Even after 7 years, Tamasha still is the most poetic and relatable tale of self-discovery that retells fables of undying love!

For better and for worse I’ve forgotten about Bollywood romance; one that was aspirational, allowed one to escape, full of yearning, wasn’t practical yet fulfilling, and more than anything else was hopeful. No matter what our stance might be on DDLJ or Dil Toh Pagal Hai, some of us do want what Raj and Simran or Rahul and Pooja share. Though these couples became a little unrelatable over the years, for the millennials it was Ved and Tara from Tamasha whose love story not only felt relatable to that generation but also brought a new angle to the cliche Bollywood romance. Imtiaz Ali’s Tamasha not only showed us a new pathway for romance while retaining some of the old ways but also forced us to look within our own selves.

While people say that Imtiaz Ali’s women end up being a cliche for that hero who is lost, they have also always been independent and liberated decision-makers who always do what they want. They even make fun of what is expected out of a ‘proper’ woman. While they do play that role in these lost heroes’ journey to bring them back on track, you forget that it was Ved who made Tara realize what she really wants in life in Corsica much before Tara bursts Ved’s bubble. This shift in this romantic dynamic is the most interesting one as both of them, just by being themselves and asking for what they really want in life, end up changing each other’s lives for the better. Another interesting thing is to notice how each just nudges the other in a director but the walking down that path has to be done alone. When Tara pinches Ved’s complex by saying no to him for marriage and thinks he is hiding his real self she does burst his bubble. But Tara irrespective of feeling guilty about it and wanting to help him, Ved takes the journey of finding himself on his own and then returns.

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But again this film is more complex than just a lost boy finding himself or a love story. The film is an ode to all storytellers and stories as it talks about the value of stories and the impact it has on us. After all, it’s stories that have kept this human race alive and worth living for something! And this is made prominent in the film with Piyush Mishra’s character of Buddhe Babba, imitations of old Bollywood films in Corsica, the film’s structure of bringing Ved’s imagination to life in the form of plays being enacted every now and then, and Ved and Tara’s love story being divided into parts. This is why we need storytellers to tell exceptional stories but it’s not necessary that society understands their value just as Ved’s father doesn’t understand him, even though he isn’t necessarily villanized. Besides this, it also becomes a film about mental health and looking deep within oneself as Ved’s constant companion is a mirror where he always talks to himself.

Ved’s journey from being a robot who finds solace in being himself only when no one can recognize him to breaking free of this pattern is a soul-stirring poetic one that questions the society that suppresses or oppresses a person’s real self and identity by dissecting one’s career choices. Ranbir Kapoor has already become the idol for people who don’t want to walk on the line drawn rather they want to do something entirely different. But with Ved, he took it to the next level. He didn’t just keep a different personality forward but also showcased what happens if you try to cage it.

Tamasha has a unique tone of explaining things. It didn’t mock the 9 to 5 rat race but it just showed that this was dangerous for one’s health for people like Ved. Aadmi ko wahi kaam karna chahiye jis mein uska dil large iska matalb yeh nhi hai ki 9 to 5 galat hai bas vo kisi kisi ke liye sahi nhi hai! These things are not mutually exclusive of each other and Tara exhibits this by being an independent woman who knows what she wants but isn’t afraid to fall in love completely and care for her partner. You don’t necessarily have to be one or the other!

This film by Imtiaz Ali is like poetry that flows so deeply that it makes you meet yourself and makes you fall in love with every dialogue that gets edged in your memory to every song that touches your heart because who doesn’t cry to Agar Tum Saath Ho and doesn’t visit Hauz Khaz in Delhi just for that Tamasha experience?

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