Yesterday, I almost jumped into a spirited debate with someone when he as much as put Tamasha in the same league as contemporary Bollywood.
Now, I haven’t seen Tamasha and going by the mixed reviews I am reading – I have brought my huge huge expectations to be swept off by the amazing story telling and the sparkling chemistry of the lead pair , a notch down.
But I am watching the movie today evening and that’s why this post is so important to be written.
Imtiaz Ali is ‘unmissable’ – a word that I just invented coz there’s no other word to describe his kind of cinema.It is contemporary , entertaining , captivating , gripping . But none of that in the traditional sense of the word. If it is anything in ‘the pure sense of the word’ then its Genius Storytelling . And yes, Un-missable.
By now , if you haven’t gathered from the headline and the incessant groupie – like chanting that has followed , let me clarify – I am a big fan of the Imtiaz ali brand of cinema.
It’s not violent (verbally or visually). It’s not over the top or melodramatic. Its simple – but doesn’t treat me like a total dimwit , insult my intelligence with over explanation . It’s not so complex that I step out from it confused , perplexed or disoriented.
It’s not your typical out of the world movies centered around the theatrics of a superhero like male and a damsel in distress female protagonist.
It doesn’t rest on stereotypes and with the purpose of creating some box office milestones. Neither is it non-conformist, trying to make a point.
It’s not a lot of things and definitely a little self-indulgent actually . The kind that has a story which needs to be told and goes ahead and tells it irrespective of how it would be accepted .
His stories are not extra ordinary, fairy tales or heroic sagas. In fact they are so ordinary – they could be unfolding around us as we speak – in our college canteens, the office cabins , the traffic signals , clubs or restaurants . We could just look around and maybe find those characters he paints on silver screen , walking right past us or sitting beside us in a metro.
But these stories need to be told all their ordinary-glory . The journeys , possibilities, second chances, making mistakes, figuring it out and just being.
Just like Viren or Jai We have wanted different things from life and changed our mind when we finally got them , fairly mixed up about our choices. Or like Aditi or Meera , found solace in an uneventful life only to struggle through not able to put our finger on why it’s not as comforting as it’s supposed to be . Socha Na Tha or Love Aaj Kal could be story of so many people we know. Or maybe ours too in parts if not whole.
Sometimes for us things have gone horribly wrong because of one wrong step [ okay , not as drastic as us getting kidnapped but you get the drift right?] and we have realized how the wrong path turned out better than the seemingly right one we were on or planning to take just like Veera discovers in Highway.
Our brief interactions with complete strangers in a common place set up has left us wondering what it would be like to cross paths again. Like Geet and Aditya , I’ve found an instinctive connection in spite of being poles apart with interesting people during my very many train journeys [ in thankfully the pre facebook and pre twitter era] , Didnt we at some point or the other went a little Jab we met in our life too?
And the classic Rockstar , that perhaps rolled everything I mentioned above into one saga of love , longing & self discovery. Life always seemed to have different plans for JJ or Heer even if they wanted quite simple things in life actually .
Each character is flawed , simple , believable and real. They have their moments of weakness and everyday heroism.
Each song doesn’t stand out like a sore thumb or alters the reality as we know it to take us to a dream world , it takes the narrative forward.
Words , like we speak . Melodies that seem how it would be if life had a background music.
And Places.The cities that have characters complementing the parts or situations being played on-screen and that make Journeys outside interesting while journeys within unravel. Those cities deserve a standalone post once travel to Corsica in his recent most outing , quite literally, in Tamasha.
Imtiaz Ali’s cinema is the reason why some of us love movies the way we do and no matter what the critics or fellow movie lovers say , I shall continue to swear by his form of story telling.
Do you share my passion for that kind of cinema?That moves , yet entertains and stays with you enough to inspire you ? Tell me about it !
Image Credits :
Imtiaz Ali Profile Picture: Interview