This was one movie I was very very keen on watching, which is something that cannot be said often for Hindi films. Imtiaz Ali is a rather talented man. He is a good director-writer (Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, Rockstar, Highway) and was a revelation as an actor in Anurag Kashyap’s Black Friday as Yakub Memon. Ranbir Kapoor has not had the best year, given that both Roy and Bombay Velvet failed. But he was awesome as Johnny Balraj. It takes guts to agree to a role like that and had the film released before Roy, it would’ve garnered a lot more credit for its protagonist. He has been amazing in so many films: Wake Up Sid, Rocket Singh, Rockstar, Barfi, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani. Why wouldn’t you wait for a film of his? Deepika Padukone is fabulous. She was brilliant in Piku. And she has been great in Cocktail, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani too. And their chemistry is crackling (a little too crackling for the CBFC).
So, let’s get to the point. Tamasha is a simple enough story if you have a loaf (Not of bread, you fool!). Two people meet in Corsica, France by chance. They mutually agree to lie about themselves to each other, hence sparing themselves the needless act of behaving properly in a foreign land. Four years later, they meet again. This time, they choose to actually introduce themselves. It leads to what, atleast for me, was a rather enjoyable experience. Ved/Don (Ranbir Kapoor) loves to hear and tell stories and one thing he grasps from all of it is in this one line that he utters: Wahi kahaani phir ek baar, Majnu ne liye kapde phaad, Paar tamaasha beech baazaar!
1. DIRECTION: Imtiaz Ali always has a fresh take on a story that we all seem to think is the same. That is the man’s way of telling you that each story is the same, only the treatment and interpretation of it is different. He directs with some amazing flair and transforms into a complete storyteller even with this one. He is, undoubtedly, one of the finest directors in Bollywood.
2. MUSIC: Irshad Kamil has written thought-provoking songs which enhance the plot of the film since they too have a story to tell. Music to the words by AR Rahman is pleasant to listen. Matargashti, Safarnama, Chali Kahani and Tum Saath Ho are my personal favourites from a thoroughly enjoyable album.
3. STORY: The story of Tamasha is highly unusual. It isn’t something that you hear or think of at any point of time. But finally, Imtiaz Ali returned to the happy ending of the story. While I personally didn’t feel bad for Janardhan/Jordan after Heer’s passing in Rockstar, Highway was different. The journey of it added to how bad one felt for Veera after Mahabir dies. A refreshing story with a twist of events that one expected but was still eager to watch.
4. SCREENPLAY: The screenplay is not too long, nor is it too short. While the exploration of places isn’t quite possible, it is interesting to watch things unfold in Corsica.
5. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Ravi Varman has done a brilliant job with the camera. The colours give a really nice feel to it. Matargashti was really well shot. The landscape of Corsica was captured in a magnificent manner, as was Simla.
6. EDITING: Aarti Bajaj has edited some really interesting films: Paanch, Black Friday, Paan Singh Tomar. Her editing ensures that the film doesn’t get too dull and moves briskly enough to keep the audience engaged.
7. DIALOGUE: The dialogues are very well written and are completely in sync with the moods within the film. Utterly hilarious in many sequences and rude in the ones that have words bleeped out (Sanskaari CBFC).
8. PERFORMANCES: Yash Sehgal as the younger Ved is really good. And his performance is boosted by the fact that he looks like Ranbir Kapoor. Piyush Mishra as the old storyteller makes the character come to life. Javed Sheikh provides praise-worthy support as Ved’s father. Deepika Padukone continues her rollicking run of performances with Tara/Mona Darling. She is especially good in the scene with the restaurant manager in Corsica. She makes you enjoy and love her character. Ranbir Kapoor delivers after his class act in Bombay Velvet. He has two shades in the film: the story-teller and the employee. In the former, he puts up a display of the fun and imaginative side of his character. In the latter, he manages to make the audience laugh at his sucking-up. He brings about a certain madness and rage to the character whenever the script needs it. All in all, one of his most powerful performances.
If you’re interested in a different story, try Tamasha. And also if you don’t mind non-linear screenplay and songs which play mostly in the background but add a fascinating touch to the cinematography and story.
My rating for Tamasha-8.5/10