Tamasha Review - Deceivingly Flawed
on the face of it, Tamasha is intimidating, showy and welcoming but confusing and almost threatening to the average audience member. Yet, allow yourself to be lead by Imtiaz into the world of his most complex film yet and Tamasha will turn out to be a reflective experience that stays with you for long.
Ved and Tara meet in Corsica, strangers who do not let each other know their real identities, only to actually bare their souls to each other. Cut to four years after, they meet again, rekindle the love. Only this time she finds Ved play acting in the real world, having let the real him die a silent death. She rejects him, setting him on a journey of self discovery.
Ved joins Imtiaz's growing list of lost tormented angst ridden protagonists, from Abahy Deol in Socha na Tha to Ranbir in Rockstar, and now Ranbir in Tamasha. Ved is a product of expectations, of conformity, of towing the accepted line, doing what everyone tells him to do. In the process he kills the story teller in him (figuratively and literally). While disowning his dreams got everyone to like him all his life, the love of his life hated him for this very thing, setting him on a path to finding the real him.
Imtiaz's world is beautifully mounted, picturesque photo postcard lives all over. Indulgent at times, especially in the second half, the narrative that oscillates between imaginary, the past and the present works for most parts. Aided by Rehman's terrific soundtrack, the screenplay gives us pathos passion and humor in good measure.
What works brilliantly here is the lead pair it self. Deepika as Tara is a radiant light at the end of the dark tunnel that Ved's life is. She is not central to the story, this is Ved's films all through, is absent for a lot of the second half, and yet delivers a memorable performance. Achingly beautiful and gentle, this is Deepikas best so far.
Also at his best is Ranbir. Uncertain, broken, confused, with a burning desire to break free in his eyes, Ranbir's Ved makes us laugh and scares us the very next minute. He makes us uncomfortable for having settled for the race of life, settled for being mediocre as he calls it. In one stroke, Roy, Bombay Velvet and Besharam are forgotten as the actor that gave us Rockstar and Barfi resurfaces.
Tamasha is not perfect, it meanders a little, indulges a bit, yet it is a unique experience. How many times have we seen a mainstream film make us uncomfortable with its free spirited attempt. Brace yourself for the ride.