Tamasha : Post-Screening Q & A With Imtiaz Ali

Posted: November 29, 2015 by moifightclub in bollywood, News, Q & A
Tags: , ,

Imtiaz Ali

Imtiaz Ali is one of those rare directors who is not afraid to take questions post-release. And we have always been very happy to take the initiative and make it happen. Thanks to Anurag Kashyap, what started it with Imtiaz’s Rockstar, we have managed to do with many other films. And directors have been very co-operative about it. Now, we are back to another new film by Imtiaz Ali, Tamasha. Going by reviews, FB posts and tweets, seems like this film has polarised people. That’s always interesting for a film.

Navjot Gulati has taken the initiative to get Imtiaz Ali for Tamasha post-screening Q and A. Here are the details –

Venue – PVR Icon, Infinity Mall (which was Cinemax Versova earlier)

Day/Date – Monday (30th November, 2015)

Time – After the 6pm show.

So do book your tickets, and wait after the film is over. For those of you who have already seen the film, or for some reason you can’t come for the screening but want to attend only the Q and A, do tweet to Navjot at the earliest and inform him. He is making the list and will get you in.

Come, we will have fun!

  1. An Jo says:

    That Imtiaz Ali has a fine flair for visual flourishes is indeed further cemented with ‘Tamasha’. In ‘Highway’, the prosaic nature of a procedural is captured using dusty cam-visuals while the escapades – if one may call it so—of Bhatt’s character are captured with stunning visuals. In TAMASHA, he again employs the technique: This time, Ranbir’s Ved’s innate talent and ear for story-telling are captured in grainy but colorful visuals of the parallels of Ram-leelas [note especially the shot where you have Raavan with ten-heads interspersed along-side text-books of Math and Geography]. But when Ved actually performs on stage, it is all natural and boisterous. So are the ‘visuals’ of Corsica—extending onto Delhi and Calcutta— that, in a Karan Johar’s or Ayan’s or umpteen Telugu and Tamil pot-boilers would pass off just as bare-minimum visual two-way trips to exotic places without the bureaucratic hassles of a visa. Here, the splendor of visuals does serve some purpose. There is a line that Ranbir utters which can be paraphrased thus: One hasn’t come so far to an unfamiliar/new town to continue living the same old ‘identity’ from a known land. ‘I have come here to traverse that distance between the worldly-life and one’s heart.’

    When a human sheds the boxed-definitions of ‘living’ life, even dirt appears less murky. So what happens or what one feels in a picturesque Corsica is anyone’s guess. Of course, Imtiaz uses our films’ traditional elements of song-and-dance in ‘Matargashti’, filling-up the screen with foreigners enjoying in the background; but here, it appears less offensive and more in-line with what the nameless- characters of Ranbir and Deepika are thinking. [It is fantastic thinking/writing that the plot-incident that brings the characters together is that Tara loses her bag containing her ‘identity’ documents [passport, driver’s license, etc., etc.,] and THAT is what propels the discussion between Ranbir and Deepika and their subsequent flow into a bliss of identity-free moments in a foreign-land. They can now be anything: He can be Teja or Don; she can be Mona Darling and no sky would come shattering down. Thus they consume ‘moments’ of identity-unburdened fun before Deepika’s character regains her passport and metaphorically her ‘identity’ and her way back to the known world.

    More than 3 years pass—[a very weak spot in the film where the assumption is that 4 years of life’s realities don’t dampen a no-strings-attached ‘relationship’ forged on unknown-identities in a foreign-land: After all, if a country can get intolerant between interviews spaced within two weeks then the assumption of a rich and privileged Deepika’s character longing for those fleeting moments, breaking-up with her boy-friend and staying single – emotionally—for a period of 4 years does sound a bit stretched] – but Deepika’s character isn’t able to forget that ‘Don’ character and his zest- for-life from Corsica and realizes she has fallen in love with him. They then meet [she ‘tricks’ the meeting] and start dating in the ‘real’ world. [Again, these are fantastic shots where every date is captured ‘episodically’ to emphasize ‘bliss’ in real-world: call-meet-watch a movie; call-meet-enjoy some food at a Japanese joint-go back to the girl’s house {they were about to have sex when Pahlaj Nihalani brandished his scissors}; call-meet-propose to the girl in front of friends with that ring of matrimonial-eternity. Uh-oh! It is here that Deepika’s character of Tara finally treads away from Ranbir’s Ved Sahani’s real-world turgid life as a Product Manager in a tech-company where everything is by order and by time [Ved’s ‘routine’ in life on a daily-basis is captured by him wearing a half-sweater, a tie, a blue-tooth ear-piece, eating cereals for break-fast, being harassed by a eunuch at a traffic light, and his wishing a good-morning to his colleagues and his boss [a HILARIOUS Vivek Mushran trying to pass-off as a ‘global’ business-man .] In a finely-detailed scene, when Tara is on the verge of passionately kissing Ved, he is ‘careful’ and ‘decent’ enough to take out his phone and remove his wrist-watch so that it doesn’t ‘disturb’ Tara!].

    After Tara’s rejection –the back-ground music and shoot during the break-up is touching— citing that this isn’t the person she met in Corsica, Ved is heart-broken and inadvertently, walks on cinders where he tries to assess what he really-is; what he wants to – whether he wants to — ‘become’ for Tara as she envisioned his ‘true-self’ to be in Corsica; and what he is to the world around him. And there, right there, lies the beauty of the script and the vision. Ved tries to become the ‘zesty’ guy that he was in Corsica for the real-world; for his boss, for his friends and fails miserably – and it is superbly conveyed to the audience through his mirror-talk. It is a lesson-within-a-lesson plot-point where the take-away is that you cannot be true-to-yourself for consumption by others; you have to be true-to-yourself ONLY for your-self. That’s when things ring true to your soul. In scene-after-scene, there is confusion in Ved’s mind about Tara and more importantly, about himself. Where does his soul actually breathe? As the corporate sheep or the unhinged, unshaven guy from Corsica or the kid stealing rupees to listen to a raconteur in the foot-hills of Shimla who starts with passion but loses to business and thus confounds Ramayana with Helen-of-Troy or/and Heer-Ranja or/and Romeo-Juliet. [In a finely-written scene, Ved approaches all-tears to Piyush Mishra and asks him to narrate his {Ved’s} story. How blissfully dis-honest can a person get with one-self when he/she would be so-lost as to depend on another person to ‘complete’ one’s story!]

    This is a coming-of-age film –funny how all our films have 30+ actors discovering themselves; except marriage, everything in our country seems to occur too late—delicately managing to chip away at the superficial addressing of such themes tailored to multiplex-audiences. It is, for sure, at least an honest-step forward. Even though both the characters – Deepika’s especially—belong to the educated and the privileged class, Imtiaz doesn’t let them get in the way of heart-felt emotions mostly. [The brilliantly shot and scored AGAR TUM SAATH HO is a testimony to that.]

    The climactic shot, then, is especially tricky and swirls the audience into dual-minds. You have the lead characters dancing free-wheeling atop hill-tops with top-of-the-shelf noise-canceling head-phones. What about those unlucky ones? Like the rick-shaw driver that Imtiaz conveniently but finely uses as a plot-device to remind Ranbir’s Ved that ‘dreams’ and ‘soul’ die across classes almost equally. Some die brutally and early due to lack of privilege/wealth/class; some die late due to the presence of same – but die they do.

    Coming to the ‘grammar’ of the film, the film does suffer a bit of slow-pacing. But in the end, it just depends on what one ‘sees’ and experiences in the film. It is quite a personal viewing-experience for each and every audience-member. The songs are mesmeric and Kamil once again supports Rahman and Imtiaz brilliantly and vice-versa. ‘HEER TOH BADI SAD HAI’ is a fantastic reversal on the Punjabi folk. Rajesh Autowala’s [a superb Ishtiyqk Khan] ode to ‘Emotional Atyachar’ from DEV D is a treat. And the way it is inter-cut music-less with Ved’s spontaneous poetry is fantastic.

    After a long, long, time, Ranbir comes out of His-Ranbirness and performs. He finely forks his corporate-life and the life that is art-driven. Deepika is good but her act here could not be considered ‘progressive’ talent. Frankly, this film is owned by the lead characters, Piyush Mishra, Corsica, and Ishtiqak Khan – impact-wise as well as role-length-wise. All others are incidental.

  2. teraaslibaap says:

    Great read. Just loved it.

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