[Movie Review – Tamasha starring Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Dir- Imtiaz Ali]
Why do we travel? Seriously why? Do we travel just to see more of the world? Or do we travel to find out more about ourselves? I would say the second was more true for me. Atleast on the evidence of my most recent trip abroad. I am sure everyone of us knows first hand that every single trip is different- every time we leave the comforts of our home to go off and slum somewhere we are challenging ourselves to forsake all the comforts we are used to. But some trips do more than that, they push you to the limit, they redefine what challenging is to your own mind, take you to such extremes that you never thought existed and demand that you give more than you ever thought possible. Such trips re-define yourself to your own eyes. A trip like that shows you what you can be if you weren’t what you are right now.
There i was in the middle of the Indian ocean , well at least on a tiny part of it, wearing a mask and snorkel and peering about underwater starring at rocks and tiny little fish darting around and all i could think of right then was why the hell am i spending all this time with these rocks, while i could be comfortably spending some time with a vodka on the rocks. That was a moment of revelation for me and all the way back on the boat to the shore i was promising myself that never again would i go for a vacation which involves any action, except to lie on a beach somewhere with a drink in my hand- that is my kinda vacation. Its these epiphanies which travel brings out in us and holds a mirror to our true selves like nothing else does and the least we can do is to at least hold on to these memories even if we dont do anything else with them in our lives. But sometimes some people do- they take these lessons and make them work in their lives. They re-invent themselves and start a new life post the trip.
Like in the movie Tamasha starring ranbir kapoor and deepika padukone which i started out to actually review here on the blog before i got sidetracked into my own reminiscences. There is a ten minute sequence at the start of the movie where the hero and heroine – strangers to each other who meet by accident at a corsican resort and become acquaintances- decide to live out their fantasies for the ten days they stay there on vacation and instead of living their own true lives they take on the persona’s of their favorite film stars.
The rest of the movie is about showing the boringly routine real life of these two characters- especially ranbir kapoor who is trapped in an everyday corporate job with an overbearing evil boss and an extraordinarily demanding father who insists on responsibility before anything else. Crushed under the weight of his mundane existence he runs into the heroine again after a gap of a few years and she tells him that his everyday life is a mask while his real self was the one she met on vacation. That flips him and he turns violent with her- for of course, if you have spent years in denial and self repression, to be shown the truth of it all is maddening to say the least and acceptance is very very hard and almost impossible to get over the self delusion.
The rest of the movie is about how the hero casts aside the mantle of being responsible and goes back to his real carefree self and in the process rekindling the romance with the heroine which ends in the alls well that ends well genre favored of our directors. But although the ending is as cliched as they come, the middle half of the movie where ranbir kapoor shows all the angst of a sensitive soul crushed under family and societal responsibilities is as outstanding a piece of cinema as i have watched all year long. Tamasha gives a lot of lessons in a jolly tamasha way. Its worth a watch and a re-watch. Highly recommended.