UTV Motion Pictures and Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment Pvt. Ltd.’s Tamasha (UA) is a love story. Ved Vardhan Sahni (Ranbir Kapoor) and Tara Maheshwari (Deepika Padukone) meet in Corsica by chance. They both are holidaying there and decide to conceal their identities from each other and, in fact, not speak the truth with each other while in Corsica. They also decide never to meet once their stay in Corsica comes to an end. The two click like a house on fire and spend a lot of time with each other. After a few days, they return to India, convinced that they’d never meet each other, more so because they don’t even know one another’s names.
Back in India, Tara can’t forget Ved and realises that she loves him. She is mentally even prepared to leave her boyfriend for him. Quite by chance, she meets Ved in Delhi after several years, and their friendship is revived. Tara is ecstatic on meeting Ved. On his part, Ved now slowly starts falling in love with Tara. But Tara sees a different side of Ved in Delhi, completely at variance with the free-spirited, fun-loving person she had befriended in Corsica. And so, after being together for some days, Tara turns down Ved’s marriage proposal, telling him that she had loved that person in Corsica but does not love this Ved, who, to her, seems to be an ordinary human being, bogged down by the harsh realities of a humdrum life.
Devastated at being spurned by Tara, Ved starts faltering at work and is ultimately dismissed by his boss. He now begins soul-searching. Was the Ved of Corsica the real Ved? Was he happy doing the job he was doing in India or was he only acting under parental and societal pressure? Given to hearing stories from a story-teller in his childhood, Ved now goes back to the story-teller to find out the ending of his story.
Does the story-teller help him find the ending of his story? Does Ved unite with Tara? Or has she gone away from his life forever?
Imtiaz Ali’s story is quite different from the usual love stories because both the characters begin their friendship on the foundation of lies and both agree on this. While this is novel, it doesn’t make much sense because there is not enough justification to speak lies. Since the two are convinced that they would never meet once they had left Corsica, they could, as well, have spoken the truth to one another. This premise of starting a relationship on the basis of lies will not go down well with the general audience. Yes, it may excite a section of the class and youth audience but the larger chunk of the audience – rest of the classes and youth, masses, families – will either not understand the premise or will fail to appreciate it. This large chunk of the viewers will keep feeling troubled by the premise throughout the drama.
Imtiaz Ali has penned a screenplay which, like the story, caters to only a section of the audience – and that section does not even comprise the entire youth or the entire class audience. The portion, in the second half, when Ved goes haywire after the break-up, will bore the audience no end. The soul-searching drama becomes too philosophical for the general viewer’s taste. Therefore, even though there are entertaining and light moments throughout the drama, including the portion of soul-searching, the audience does not enjoy it in its entirety. The sequence of Ved narrating his story to his father, mother and grandmother and the sequence of Ved discussing his story with the story-teller are particularly very boring. Tara disappearing from the scene for a long time in the post-interval portion will not go down well with the audience, especially because she has made a place for herself in their hearts by then.
If the viewers can’t empathise with Ved completely, they can’t even agree with Tara’s stance. After all, if, as Tara wants, Ved were to always be the fun-loving, free-spirited guy he turned out to be in Corsica, what would he do for a living? Tara is not shown to have an answer to this but the question does trouble the viewers. So, in effect, the viewer ends up sympathising with neither of the two lovers, something which can prove quite disastrous for a love story.
The light scenes in the drama are, of course, entertaining. In fact, the classes and a section of the young audience will find the comic portions very funny. But the same comedy might appear too dull for a lot many viewers among the masses and even among one section of the youth.
Imtiaz Ali’s dialogues are very real and appealing.
Ranbir Kapoor does an exceptionally fine job of Ved. He looks the character and performs brilliantly. If he is endearing in the light scenes, he is superbly natural in the dramatic and serious ones. He has looked very handsome. His dances are graceful. Deepika Padukone is remarkable in the role of Tara. She excels in the acting department and looks gorgeous. Special mention must be made of her excellent voice modulation. Deepika’s clothes are just too lovely. She, too, dances very gracefully. Jawed Sheikh is suitably restrained as Ved’s father. As Ved’s grandmother, Sushma Seth does not get much scope. Piyush Mishra does well as the story-teller. Vivek Mushran evokes laughter as Ved’s boss. He has some really funny scenes. Teddy Maurya, Nikhil Bhagat, Aparajita Sharma, Ishwaq Singh and the others provide decent support.
Imtiaz Ali’s direction is sensitive. But, like his script, his narrative style will also appeal only to one section of the audience. Too many flashbacks confuse the viewers. Also, the pace of the drama is slow in the second half. A.R. Rahman’s music is good but that’s just not enough for this love story. It needed to be super-hit. Further, the songs have not become popular enough with the listeners. ‘Heer toh badi sad hai’, ‘Matargashtiyaan’ and ‘Agar tum saath ho’ are appealing numbers. Irshad Kamil’s lyrics are weighty. Song picturisations (by Bosco-Caesar and Ashley Lobo) are nice. A.R. Rahman’s background music is lovely. S. Ravi Verman’s cinematography is extraordinary. The foreign locations (Corsica) are heavenly. Acropolis’ production designing and Manini Mishra’s art direction are superb. Aarti Bajaj’s editing is crisp.
On the whole, Tamasha is a disappointing fare for a large chunk of the audience. It will find favour with a section of the city youth and class audiences but that will be grossly insufficient to recover the investment in the film. It will, therefore, entail heavy losses to all concerned.