’.

“Not at all,” clarified Reema. “I’d say the only thing similar is the genre. ‘Kahaani’ was also a suspense film. But in terms of content there’s absolutely no overlap.”

And, finally there were theories suggesting that Reema’s movie was actually based on the famous Aarushi murder case, where a young Indian girl was found dead in her bedroom, while her parents allegedly slept in the next room.

“I mean there have been all kinds of stories going around. You ignore it on a level, because it is OK. It obviously means people are showing interest in the film.”

However, Reema was unhappy with the parallels drawn towards the real murder mystery. “I mean, it’s an extremely unfortunate thing that has happened to a child, and I felt that I should come out and clarify because I didn’t want any kind of misguided notion.”


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