Thinking about the basic theme of the film, a highly thoughtful and complex one that can ideally be dealt or expressed with a more convincing ease in a book than a motion picture, I have loads to write about it sharing my personal insane experiences of more than three decades. But since many friends must be willing to read the film’s review first instead of ‘my mad rants’, I would love to give you the same keeping the ‘personal’ sharing stuff’ for a separate write-up dedicated to the film itself.
Before its release this Friday, one could easily see the ‘not so happening buzz’ around the mega venture as its promos as well as the music was not able to create any major hype due to all ‘seen before’ presentation and ‘a similar’ feel. Still many viewers did have some kind of undying faith in their heart, expecting the unexpected from its thoughtful director Imtiaz Ali, the thinking man behind gems such as JAB WE MET, ROCKSTAR and HIGHWAY. So there was a half-hearted wait and some faint hopes as the film began in its first show and I was quite taken back with its abstract opening sequences, clearly not able to make any connection with the viewers making them feel the uneasiness right away.
In other words, the initial 15 minutes of the film (before the foreign locales take over) are too weird to handle (at first), shattering all the big expectations raised from the talented team. And later as the two lead characters meet and spend their ‘individual good time’ in the breathtaking locations of Corsica, it generates the feeling of ‘deja-vu’ reminding you of many similar films of the past and few foreign references too offering nothing new as content unfortunately. In fact it’s a kind of silent confusion, desperately waiting for something unique to happen on screen that starts teasing the viewers by the end of its first 50 minutes (as I strongly felt), and the film solely gets saved by the adorable chemistry between Ranbir and Deepika alone and nothing beyond in this specific time period putting it bluntly.
However the explosion happens just before the intermission and then the director we know of gets back in form, sitting on the driving seat, playing some highly appreciable mind-games with his viewers we seldom get to seen in our Hindi cinema. In exact terms, TAMASHA is one of those rarest of rare films wherein we have the second half excelling and impressing the viewers many times better than the first in an amazing manner. And it’s these final 80 minutes of the film only that force you to re-connect with those initial abstract moments and admit that it was completely wrong to conceive TAMASHA as the same run of the mill stuff made by the visionary director, since the thinking man did have something extraordinary in mind to present in his latest project.
Having said that, yes the film doesn’t rise up to the level of his previous ventures with the major culprit remaining the lackluster first half and the less melodious music in comparison to the earlier hit soundtracks coming from the same team. But then, TAMASHA grows on you as it progresses or rather ends having a brilliant division of sections with their own indicative titles and interesting references of books such as Asterix & Catch 22. The visualization of its characters giving them different looks with the changes in time periods supports its basic subject superbly. And the songs turn out to be more enjoyable or meaningful after watching the film (with deep, thought provoking lyrics) that ironically has been a lucky case with many of A. R. Rahman’s famous scores in the past too like HIGHWAY or RANG DE BASANTI. Love for Punjabi music and its culture is yet again there in Imitiaz’s sixth film. Plus the well written quotable dialogues, background score as well as cinematography plays a major role in the overall impact of the theme (as always) with some mind blowing camera angles tried even in the crucial emotional scenes working wonderfully.
In the acting department, the remarkable performances from two of the most talented actors of the present times blow you off completely with Ranbir delivering a career-best act making a magnificent comeback post his recent over-famous duds. And the boy proudly proves his ‘acting genes’ representing the two greatest actors of Hindi Cinema, Prithiviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor with a big, loud roar unarguably. Deepika on the other hand provides an effortless praiseworthy support to Ranbir with all her heartfelt love and affection, in spite of getting much lesser space on screen contributing sportingly. As a matter of fact, what I personally felt while watching the film was that these two actors are now way beyond the vision or capabilities of most of our present filmmakers to be honest and Imtiaz Ali has taken a quantum leap getting far ahead of any of the current Hindi ‘mainstream’ directors without any slightest of doubt (in terms of his extremely difficult choice of concepts). Moreover, where the supporting cast performs just fine, it’s the noticeable casting of the child artist and the comic performance of Vivek Mushran as Ranbir’s boss that does bring back the nostalgia of those good old days of “ILU ILU” in Vivek’s debut film SAUDAGAR (1991) directed by Subhash Ghai.
Anyhow, the bitter truth remains that despite all the above mentioned remarkable merits of this delightful film, TAMASHA might not find many takers in the existing commercial world, since it forces you to stop for a while and think, that obviously many would not be interested in, being busy in the so called bigger races of acquiring more money & wealth unconsciously. Also this is not a film for the viewers who are just expecting another enjoyable, entertaining, rom-com drama expressing the same clichéd emotions to be cherished with some upbeat music and dance, talking and giggling in the dark having a good time.
Therefore many might not like it…………. as many might not be willing to re-think about their decisions taken, unnecessarily adding to their existing personal problems creating more doubts………..!
But here one thing I can assure that every single person who would be able to reach and grasp its sincere ‘life changing’ message of ‘Finding the REAL YOU’, he or she is sure going to be benefitted by this precious realization sooner or later in life, making it more beautiful and worth living in the remaining years.
For friends who didn’t like it or found it boring.
Personally addressing the readers not really impressed by the film as anything worth watching or learning. It’s perfectly fine, since we do have our own personal choices in cinema and the entertainment expected as per our individual understanding of the medium. But keeping that apart, if possible, just DO NOT MISS the valuable message conveyed by the talented team, powerful enough to help as well as transform many young confused minds in the most positive manner resulting in a better, satisfying and joyful life ahead.
Hence from my side, I would like to try explaining the core message of TAMASHA in my own words that might help you to look at the film in the right (desired) perspective.
- Many a times in life, we all seriously wish to move out of the city all alone to some place for a few days, where nobody knows us at all, with no family, friend, or anyone to talk with………breaking the set pattern! Just ‘the me’ all alone without any image to be safeguarded or maintained………, the actual ‘me’ whom we rarely get to meet in the routine chaos of life doing loads of stuff unconsciously just to keep it going.
TAMASHA tries to make you remember that ‘REAL YOU’ who nobody else can ever meet but you alone!!!
- Quite often we excitingly plan a ‘Freak-out holiday’ in a new city/country with only 1 or 2 close friends and just wish to forget everything left behind for those 3-4 days. The actual desire is to live this holiday as a completely new person different from what we have been in all the past years. And it’s in these few days only………. that we get to meet or discover an entirely different person or an innocent child hiding in our own persona since ages, not visible to us either due to ignorance or unwillingness to accept it boldly.
TAMASHA tries to make you meet this ‘Original Unknown child or person’ silently residing in us……. who might be dying soon too….. if we do not make any conscious efforts to bring him out in time!!!
- Making it simpler, just try to recall what happens to you when you attend an enjoyable wedding with great ambience, music, wine and dance. Suddenly you find yourself dancing on the beats so freely without caring about any steps or so, forgetting all the ‘reputed’ relatives around….. moving on the floor, even jumping or rolling on it (which you might have seen in the madness created by ‘The Nagin Tune’ or ‘Aye Meri Zohra Zabin’ track played at almost all the ‘Sangeet’ ceremonies in Indian Weddings.)
Now who is that dancing man or woman who unconsciously comes out of your body behaving in a completely odd manner in such enjoyable occasions?
Who is that new person resurfacing all of a sudden in these great musical moments?
Isn’t it the ‘real you’, you might have been avoiding in the years spent by now?
TAMASHA tries to help you discover that ‘Real Man or Woman’ in its own way with a thought provoking, exceptional second half forcing you think……think hard about your own self.
- It sometimes (luckily) happens in life that while we are busy doing the same things each & every day following a blind routine, a new friend comes all of a sudden and makes us realize what mistakes we have been doing or the ‘bigger joys’ we have been missing willfully due to our own ‘fears of change’ and ‘the risks involved’……….. triggering a hidden button in ourselves we had forgotten of.
TAMASHA tries to become that ‘enlightening friend’ of yours triggering that unknown change…… just like the character of Deepika helping Ranbir looking into his unintentionally adapted false personality and coming out of it.
On the other hand, revealing the darker side of the coin (not tackled or disclosed in TAMASHA being a love story), where such blessed ‘self-realization’ makes you meet the innocent child within, it should also make you witness the devil within too, resulting in a much mature & balanced growth as it ought to be.
- And explaining the same with a bold as well as an ‘at your face’ approach (from a male perspective), just visualise what happens to a man when he gets to a place like ‘Bangkok’ known for its ‘legal sex-trade’ with his group of like-minded friends to do the obvious things.
What happens to most of the men there suddenly rediscovering the ‘sexually starved devils’ in themselves witnessing the ‘freeness’ around?
Wasn’t that devil always residing in them before, who shockingly gets operational considering the ‘legal availability’ in the city?
TAMASHA invisibly tries to help you find that DEVIL in you too along with an innocent child.
- Considering this ugly side of the coin with reference to our daily life, just assume you are driving your new car and a poor rickshaw hits you at the back or the front putting some major scratches or dents damaging your proud asset. What happens at that moment when we jump out of the car loudly abusing the poor rickshaw-puller, even ready to hit him?
Who is this person in us willing to abuse and hit the other all of a sudden, forgetting the numerous ‘good-natured life teaching posts’ regularly shared and forwarded at the social networks?
Certainly we don’t know this hateful man residing in our own bodies since long. We surely are not aware of him at all!
TAMASHA unintentionally makes you meet this HATEFUL DEVIL in you too along with an innocent child.
In few words, we all have layers and layers of personalities in our psyche hiding multiple mental disorders that occasionally show their faces at various events. And it’s an extremely difficult task to reach the ‘Real You’ discarding all these layers piled chaotically adding to the complexities of life. The process can also result in sheer madness that is right there in TAMASHA in its every single frame since the absurd beginning. And probably that’s the reason its not going to amuse the majority of viewers simply searching for their regular dosage of entertainment far away from any enlightening shock.
Personally, the film made me recall many worth mentioning quotes as its end credits started rolling and I was literally dancing while walking out of the theater surprising the people around.
It made me remember a meaningful line from an unknown writer where he admits,
“I see a whole ZOO in myself operating at various levels”
The famous western poet Dylan Thomas said,
“I hold a beast, an angel, and a madman in me”
“Somebody's boring me. I think it's me.”
Lastly a one line dialogue in the film WE BOUGHT A ZOO (2011) goes,
“I'm a big fan of people being exactly who they are.”
And TAMASHA precisely tries to make you meet the one you really are, through a much appreciative, courageous effort in this era of 100 crore clubs, 'created' box office successes and weekend earnings, coming from an Indian director who is all set to compete with the world-cinema masters widely known for their cult thought provoking creations respectfully.
As a film it might have flaws and quite less in terms of entertainment offered to the general audience. But as a friend it has a lot to offer, inspiring us all to go for that ‘much desired change’ and lead a more contended life.
Concluding it on an introspective note,
In case you are one of those immensely blessed souls who have successfully regained their 'Original True Self' as they were before the age of 15…….., thankfully doing exactly the same what they always wished for in life……., enjoying every new morning and dawn living their 'Real Self" without any hiding at all like an enlightened being…………..,
then you have already achieved the desired……….and TAMASHA might not be for you.
It’s for us, who are still struggling, searching and fighting with both the inner and the world around making constant efforts………….!!!!!
Ratings - 3.5 / 5
(First Half – 2.5/5 & Second Half – 4.5/5)
(With a strong recommendation for all fellow travellers on the path searching the ‘Real Self’)
(Essential Note for all friends of BTC)
It’s not actually about any particular film, but it’s about how you consider your CINEMA to be that matters....!!
Is it just like some 3 hours weekly entertaining joyrides munching popcorns & nachos?
A medium of expression capable of helping and guiding you too in your search of LIFE!
It’s nothing to do with any film at all......
It’s all about how we look at such artistic outbursts ……. individually.