The most fulfilling human projects appeared inseparable from a degree of torment, the sources of our greatest joys lying awkwardly close to those of our greatest pains – Alain de Botton, distilling the thoughts of Friedrich Nietzsche in The Consolations of Philosophy
Tamasha, the latest movie from director Imtiaz Ali had conflicting reviews, and after watching the movie tonight I was compelled to write a review about why you should watch it too!
The story is about a man who has lost his inner purpose and identity. His inner artist is crushed by the hyper-competitive, colorless world. Ved, played brilliantly by Ranbir Kapoor is a Product Manager in the IT world who has submitted himself into leading an insipid robotic life on a journey to nowhere! He meets Tara, played by Deepika, and savors an anonymous fun-filled week vacationing as grown-up kids – happy, carefree and just being! They part and meet again after half a decade, but Ved goes back to being monochromatic – with no passion for life.
As they rediscover each other, Tara realizes Ved is not the same person she had met during the vacation and leaves him. Ved on the other hand is rattled by Tara’s close inspection of his inner fears, his hatred for the rat-race he’s failing at, and his unfulfilled desires as an artist. Tara implores him to rediscover himself as they part ways.
Why Tamasha is Unique
What Ved finds is what each one of us is waiting to discover – we’re all unique and special in our own ways. We all are born with talents no one else can replicate. That’s our soul’s offering to the world. However, most of us either forget to listen to our soul, or poor circumstances prevent us from paying attention to our calling.
The elegance of the movie lies in that Ved and Tara walk their individual paths to self-discovery. Ved is a conformist when he meets Tara, but is forced to break free from his mind’s shackles only once she leaves him. Until then he had been mechanically doing all prescribed things to please her, to please his parents, and to please the world. He needed to feel the greatest pain of abandonment to realize his greatest joy. It wasn’t a woman who could complete his soul’s void, it was his discovery of who he really was within that truly fulfilled his being.
Deepika is Relentless
For all Deepika fans, this movie is nothing but a treat. Not only is Deepika easy on the eyes, she has grown tremendously as an actress. Since Cocktail, she really hasn’t looked back and she has delivered another brilliant performance with Tamasha.
Imtiaz’s Movies Reflect his Soul
Tamasha is not unlike Imtiaz’s other movies – Rockstar, Highway, and Jab We Met. Imtiaz bares his soul; he explores his journey as a creative artist and justifies his commitment to his art via his story telling. He uses the motion picture, lyrics, background score and strong characters to compel audiences to search their souls, to discover elements of their struggle, and to transform challenges into a prescription for a more fulfilled life.
Having said that, all of his movies also seem to follow a somewhat predictable pattern. A sorrowful childhood experience that leads to an unfulfilled adulthood, and the meeting of the hero and heroine leading to a big “ah-ha” self-discovery moment. I am hopeful Imtiaz will break the foreseeable mold in his next soulful movie.
The movie is faintly inspired by Anurag Kashyap’s work – the UP / Bihar inspiration, the background score and the sidekick characters are oddly familiar like the ones seen in Dev D and Gangs of Wasseypur.
Lastly, I also appreciate the covert feminist voice Imtiaz brings to his movies. His heroines have a mind of their own, they break the traditional Indian value system to carve their own destiny despite the hero’s journey. As an ardent Imtiaz fan, I’d like for Imtiaz to sketch bolder female characters as they exist in the world today – heroines who don’t have to be rescued by the hero at any juncture, heroines who know what they want and pursue it consistently.
All in all, Tamasha is a good movie. It needs time and patience from the audience as it reveals itself during the first-half. Hang in there and tell us what you think!