In Victor Fleming’s magical film, The Wizard of Oz, there is a character named Tin Woodman. Pewter Woodman or Oz, in shiny silver iridescent pewter, skillfully fitted together. He thunders a little when he moves, but he can bend and move his joints when he’s well lubricated. He was once an ordinary man before he tragically transformed himself into his present form of sheet metal and replaced his carnal body with a metal body without internal organs. He longs for a heart to love again. Tamasha Imtiaz Ali opens with two characters on stage. One of them is wearing a silver coloured metal costume inspired by Tin Woodman. This mechanical character follows the daily and banal routine: going to the office, coming back from the office, being cursed by the boss and not telling anyone about it. 42 seats Ki-Bus I 142 log chhadte hai, unme se ek tu hi to hai. Like many others, he’s stuck somewhere between Dill and Dunia. Another character representing this Tin Woodman is dressed as a clown and says he is the dil-ki avaaz of this robot. As if Tin Woodman had lost his heart and above all wanted it back, this robot has a heart, but it seems he has separated from his Dill-ki-avaz. Finding that dildo, the voice of the heart, is Tamash’s theme.
Tamasha is indeed the story of Wed Vardhan Sakhni (Ranbir Kapoor). The story begins in Corsica. He meets Tara Makheswari (Deepika Padukone). They decide to spend some time together without revealing their true identity, who they are in real life. He says he’s Don and she’s Mona Darling. They decide they’ll never see each other again in their lives. But it turns out that Tara is falling in love with Veda. Four years later she looks for him in a cafe, hoping to meet him. That’s right. He introduced himself as Ved as product manager of the company. They agree to go out, but Tara soon realizes it’s not the Ved she fell in love with. The point of conflict between Tara and Ved is this dual personality of Ved, in which Tara is in love with Ved, whom she met in Corsica, while he thinks he played a role alone at the time. She broke up with him. She tells him he’s suffering from the complex. He tells her angrily that she is acting like a psychiatrist and that he is her patient. And then his journey of self-realization begins. It’s about finding out who he really is. Occasionally there are memories of his childhood in Simla, where he loves to tell stories. He walks around and listens to the stories of Baba’s storyteller. Baba is none other than Imtiaz himself, who tells us these stories. He imagines that he plays one of the roles in the stories he hears. Shakespeare says: The whole world is a stage, and all men and women are just actors; they have their own entrances and exits, and a man plays many roles in his time, his actions – seven age groups. Life is a stage, and we’re all actors playing the right roles. In other words, this world is Tamasha, which perhaps explains the title of the film – Tamasha – and the presence of many plays and stories. The film is divided into actions – Teja Ka Sona, Ishk Wala Love, Andar Ki Baat, Don Returns – as if it were a Shakespearean play. The ever-changing views on the sea, the clean shave, the French beard and the disorder in the different periods of life suggest a great Shakespearean stage theme. In many cases Ved talks to himself in the mirror. He sees many versions of himself. It is an inner journey to discover his true nature, what he is dealing with, and Tara will help him do so.
At one point in the film, Tara discovers that Ved is reading Joseph Heller’s cult novel Catch-22. Heller’s novel is set during the Second World War and follows the adventures of Captain John Jossarian, an air force bomber stationed on the fictitious island of Pianosa, which lies in the Mediterranean Sea between mainland Italy and Corsica. The book deals with topics such as mental disorders and schizophrenia. The title of the book Catch-22 refers to a paradoxical situation and is based on a bureaucratic rule that emphasizes the responsibility of pilots. The novel has a very special non-chronological style in which events from the sequence are described, so that the timeline develops with the plot. Joseph Heller himself was in Corsica at some point in his life. The more I think about it, the more I feel that Tamasha can be a kind of tribute to Catch-22. As in the novel, which was filmed next to Corsica and Heller itself and takes place there, most of Tamash’s actions take place in Corsica. Just as the characters in Catch have 22 themes of mental disorders, the Veda of Tamash has similar themes of schizophrenia. Just as a novel does not follow a chronological order, Tamasha goes back and forth between different eras, between past and present. Just like the name Catch-22, where something is stuck between two impossible options, our hero is stuck somewhere for dill and punch. Maybe that explains what Ved and Tara were doing in Corsica. Tara said her favorite comic was Asterix in Corsica, where Asterix and Obelix rescued a Corsican prisoner named Boneywasawarriorwayayix from a nearby Roman camp. She’s always wanted to go. So she comes to Corsica, while Wed had reasons to come to Corsica.
Sometimes in Corsica they take pictures of the cathedral and sing a prayer. Immediately after that we see Tara and Ved walking in the direction of the lake and keeping their faces in crystal clear water. Water is as pure as the emotions of love, and the act of immersing their faces in water as if they were baptized into that virgin love. They were immersed in the holy waters of this primal feeling. Dressed in perfect white, they tasted that impeccable love. Then they sit in this garden under a tree and talk about the forbidden act of making love. Earlier, Ved said the time they were here was a long time ago. It’s like when Adam and Eve are in that garden in the air, where no one else is. Just as in the Bible where Eve took the forbidden fruit, Tara takes the first step and breaks her agreement when she wants to leave Corsica.
Imtiaz brings some subtle nuances that underline the motivation of the characters even more. When Ved and Tara go out together, he brings her flowers, takes them and tells The Spawn, in the back seat of the pe rakh deta them, as if he had put his Corsican in the back seat. If they started seeing each other often, he would look on his watch every time he said goodbye. As if his farewell coincided with his departure, he became so dependent on this daily routine that even the calendar in his office has a clock. He even keeps his phone quiet during the kissing session. When Tara said goodbye to him from her apartment, the window was never clean; all the time she was saying goodbye, there were blinds on the window as if something wasn’t clear between them, and they weren’t transparent to each other. When Veda’s boss sees him without a tie, he yells at him. Of course, the draw was a metaphor for the fact that he must remain bound by the rules and cannot break loose. I was also fascinated by the ugly sweaters Ved wore, and not only was it a spray on Rishi Kapoor’s notoriously ugly sweaters, but in many ways it was a more representative aspect of his personality that he tried to hide. Whether in his childhood, when he goes to university or when he works in Delhi, he always wears a sweater or a jacket, while Tara doesn’t, even when it’s cold. The only remarkable time he took off his sweater was when he finally told his father the story of his childhood.
One of the most moving scenes in the film, when Ved realized he had mastered his own story. No one will tell him how his story ends. Storyteller Baba calls him a coward and says: Dil me Lord liye, aur Lord khoje veerane me? He tells her to make her own story. Then he walks through the streets of Simla, meets a procession and starts dancing like a dervish and throws himself into his newly acquired freedom. Right now, nothing matters except his. A scapegoat feeling, like a hairy bird being beaten by a bird that has learned to fly with confidence. He seems to have finally found his dil ki avaaz, whose symbol are the two clowns he encounters along the way. We’ll see more clowns in his office later. At the beginning of the film we see clowns on the mirrors in his room, but as soon as he grows up there will be no more clowns. The Dil-ki Avaaz he seems to have lost is back. He follows him everywhere, like the clowns who follow him on Safarnama.
The young Ved is addicted to history. Sunat’s stories are high-tech rehabilitation, his teacher said. He steals money from his parents to pay the fakir of a woman who tells him stories. Fakir tells him a lot of stories, and sometimes he mixes them up. He mixes the Ramayana with Helen of Troy. Brahma hai ya Ibrahim, Moses hai ya Musa, Hindu hai ya Indus, Jesus hai ya Isa, Jamuna hai ya Yamuna Never mind, all stories have the same elements. Bass maza lo kahani ka. In a profound moment we see a painting hanging from a tree behind the narrator’s wife; a painting by Pandit Ravi Shankar with George Harrison of the Beatles, which offered the world the merging of Indian classical music with Western music, thus once again underlining the unity of our history and the merging of our cultures. As if that wasn’t enough, we even saw Sanyukta waving in the church.
In many cases it seems that Imtiaz and Tamash refer to his own films. When Ved and Tara Corsica cross, one notices a special attention in the images of the mountains at the crossroads and the intersections as seen on the highway. Bet’s daily routine is very reminiscent of Love Aaj Kal’s Qia Hoon. A Jab We With Aditya launched the business card Geet-Dil Ki Baat, and here we see Dil Ki Aawaaz. As always, all her heroines are engaged or married to the wrong person and realize that they love someone else. Just like Aditi, Git, Mira, Hir, Vira, Tara has a relationship with someone, but when she comes back from Corsica she breaks it off. Because Vir and Harlin liked to drink tea in Love Aaj Kal, which was an allusion to love, Tara had a tea room there. Like the rest of Love Aaj Kale, Tamashi had a certain image of the Haura Bridge. There’s a lot of water under the bridge. Just as Aditya owned and worked for a telecommunications company, Ved is product manager for MCM Tech Telecom. Just as Yekh Duryan gave a brief overview of the film at the beginning, here we see Tara and Wed portrayed as figures of mythological dramas without their formal representation. says Ved : It is possible to get to the door, diling aur dunija a beech. In a way, it reminded me of the quote from Rumi in Rockstar. Pata hai, yahan se bahut door, galat aur sahi ke paar, ek maidan hai, hand vahaan milunga tujhe, which means hand vahaan milunga tujhe: Besides all the notions of what is right and what is wrong, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. Tamasha was inspired by another quote from Rumi: Don’t be satisfied with the stories that await you. Decipher your own myth. This also corresponds to the slogan of the film. Why is it always the same story? Each Imtiaz Ali film is based on the journeys of the characters. In all his films there is an element of travelling. In Tamash, Ved takes Safarnama with him to discover his true face.
Imtiaz gives many messages in the second half, and some of them are too simplistic. Ved wants to tell stories, but he eventually becomes product manager. His true personality speaks to the mountains and drinks the river water like an animal. Imtiaz’s message is that if you are stuck in a job you are not passionate about, you become mediocre and cannot give the best of yourself. So he has to do what he really wants to do, otherwise he’s just a normal person. Bet’s dad said if he does what he wants in life, who’s gonna feed the family? In one of the most beautiful scenes from the film, Ved talks to the driver of a rickshaw who sings Tu Mary Aashiki Hai. The driver wanted to be a singer, but life came and he succeeded. He says: Andar se kuch aur hi aur bahar se major. But what is Majburi Wed? Can he do what he wants? As Ved tells his father: The most important their at apna dusk, kar hai raha their, hood ko barbad. He’s struggling with his inner self and he has to come out. Why does he have to stand between the two extremes? While the bossy guy was at least trying to keep in touch with his singing, was Ved trying to do something that brought him luck? No one forced him to follow this routine, so his main enemy is himself. Not the world, not his parents, not Tara, but himself. It’s his own story, so he has a chance to change the ending. Finally Kar Lenge.
Tamasha also briefly mentions mental illness and schizophrenia. Ved – a tortured soul, he never shows his true feelings. He goes to his room and cries. He pretends to be happy in front of his friends. When Tara breaks up with him, it actually hits the raw nerve in him. It causes a kind of split personality. On the one hand he tries to be polite as a gentleman without showing feelings for her, but on the other hand he is full of anger. He goes out when he leaves Tara’s house, and he’s acting weird. This behavior continues with the party he’s going to and then with his boss. It’s like he’s dealing with a lot of personalities in him. When he tells his father the story of a character called a hero, it inspires him to create his own life. The hero studied technique and was an obedient man all his life. He follows the daily routine. One day the hero goes to a faraway place, between the dill and the soufflé, and finds a partner. Ved tells the story of the hero and introduces himself as Don, one of the most famous villains of Hindi cinema. So the hero has both hero and villain nuances. So it’s clear that Hero’s colleague is Wed Don. It is also worth mentioning that there were two personalities in the figure of the Don – a wicked one and a friendly one. This Gift is not only based on Amitab Bakhchan, but also on Dev Anand’s Imbibah. It is also interesting to note the presence of two names in his name – Ved Vardhan, and the way he refers to Tara as Mona Darling. He says: Toh main aapko Mona kahu ya Darling, which in my opinion indicates that he cannot believe that Mona Darling (or Mata Hari) can be a person. Sometimes, in Japan, even a man speaks: The bipolar behaviour of the metropolitan consumer, which redefines the themes of bipolarity in cinema.
In Taar, Zamin of Aamir Khan, Ishaan Awasthi suffered from dyslexia. Ishaan had his own world in which mathematical problems appeared to him as beings from another universe. Every child is special, Ram Shankar Nikumbh (Aamir Khan) preached to Ishaan’s father. In the same way, Tamasha Taare is the Zamin Par for adults. Like Ishaan, Ved hates math. Ved says that childhood is like a snake, and that in childhood every child is told that it is special. As soon as this child grows up, this snake will be killed and they will all be rats trying to win a rat race that nobody knows anything about, only that they all want to win the race. They’re all getting mediocre, and the Lakers keepers. That was one of the problems when I felt the pace had slowed down in the second half. I felt like I’d seen this story before.
The film ends in Japan. When Wed and Tara went out on their first date, they went to a Japanese restaurant. There could be a connection to Japan. The companies are the newest, and the countries are the newest, he said. This fits perfectly with the fact that the place where they eventually meet is a tea conference, and the building committee says Oracle. The tea, which in Imtiaz’ work is a symbol of love, and the oracle – a man who acts as a medium through which the prophecy may be a confession to the narrator Baba, who asked Ved to find his own story, which he finally succeeded in doing. The prophecy of the Oracle has come true.
Deepika Padukone like Tara is fantastic. At a certain point in Corsica Vede calls her Madhubala and says he wants her in his film. The Deepika really turns out to be Madhubala. Bajirao Mastani from Bajirao Mastani Sanjaya Lila Bhansali pays homage to Madhubale in Diwani Mastani and calls it coincidence or fate that Deepika Mastani plays and pays a glorious tribute to Madhubale. Deepika, like Tara, makes us forget the writers and the missing parts of her character. Although this is a Ranbury show, the Deepika has somehow become unforgettable to me. She let us take care of her. The scene she’s in the car after Ved’s farewell the last time she was in Corsica, you can feel exactly what’s going on in her head. The way it vibrates twice on the stairs, in Corsica and Delhi. The way she admits to loving herself, Bet. The way she talks: Really? If Ved compliments her. Deepika sends Tara’s pain in a wonderful way. Deepika is love. She’s emotionally mature, she understands marriage as easily as no one else does. She’s the one who changed it. It is she who shows him the light in the darkness of the night, like a Tara-ah star. The search for life through love is the central theme of Ali’s films. But I’m so glad the film recognizes the role of Tara. Unlike Jab We Met and Rockstar, Geet and Lord bring the transformation to Aditya and Jordan, but no one knows the history of this change. Ved thanked her in front of the entire audience and lay down on the floor of the stage in Taras Ibadata. She’s the only one who deserves a round of applause for her change. I wanted more Tara in the movie, especially in the second part. I wanted to know why she was alone at the parties. I wanted to know why she was only celebrating her birthday. I wanted to know what music she was listening to in her headphones. And that Agar Toom Saat Ho’s hug, where she won’t let Bet go, is terrible. It will remind us of a time of a devastating spiritual collapse, a time of misery and a time of deafness and despair.
Ranbir Kapoor is fantastic, just like Ved. He plays everything down to the last detail and proves once again why he is one of the best actors of this generation. He’s got a character. There’s a lot of talk about Ranbir’s return, but when did he leave? Even in the Bombay Velvet his performance was amazing. A child who played as a child looks a lot like Ranbira and was first seen in Bombay Velvet. The music of AR Rahman and the lyrics of Irshad Kamil’s songs are in perfect harmony with the atmosphere of the film. Safarnama and Hera To Badi Sad High are contagious. I also loved the use of cinematography, where the figure of Wed was shown several times in the dark as if it reflected his inner struggle.
In one of the scenes in the film, Ved holds a presentation, and behind him – a slide that shows the input, output and analysis. I do the same thing in real life, yeah, the same thing. When the boss of Wed says his job is average, but that he can only survive by good behavior, someone talks about me. Sometimes reality strikes out of nowhere, and the film shows the mirror of reality.
The first half of the movie is great. It reminded me of a lot of things before sunset. My only problem was in the second part, the rhythm slowed down a bit, and Tara left, and I missed even more love stories. But in Imtiaz Ali’s film there is always something to see and think of. I’m surprised at the reaction. I’ve read different reactions to the film, from some people who don’t like it to those who do, with lots of variations between them. There are people who liked the first half and there are people who liked the second half. Find your own story, there was a message, and it looks like the message was delivered. Everyone has their own way of connecting to the film. It’s funny how that works. Imtiaz Ali would be happy.
In a Charlotte Jane Eyre Bronze film, one of the characters speaks: Something vengeful that I had tasted for the first time; like an aromatic wine it seemed to be in my throat, warm and spicy: The aftertaste, metallic and caustic, made me feel poisoned. It’s the same effect as in Imtiaz Ali’s film. In the film Tara says that Muje laga tek ho-jayega kyunki hamesha tek ho-jata hai Mais chaar hall ho gay bhi wahoohi fetch hai. The word poisoned may be too strong, but the effect is eternal. And we’re always willing to get drunk on his stories, no matter how messy they are. Mess ho gaya, bahut kharab ho gaya.
[For more information about the author’s work, check out his blog here]
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