QUITE ON THE MARK, ‘TAISH’ IS STYLISHLY CAPTIVATING

Rating: 3.5/5
Director Bejoy Nambiar gives a layered story, coming out both as a film and a series, that explores about the darker side in friendship

Taish is fairly a complete package. A multi star film. An ensemble cast. All given equal weightage. Scores remarkably high on technical grounds. Twisted content. Good performances. Even with some inherent flaws, this one grips you tight. For the lovers of crime genre, this one definitely comes as a refresher.

Watch the trailer here:

PLOT

The lives of best friends Sunny (Pulkit Samrat) and Rohan (Jim Sarbh), who have reunited for Rohan’s brother Krish’s (Ankur Rathee) wedding, change forever when a past incident of Rohan comes out in open. Courtesy Kuljinder (Abhimanyu Singh) involving his brother Pali (Harshvardhan Rane). This sets off a chain of violent incidents.

STORY/SCREENPLAY/GENERAL

The story is by Nambiar and the screenplay is penned by him along with Anjali Nair, Kartik Iyer and Nicola Louise Taylor. The dialogues are written by Nambiar and Gunjit Chopra. First things first, it’s a story that hooks you. There are two families which are described parallelly in the film. One of them is a breezy casual happy one while the other already dark with their inner differences to sort out. This one involving Abhimanyu Singh and Harshavardhan Rane is a little complex, by way of how it is written. Add to it, some smart back and forth sequences early on in the drama, to set the intrigue factor right.

The first half is what the film is majorly about. The character of the film lies here. So many characters, all having some say in the plot. Kudos to writers for giving them adequate space in the plot to describe how they have been functioning. This requires pace in the drama, which the film never lets go of. Also, it doesn’t rush. Every character gets enough time and space to get rooted in the plot, a very difficult thing to achieve on paper. The writers do it right.

The trouble ensues slowly. The parallel editing between the scenes, even in the same sequences (the dining table scene in the family wedding occasion for that matter) helps you to take in much more than what’s on the plate. The conflicts keep rising steadily and by the time you reach the half time, the film has actually reached its highest point. Classic written structure.

Taish, zee5, film, review, hindi, 2020
Director Bejoy Nambiar on the sets (image source: movietalkies.com)

The problem in the narrative starts right after the first half ends. The pace dips. The momentum drops and the film takes a route which it shouldn’t have. You expect things to begin on a high note after the first half and but it seems to begin from the ground level. This comes across as a disappointment and you feel a little off from the narrative. You also wonder if the two halves are written by same people. A little into the second half, the writers have managed to pique your interest again. But by the very nature of the plot, it can’t be sustained for long enough.

This half is the weakling. The film suffers because of this one. Many random things happen here. This half in itself is a 50-50 affair where you like certain things and you despise some of them. Something good happens and you are eagerly watching it. But then something totally mundane comes across and you feel alienated.

What is important to understand here though is that there is room for emotions of various kinds. Family, friendship, romance, genuine love, crime, hatred, morality, right and wrong- have all found place in the fabric of the plot very effortlessly. Finding brilliance amid all this is anyway very difficult, but Nambiar being the distinctive maker he is, manages to capture the essence well.

PERFORMANCE

Pulkit Samrat, Jim Sarbh, and Harshvardhan Rane have the meatiest roles. They have performed brilliantly. Jim Sarbh is at his best, undoubtedly. He is just so good that you wish he was present in every scene of the film. You watch him and fall in love with his mannerisms. He is funny, mature, sensible, outspoken and morally upright. Using his face to his maximum advantage, he has made sure you appreciate him.

While Pulkit is the best so far among his filmography, Harshvardhan too proves he deserved more work after his powerful debut stint. Both of them shine nicely in their respective brutal as well as compassionate avatars.

Taish, zee5, review, hindi, film, 2020
Pulkit Samrat, Kriti Kharbanda and Harshvardhan Rane on sets (image source: bollywoodhungama.com)

Abhimanyu Singh has a relatively smaller role. But he does great within the boundaries of the character. Ankur Rathee too makes sure you notice him as an actor. He also does impressively fine. Saurabh Sachdeva has his moments as Sukhi. He comes across as a wicked devil owning the scenes he is in. Great act.

The film primarily belongs to the men. But the women can’t be sidelined. Kriti Kharbanda not only has been given considerable screen space but also a say in the plot. She’s present all through the narrative, and makes her presence count. She does a great job. Sanjeeda Sheikh doesn’t have significance as far as characterisation is concerned, but she also does fine. She is right on the job. Saloni Batra is fantastic, in the limitations of her character that’s not very easy to play. She has of course proved her genius before in Soni. Zoa Morani has  a small role, but she also leaves her mark.

OTHER TECHNICALITIES

The songs are many, mostly played in the background. If you observe keenly, they do wonders for the narrative. Woven intricately into the scenes, they glorify the scenes. There are portions where a light song or ghazal is just present in a track behind. Such soothing it looks. Likewise the background score by Gaurav Gookhindi and Govind Vasantha is also very intelligently created. Moving completely in line with the situations, it accentuates the feel of the film. Great job also on sound design of the film..

Cinematography by Harshvir Oberai is also one noteworthy aspect here. This film can be watched on mute only to admire the exquisite camerawork. The lighting as per the moods, and the varied colour palettes give the film a definitive visual richness, something that makes you feel so good about the world you are seeing. Production design by Mandar Nagaonkar is also marvellous making the sets not only vibrant but also symbolic. The usage of different colours to highlight specific moods- red, yellow, the warm and cool colours, purple- are all done thoughtfully.

Editing by Priyank Prem Kumar is very good. Irrespective of how the film is written in the second half, Priyank has done the job well. The placement of fillers and songs is also very interesting. Also plus points to how he has handled the first half, making the drama appealing by use of intercuts between the scenes and sequences.

All in all, a good watch. It would have been so much better had the first half of the second half written better. Ofcourse the film has so much to adore and consume without getting to a hotchpotch, that you can only praise Nambiar for serving the piece with the sensibility that it deserves.

Rochak Saxena

Rochak Saxena a Mass Media Teacher, former journalist at DNA and an ardent lover of Hindi films - literally. The blog derives its name from the popular term ‘Willing Suspension of Disbelief’, most commonly used in the world of literature and cinema. Meaning to immerse yourself in an unreal world (where you know what you see on screen is fake) with a self-proclaimed/declared belief/wish to consider it real, the willing world becomes magical. It’s the same magic every Friday that drives Rochak to share things in the perspective that it needs to be observed with. Every film is different. And the difference needs to be cherished.

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