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Movie Review- Tamasha

Just when I thought I like to watch movies but not to write reviews, Imtiaz Ali comes up with his Tamasha and here I am, with my next review. I have a pending list of 10+ movie reviews but I believe I am going to chuck all of them and start fresh.


Coming back to Tamasha, I avoided reading anything about the story, the characters, reviews from fellow critics etc before I myself watch the film. Imtiaz Ali’s films have always been one of a kind- not because of the story, actually never because if the story, but because of how he weaves magic on screen with characters, sketches, overlaying bits from past and present and future and it all merges to form brilliance.

I personally wasn’t too impressed with Jab We met or even Love Aaj Kal for that matter. They were good movies, having their own positives and negatives, High and low moments and it never fared as a brilliant movie in my mind.

Rockstar changed the way I look at Imtiaz as well as Ranbir. I sincerely marveled at how a simple plot can be filmed this way. And the trend continues with Tamasha.

When I went to watch it, I thought it would be a romance genre, like most of Ali’s movies. But it was a mocktail of everything- romance having the least share of it all. The movie is more of Finding oneself. A concept already executed by so many in our film industry, by Ranbir himself in Wake Up Sid.

But if you ever think about it, Ranbir can do it over and over and it’ll still seem fresh. He is perfect in every sense. He is one actor everyone would want to be like- despite his flaws ( whatever they may be!)

I do not want to talk anything about the plot here. It is best to discover it yourself. But I’d be writing about things that I really liked.

<not necessarily in any order>

  1. Having the “Kahani” part in grainy camera roll shots was captured well. It gave an additional Drama feel.
  2. The merge of flashbacks, present and the “few months/year down the line” was so seamless. Editing was just perfect.
  3. <may have spoilers> The concept of dividing the movie into 4 parts with a filmy poster for each distinguishes the movie from others. It is like watching 4 short films in one movie and all of them belonging to a different genre. The idea is similar to how Tarantino does. Tamasha is bollywood style! While Corsica is more about colors and beauty and craziness, what I loved most was about telling each other lies and going around in an exotic location knowing only the real “you”. It makes us smile, laugh, feel the romantic tension between the two at times, even dance ( Matargasti deserves an applaud!); the beauty lies however in parting away. Imtiaz Ali is anyways the king of directing break-ups without drama.

Ishq Waala Love part is what is least interesting but is essential to show the mechanical life of our hero and our DP to confront him with the truth. needless to say, cheesy or not, the chemistry they share is wonderful.

Andar is Baat is ruled by Ranbir. While most people found this boring, this is probably the best scene for me. I relate to so many things personally , also to mention one of friend went through an exact same transition in his life and I kept thinking about him. The Eccentric Ranbir with an existential crisis and the poor Ranbir trying to fit into the world and the expectations set by people around- we’ll see multiple facets of the same person. Few shots were hilarious here! Again, I understand why some of us won’t like it. Someone who has gone through something similar would absolutely love it. Others will probably keep themselves busy munching popcorn! fyi- These Others category will also hate Bombay Velvet.

It is very clever to not use many colors in this part. Shows the shady and dark side of life for most part.

Don is Back- Predictable. No major twist or performance but is the most essential part to reach a closure. Needless to say, we’ve seen our hero’s inclination towards stories and story telling since the beginning. Oh, did I mention, the introduction of our guy into this hobby was shown beautifully as well with a Kahani Baba and romeo Juliet and all that.

Coming back to Don is Back, we have colors and rough and tough looks back in this part and we leave feeling happy and motivated.

4. The climax- That’s absolute brilliance. We see two people dancing to these own tunes while still together. Imtiaz Ali knows how to make coming-of-age love stories and this one scene shows how we surpass the ishq waala love phase and eventually transition into a life where we depend on other  yet have our own space. I am safely assuming here that my interpretation here is what the director meant too!

5. The cinematography and editing deserves special mention throughout the movie. Corsica, Shimla, Kolkata, Delhi, the smaller lanes, clouds, mountains, graffiti walls and even a library looks gorgeous. And as already mentioned, we never see a gap between different scenes. They’re merged and blended so well – as expected from any Imtiaz movie. the same was beautifully done in Love aaj kal as well.

6. Background Music- Calling it “Soulful” would also do it an injustice. The music track is awesome beyond words and their placing in the movie is fabulous.

7. Choice of locations- I’ve already mentioned this earlier- the beauty of each shot is not just about lighting and acting and all that. The set and location plays an important role. The place was bright when it had to be, shady and aloof when it required, dim light or crowded when needed. Each scene had a different appeal and merged well with the mood the director wanted to give.

8. Deepika/ Tara’s role- There are plenty of movies in our industry which shows the role a woman plays in a man’s life. While Deepika may not have a lot of screen space or anything to make her stand apart, she sure just justice to what was expected of her. It was a delight to watch her, to watch the pair. I don’t know if she was the only one who could have done the part of Tara- maybe, maybe not. But, i never felt that it should have been someone else.

I am writing this review in multiple parts- owing to Chennai rains and lost connectivity and electricity troubles. Each time I had to go back, read what I’ve already noted and then continue. That could be a pain sometimes. I am sure I have missed many things that I took a mental note of while watching the movie but couldn’t pen it now. But the above more or less sums up what I feel about the movie. I loved it.

Having said all that, I’ll still not say it is the movie of the year or anything like that. I loved the movie as I could relate to it. For someone else, it may just be an average.