Imtiaz Ali, above everything else, understands the importance of character development. His entire film, right from the premise to the climax, exists to answer one single question “What will he choose”?
Everything else is secondary. And I like such films. I love them! The greatest of adversaries a person faces is himself. And Tamasha is a personification of that struggle.
The narrative techniques, the camera angles, the cinematography of the film, all complement that effort. They strive to bring that dual personality of the lead character to the screenplay as well.
The film is also well endowed with dry humour. More dark comedy, or noir, than rib-tickling jokes; which only enhance the duality of spirit – the pain speaking in the accent of humour.
All this can be a bit overwhelming at times, so Mr. Ali has splattered the canvas with a hoard of visual metaphors. I would be giving up the story by referring to them, so I will pass. (Hint: the fog from their mouths, the posters that appear over and over, etc.)
The music by A R Rahman is as usual borderline genius. More than the songs, the music is emphatic when it is scoring the background. Those strings and chords!!
All in all, this is a movie that will grow on you as you re-watch it. With each reading, you’ll find bits and pieces that you’d missed the previous time. The movie will also present different hues depending on when/how/with whom you are watching it.
My advice? You can miss it from the theaters, but you should definitely buy the DVD. For this one’s for the shelves.