Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tamasha—All The World's A Stage

Smartphones are addictive devices. You know how we used to wake up for a few seconds in the night, check the time, and go back to sleep. But with the advent of smartphones, we not only check the time, but also check Facebook and Twitter, for a few seconds before going back to sleep. The trailer of Imtiaz Ali's Tamasha came out today, and of course, I saw it at 04.30 AM with my eyes half open, and I have been thinking about it since then. Readers would know Imtiaz Ali is a favorite of this blog, so, naturally, when a new trailer of his film comes out, we would go all crazy. Using a clichéd term, the trailer is a beautiful one. It gives many interesting themes of the coming film, and I cannot wait to watch it. 

Ranbir Kapoor is Ved Vardhan Sahni. His office ID card says that he is a senior marketing manager. He narrates the story of a character called 'Hero' who is most likely inspired from his own life. Hero has studied engineering, and has been a pliant person all his life. He follows a daily routine. One day, Hero moves away to a far off place, somewhere between 'dil' and 'duniya', and finds a partner Tara played by Deepika Padukone. The trailer has a recurring motif and hints at some sort of a duality. Ved narrates the story of 'Hero', and when he later meets Tara, he introduces himself as 'Don', one of the most famous 'villains' of Hindi cinema. Thus, Hero has both the shades of a hero and a villain. It, then, makes sense that counterpart of Ved's Hero is Don. It is also worth noting that the character of Don in Don had two personalities—an evil one, and a good one. In Tamasha, it seems that duality is not only in present in Ved's story, but also in Ved's life. He has a daily job, but he also works as an actor in a theater group. The point of conflict between Tara and Ved seems to be this dual personality of Ved, where Tara is in love with the Ved whom she met in Corsica, while he thinks he was only acting then. Also, interesting is the presence of two names in his name—Ved Vardhan, and the way he calls Tara as Mona Darling. He says, "Toh main aapko Mona kahu ya Darling," which (at the risk of over-analysis) I feel that points that he cannot think that Mona Darling can be one person. This, again, is brought out in the conflict between him and Tara a few scenes later where he fails to recognize that he can be the person who Tara met in that far-off land. Shakespeare had said, "All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages." Life is a stage of drama, and we are all actors playing our respective parts. Or, in another words, this world is a tamasha, perhaps, that explains the film's title is also Tamasha, and the presence of many plays and stories in the film and the film's poster, including Romeo and Juliet, Ramayana, Mahabharat, Helen of Troy, Laila Majnu, Heer and Ranjha, Soni Mahiwal, Prithviraj Chauhan, and Aladin. The theme of duality is seen in the way Tamasha is written in two colors—red and orange. The continuous changing looks of Ved, from clean-shaved, French beard, and unkempt, at different stages of life point to the larger Shakespearean stage theme. It is the multiplicity of identities that seems to be the theme of Tamasha.

At one point, Ved says, "Yahan se kai kos door, dil aur duniya ke beech." Somehow, it reminded me of Rumi's quote in Rockstar. "Pata hai, yahan se bahut door, galat aur sahi ke paar, ek maidan hai, main vahaan milunga tujhe," which means, "Away beyond all concepts of wrong-doing and right-doing, There is a field. I'll meet you there." This was the first line in Rockstar. In fact, Tamasha also seems to be inspired by another Rumi quote, which Imtiaz has hinted on the film's Facebook page. "Don't be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth." This also fits with the film's tagline. Why always the same story? 

A picture i received during the shooting of Tamasha-Imtiaz Ali

With the exception of Aditi in Socha Na Tha, all of Imtiaz's female characters have two letters in their name, based on Devnagri script. After Geet (Jab We Met), Meera (Love Aaj Kal), Heer (Rockstar), Veera (Highway), now we have Tara (Tamasha). She is the star to Ved, who is surrounded by historical epics, and will bring some sparkle to his monotonous life. Like Geet's costume in Yeh Ishq Hai in Jab We Met, I have a strong feeling that Tara's lip-printed shirt in Tamasha will become a rage, and it will be one of the defining images of the film. 

A paragraph that I always write while blogging about any Imtiaz Ali film, on the element of journey. Whether it is Socha Na Tha, Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, Rockstar or Highway—all his films involve a journey of a sort that includes travelling to different places, and these places could even be spiritual zones. In Tamasha, too, we see this element of journey where Ved and Tara appear to be a part of a drama troupe travelling different places. They are a kind of banjaras, not only acting for a story, but also playing the actors in the drama called the journey of life.

At one point, we see that Ved has a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, which I find pretty interesting. 

Deepika and Ranbir have a sparking chemistry. They look fabulous, and so happy together. The initial few scenes reminded me a bit of Barfi. Initially, I thought the film's story was similar to Mann. There was one scene which even made me shed a tear. Sometimes, the beauty of a sad scene is overwhelming. Oh, Imtiaz, how do you do it? We will be waiting for Tamasha. We will be thinking of Tamasha. We will be dreaming of Tamasha. Of course, we will be watching and re-watching Tamasha. Because, all the world's an Imtiaz Ali film, and we wish we could be actors in it. 

Dialogue of the Day:
"Wahi kahani fir ek baar, majnu ne liye kapde faad, maar tamasha beech bazaar."
—Ved, Tamasha

Some tweets containing what I already wrote:- 


  1. I am in Goosebumps!!! If this all U figured from a Trailer, I can't wait to read Your blog on the movie. Ahhh...! *Excited*

  2. Naeema, :). I know, eagerly waiting for the movie.

  3. I am huge Imtiaz Ali Fan, love deepika especially when she does an emotional scene and the evergreen AR Rehman. This film has it all so excited. But let me take this oppurtunity and tell you Mr.Pankaj that you are an overthinker and so am I and I am fan of your thoughts. You like HONY, SLB, Imtiaz Ali all these people I adore to bits I hope you are also a Gulzar fan that would be perfect. I read few of your articles and now I think I will have to read all of them. I don't know how many days thaf will take but I can manage as I did the samw with HONG-read all the posts from the start till Nov.2015. So the journey begins and you are about to be stalked by a 20 yr old who has plenty of other stuff to be done but has chosen to spend the precious time on this blog :D :D :D :D

  4. TheM_A_D- hahaha, no worries my friend, glad that you are reading them :) :)

  5. I don't know if you have watched the movie yet, but I am guessing you have. And if you have, then my biggest compliment for this movie is something that I think you will be able to understand, and that is - This movie is not for everyone. It is for people who can delve deep within themselves to understand, and gradually be able to admit, that they are living a lie; that their life is nothing but a doctored version of what it should be. This is a movie for people who are not satisfied merely by what is on the surface, those rare, beautiful few who wish to know someone by what their deepest imagination can conjure, for that is a window into one's utmost soul. It is the first time I have ever been to your blog, but it is the first post that has anywhere gotten close to the essence of this film. It's 6:55 in the morning, and my day has been made. :)

  6. Hi Vineeta,

    I have seen the movie. I loved it. You are absolutely right, it is not for everybody. Do read the review of the film here.

  7. *bwah* mind blowing! I would want to read all your post and go re-watch all these movies.


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