An honest story, a fantastic actor to portray a riveting character, a hot actress with debatable skill- but in a role that she could do justice to, the talented Imtiaz Ali had a clear winner in his hand.
But much like Ved’s father in the movie, director Ali limited the story’s potential to a mediocre product which will gross decently at the box office, and be forgotten soon.
The fault is not in the director’s indulgence. ‘Jordan’ was far more demanding character, ’Rockstar’ was a far more indulgent movie with much less resources. ‘Tamasha’ could not be brilliant like ‘Rockstar’ because of lazy parenting.
First and the biggest problem, the girl child deserved a lot more attention. Even in her limited role as a catalyst in Ved’s life, Tara could have been much more than what she was curtailed to.
Tara was the pillar that Ved’s parents couldn’t be for him. It could have been as much her story as it was Ved’s, before Ali cut her to size.
Sixteen years after the projector guy in Fight Club, Ali tried to splice expletives and nonsense into Ved’s daily routine, and fairly so.
But the writing lacked the projector guy’s commitment to inserting choicest porn clippings in between reels of Disney movies. Therefore, despite Ranbir’s best efforts, the impact seemed a lot neutered, compared to the invisible projector guy.
Forcing imagery parallel to the plot is neither conventional nor new. When you decide to do that, it’s a gamble and you go all in. One can’t keep the chips for the next movie.
‘Tamasha’ uses imagery like in ‘Aalavandan’/’Abhay’. Though they are of a different kind, the idea behind the theatrics is the same.
But unlike ‘Aalavandan’/’Abhay’, Ali plucked the tooth, squeezed the venom out of the imagery- and just used it as an ornament with no sting in it.
But any bomb gets as much respect as the damage it causes. I don’t know who Ali wanted to secure- Ved, the characters around him, the funding for the movie or the audience. But like any parent, Ali ran to Ved’s rescue when he could have let him spiral down just a little more. And before the audience felt Ved’s pain, the morning alarm rang.
Lastly, if you have Piyush Mishra at your disposal, you use him to the fullest. Ask Anurag Kashyap.
Once again, every story is a child. After a point you run with the child, bloom with it or fall with it. Controlled environments make mediocre, insipid adults at best.
P.S. – I would have loved to watch the movie for what it was, and not compare. Half-hearted execution has left the movie dwarfed in the shadows of its inspirations.