He started with a very simple movie 10 years back. One which would qualify to be a sleeper hit. It was called Socha Na Tha and starred a certain relative of someone with a 2.5 kg fist. He has released a movie around every 2 years since. Jab We Met (2007), Love Aaj Kal (2009), Rockstar (2011), Highway (2014) and now Tamasha (2015). He is one of my favourite writer directors in India today – Imtiaz Ali.
I have not found a single Imtiaz Ali movie that I didn’t love (except maybe Jab We Met – for reasons that have nothing to do with Imtiaz’s story telling capabilities). He may not be the best director in India today and that is visible with those small bits and pieces that he misses out on. But one cannot fault him for story-telling and without those commercial bits and pieces, his movies may not do well at the Box Office.
And one cannot fault Imtiaz with not attempting to make things differently. He sticks to what he believes in (one can only speculate and hope). With Tamasha he forays into a topic that is not going to do well with the Indian audiences because a simple reason – WE WILL NOT GET IT. Even if we do, we will do nothing about it because we are at the end of the day “adherence addicts” and love to be “MEDIOCRE”.
And everytime anyone comes along the way and asks us to look into ourselves, we either shoo them away or brush them off under the excuse of “philosophy”. Some, however, do manage to break through the cage that society has put around us and do something different. But many – more often than not – fall by the side.
Tamasha starts very well with Piyush Mishra (The storyteller) dovetailing the Ramayan into Trojan Horses and justifying it by saying, “Kahaani Kahaani hoti hai. Iska Mazaa lo” (A story is a story. Enjoy it). Set some 30 years back when our hero (Ranbir Kapoor) was a little boy, the beginning cements our protagonist’s love for stories and his ability to dream with his eyes wide open.
Cut to – Corsica, France – our hero is now probably in his mid-twenties and bumps into a damsel in distress (Deepika). He helps her out and a very interesting relationship develops over a 7 day period. A no strings and no sex attached friendship. Weird? Not really when you watch how Imtiaz has shot it. Loads of fun later, the friendship abruptly ends when the damsel in distress gets her passport.
But the damsel cannot get our hero out of her head and spends the next 4 years in misery before deciding to head out to a place where she can find our hero. She does find him but realizes that he isn’t a shadow of the person from Corsica. What now?
At its heart, Tamasha is a love story. The message of following your heart kept aside, Imtiaz puts on display an actor who has made the most of the gene pool that he comes from and an actress who is arguably the most gorgeous looking in the industry today. The Ranbir-Deepika chemistry is superb and lights up the screen more often than not.
Imtiaz’s narration is very different from what Indian audiences may have seen before. It is non-linear to begin with and shuttles between past, present and most importantly fantasy. The average movie goer may not be able to keep pace. The seasoned movie watcher will love it.
The use of the mirror to depict Ranbir’s alter-ego (for lack of any other word) gets a bit repetitive and some of the dialogue is really corny like, “What happens in Corsica”…. You know the rest. But there are some dialogues especially those delivered by Piyush Mishra and a monologue about a vicious poisonous snake called childhood which will leave a mark. Rahman’s music is as always, quirky and will grow on you.
I will cap off this review with credit to the cinematographer and editing team to have pulled off Imtiaz’s vision. Great work there. Stay back after the credits start rolling for a small mid credits scene. Do I think it is the best movie of the year? Top 5 for sure. Will people get it? Not so sure. But I will still give it 8 on 10. Watch it I say!!!
Watch the trailer on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN_qxutU_qc