Pinkvilla Review - They give this film a 65% out of 100. Overall thoughts on the film: "Tamasha is not a romantic comedy but it is breathtakingly romantic. It will knock the wind out of you and is about the kind of love that changes you, brings out your real self - ugly, eccentric, absolutely weird but affable. Imtiaz's films cast that spell, catapult you into a parallel world and this time he pulls it off better than ever before. Give your conflicted side a chance, it probably can do better than you believe."
NDTV Movie Review - 2 and a half out of 5 stars. Overall thoughts on the film: "Tamasha is at best a one-time watch because of the sparkle the leads lend to it. It could have been so much more. "
Koimoi Review - 2.5 out of 5 stars. Overall thoughts: "Tamasha is certainly a one time watch! It is a typical Imtiaz Ali film and hence you cannot go with an expectation of watching a frothy romance. Dealing with the concept of love in a cryptic form, this film will not appeal to everyone. It is not the kind of film you want to enjoy snacking on popcorn."
Saw this yesterday and found it a very unsatisfactory film. In an almost inevitable irony for a movie about story telling, the failure is in telling the story. The central performances are very good and stretches of the film are enjoyable, but it is too heavily flawed to be satisfying. The rest of this post is full of spoilers, so you may prefer to stop here.
Before explaining my difficulties, a quick plot summary. Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) grew up spending all his free time with the local story teller, and lives life largely in his imagination. In Corsica he meets Tara (Deepika Padukone) and they agree to have a week of fun, telling each other nothing of their real lives, and to never meet again. Ved's imaginative side comes out and they have a whirlwind time, playing at being Don and Mona Darling, chasing down a consignment of gold and regaling the locals with invented tales. But Tara falls in love and, several years later, tracks Ved down in Delhi, where they reconnect and start going out. However, he turns out to be a dull workslave in a tech company, and not the fun-loving fabulist of Corsica so, when he proposes, Tara turns him down, saying he's not the man she fell in love with. This starts Ved questioning his life and why he gave in to family pressure to study engineering and take his meaningless job. Will he suppress his inner life as before, or will he follow his heart?
The story is told in a nested style. The outer layer, bookending the film, shows parts of a play that Ved writes about his life and his childhood; the middle layer shows the characters initially meeting in Corsica and finally resolving their relationship in Tokyo; and the core shows them meeting again in Delhi, courting, Ved being rejected, and Ved examining his life. The play in the outer layer is the most exasperating of these: the play is a unimaginative affair of a clown (representing the free spirit, you see) conversing with a robot on a treadmill (trammelled automaton, in case you missed it), in front of draped figures waving long coloured sheets, presumably representing the turmoil in Ved's mind. I found this initially alienating, putting me off the film before it got going and then, at the end, laughable as it receives a standing ovation from an undiscerning theatre audience. Quite apart from the clunking symbolism, it destroys any notion of a difficult decision for Ved as he decides between a safe boring job and following his heart: what sort of decision is it when following your heart makes you happy, gets the girl, and gives greater material success? The second layer, of assignations in exotic locations, is OK and necessary for the plot but surprisingly unengaging. There is some fun with filmi cliches and Ranbir and Deepika are good to watch, but it was superficial. The meat is in the middle, especially Ved's appearance as a dull office clone and his disintegration after Tara has turned down his marriage proposal: the evocation of the pressure, rigidity, and sheet nonsense of office culture is moving and sometimes very funny, while the emergence of Ranbir's inner life into his corporate jargon is again funny, and disturbing. This section is helped by being woven around my favourite songs on the soundtrack: Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai and Wat Wat Wat. But, good though this central part of the film is, it is spoiled by the diluting effects of everything around it.
On to the two lead performances. Ranbir Kapoor as Ved is outstanding: he really inhabits the character, when telling outrageous stories in Corsica, when being the crushed product manager in a soulless office, when hesitantly trying to explain himself to his father and, most effectively, when gradually going off the rails after Tara rejects him. His acting in the middle part of the film is what makes Tamasha possibly worth watching. It's hard to imagine any of his contemporaries having anything like the range needed for this role.
Deepika Padukone as Tara does her best with a very underwritten part. I think you could make a case to say that the female lead in Imtiaz Ali films is often a muse for the male lead, and the success of his films is directly related to how far that female character has a well-developed life of her own, rather than just being a device for developing the male character. At one end of the spectrum you have Kareena Kapoor's Geet in Jab We Met, who has a back story, a family, an ex-boyfriend who drives the plot, and is really the star of the film. Or you have Alia Bhatt's Veera in Highway, who again has a well-realised family life and back story that help to make a potentially problematic character believable. At the other end of the spectrum you have Nargis Fakhri in Rockstar. Tara is closer to the Rockstar end: I don't remember her having a conversation with anyone other than Ved during the entire film (apart from an initial contretemps with a cafe owner who does not speak English, whose purpose is just to draw her to Ved's attention). The only indication of her life apart from Ved is a few scenes with no dialogue, showing her to be successful in her career and pining for Ved. She is in the film only to trigger Ved to reflect on his life; her only independent action is to reject his marriage proposal, but even then she falls apart and desperately tries to get him back because he's so central to her existence. Deepika is a fine actress and does as much as she can with this role, but it's a nothing part, and she and the audience deserve much better.
Overall Tamasha gives us a masterclass in acting from Ranbir Kapoor and a good performance of a non-character from Deepika Padukone, but wrapped in a story that needed a lot of trimming and refinement to make it worthy of its stars.
Post by jabimetbollywood on Jan 7, 2016 6:34:32 GMT
Just popping in here to note what I put on the "recently watched" thread. I may have more to add later.
A few weeks ago I found myself at the theater with not one, but two Bollywood movies to choose from! Tamasha or Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. They started at about the same time. Which one, which one? I went with Tamasha. About 45 minutes in, I started wondering whether it would be better to ditch and go catch the rest of PRDP. But I stayed. It did get better.
Here's the thing. Ranbir is, indeed, an excellent actor. When he is interested and cares. When he is not interested, as in the first part of Tamasha (and I can't really blame him for not being interested, it is a stupid conceit that starts the movie, all that letting loose in a foreign country lets you know someone's real soul type nonsense) he is technically blameless but completely dead in the eyes. He looks bored. I can practically see him counting, "1, 2, 3 look down, 2, 2, 3, look at her, 3, 2, 3 smitten smile." And he looks smug about phoning it in, somehow. Bored Ranbir annoys me to no end. Deepika isn't given much to do, but at least she is all-in for the entire thing, even the stupid bits.
But the script got better later on and Ranbir got interested in what his character was going through, and then I was able to enjoy watching his performance, instead of wanting to throw something at him.
"Movies are so rarely great art that if we cannot appreciate great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them." --Pauline Kael
As I've already mentioned in the "What's the Latest Movie You've Watched" thread, the copy I watched was missing most of the subtitles and, although I got the gist of what happened, I have one question: after she rejected his proposal, why did Tara go back to Ved and ask for the ring and then beg him to take her back? It made abolutely no sense to me - just like it made no sense that she apologised for the things she said to him (namely that he was playing a part and not being himself).
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