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Thursday, September 21, 2023

Tamasha- Movie Review: A thought-provoking ‘spectacle’ of human emotions

Every love story is the same. Whether it’s the love story of Heer-Ranjha or Romeo-Juliet, the journey of the characters are the similar. So coming to TAMASHA’s slogan, ‘Why always the same story?’ From the promos and trailer, the film seems to be a lukewarm, run of the mill love story which we have watched numerous times in Hindi cinema. But is this really  the case? The answer, can be found in my movie review of Imtiaz Ali’s latest release, TAMASHA.

Director: Imtiaz Ali

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Javed Sheikh, Sushma Seth, Piyush Mishra and Vivek Mushran

Synopsis: From young age, Ved Sahni (Ranbir Kapoor) has had an obsession for hearing and telling stories. In his childhood, he would collect money and listen to a range of tales from an old story-teller (Piyush Mishra). However, he tells him that every story is the same. A few years later, he meets Tara (Deepika Padukone) in Corsica, France. To make their story unique, they decide to conceal their real identities, their real names and promise to never meet again. However four years later, they do. Now, Ved and Tara must determine the direction of their love story.

What’s good?

  1. The story +direction

As I mentioned before, one initially gets the impression that TAMASHA would be a quintessential romantic movie along the likes of Imtiaz’s previous venture, LOVE AAJ KAL (2009) or even Ranbir-Deepika’s YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI (2013). Surprisingly, this is not the case. TAMASHA is simply a tale of how us, as human beings should, follow our heart.  Kudos to Imtiaz who conveys a message about how humans need to find themselves, who we really are. The beauty of this is the way this message was portrayed through not only the central characters, but also symbolised through the clown and robot, which are prominent throughout the film. For instance, the clown represents the dramatic, fun side of Ved. Whereas the robot represents his mundane, professional life. The way the battle between these two characters are portrayed was very interesting, and indeed cinematic. But the overall beauty of Imtiaz’s movies is the fact he includes the plot of a tormented soul on a journey to find love. In this film, it is Ranbir (the male protagonist) and we join his pursuit to find love.

Cast: ‘What happens in Corsica, stays in Cosrica’: Ranbir and Deepika

Also, the way the film is narrated is definitely like a ‘tamasha’ (spectacle). It is divided in four parts (like acts in a play). This essays how Ved’s life is just like a stage performance, almost resembling a pantomime.

THESE examples, are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more wow-factors!

2. The performances

First and foremost, Ranbir Kapoor needs to take a bow. They have delivered outstanding performances once again. Ranbir portrays a story-obsessed guy who wants to be a performer but is forced to pursue a career in business.

Deepika Padukone portrays her role as Tara very well. Although we see more of Ranbir, her performance as the understanding and caring female protagonists touches the hearts of the audience. Whether its the emotional scenes or light-hearted ones, Deepika shines through the screen.

*A SPECIAL MENTION* of a scene where Ranbir and Deepika are in a bar and while both of their heads are on the table, Ranbir turns his head away and sobs. But Deepika gently strokes his hair, almost like a mother to a weeping child. That scene is heart-touching! The leading actors’ chemistry is so strong, that it almost brings a tear to your eye.

Piyush Mishra as the old story-teller is just as impactful. The actor is full of talents. One moment which stuck with me was when  he called Ranbir  a ‘coward’ for asking the ending of his story. He’s an actor par excellence.

Javed Sheikh as Ved’s father was superb. He plays the role of a father guiding his son to be practical in life which was unique to see. Often in Hindi movies, we see the hero’s father as stern and principle-minded. It was nice to see a realistic angle on that.

The rest of the supporting cast also did a great job!

3. The music

Song, ‘Agar tum saath ho’.

Post ROCKSTAR (2011) and HIGHWAY (2014), AR Rahman delivers another chartbuster album. The tracks Matargashti, Heer toh badi sad hai  and Agar tum saath ho have already become popular tracks. But what is even more awesome is the background music. The dramatic tunes in the background gave goosebumps. Plus, the picturisation of each song is done with finesse and irony, its unbelievable! For instance, the song Heer toh badi sad hai, show local singers from Punjab singing. Parallel to this, we see a love-sick Deepika. As soon as she finds Ranbir, the singers begin to dance and the music reaches its crescendo, to depict the joy in finding her love. Also, look out for the song Wat wat wat the picturisation of that song is equally brilliant.

What’s bad?

4. Give it time!

I, personally did not find anything wrong with the film. Nevertheless, if you are expecting a YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI style movie, it isn’t. The characters in this movie are more complex and requires patience to understand. Having said that, when one fully understands the frustration of Ved, the audience is able to empathise and relate to the character.

On the whole, TAMASHA is a love story with a fresh/realistic angle. The sincere performances, popular music and thought-provoking messages are sufficient for a 151 minutes movie. Although, TAMASHA does not have a commercial appeal which may deter some from watching, one must applaud Imtiaz Ali for endeavouring to present an ordinary love story, in an extraordinary way. Strongly recommended!


4-stars (4/5 stars)


Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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