Tamasha dwells on finding the inner self

The film is essentially about two soulmates, their togetherness as strangers and their loneliness in familiarity

November 27, 2015 05:04 pm | Updated November 28, 2015 10:16 am IST

The film is essentially about two soulmates, their togetherness as strangers and their loneliness in familiarity

The film is essentially about two soulmates, their togetherness as strangers and their loneliness in familiarity

In contemporary Bollywood, love stories have undergone a far-reaching, fundamental transformation: from fighting the cruel world and family till the 1990s, lovers have been battling their own inner demons circa 2000. Have I fallen in love or is it just friendship? To commit or not to commit?

Tamasha goes a step ahead, leaving behind these seminal questions to dwell on something even more significant: finding your true, inner self that has been lost to a robotic work life, to discover and embrace the clown lurking behind the automaton in you. In that sense, Tamasha could well be the next part in the Ranbir Kapoor-in-evolution series of Hindi cinema that boasts of films like Wake Up Sid , Rockstar and Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani .

There is definitely a good thought that Imtiaz Ali invests in Tamasha and some moments do come alive and reach out strongly. After all, a lot of us have been burning ourselves out; are caught in a rut, that too out of choice. Even the entire facade Imtiaz employs – of theatre, role-playing and storytelling – while referencing his own raconteur-filmmaker self, places Ranbir in a nice art and aesthetics context as against the mechanical mode.

Genre: Romance Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Piyush Mishra, Vivek Mushran Director: Imtiaz Ali Running Time: 155 min

The conflict in the story works but the resolution is way too easy and pat. The music, too, doesn’t rise to the occasion.

The film is essentially about Ved (Ranbir) and his soulmate Tara (Deepika Padukone) – about their togetherness as strangers and their loneliness in familiarity.

The focus, however, is on Ved, a product manager who needs to break free. Those around him, even family members, are rather inconsequential or are caricaturised (boss Vivek Mushran) and over-the-top (storyteller Piyush Mishra) or just shoved in as a pointless layer to the narrative (the singing auto driver).

In between, there is the familiar ‘romanticisation’ of journeys (in this case, we go to Corsica via Delhi, Shimla and Kolkata) – the moment when you get familiar with yourself, when you connect with strangers and find your soulmate.

Live for the moment Travel typifies ‘carpe diem’, when you live for the moment. However, as a viewer who has travelled a lot, it can also leave you feeling utterly frustrated – why doesn’t this happen to me? Why does the seat next to yours in the plane always get taken by the grumpiest guy?

The woman is confined to playing the supporting role. The one who invests in a relationship, the one who expresses her feelings and seeks direction in love. She is also the trigger, the mirror in which the hero will eventually spot his real reflection, the one who will make him realise that he is much more than regular and mediocre. Which is all very fine. She is clearly less confused and more evolved than the man; more so, if she happens to be played by the lovely Deepika.

The film might be Ranbir’s and he might be good and earnest and all that, but Deepika makes a bigger impact.

So, for a change, next time, turning the tables won’t be such a bad idea either. Questions of career, competition and success, and of commitment are as big dilemmas for women in modern, urban India as they are for men. Why not have the heroine grapple with them for a change and let the hero become her mirror? High time our filmi boys became men and moved on, leaving the stage for women.

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