An inspiration, a formula, a discovery – Imtiaz Ali breaks down ‘love’


An inspiration, a formula, a discovery, a journey— when it comes to love, it can be a million things, and each time filmmaker Imtiaz Ali approaches it, he explores a whole new dimension to it.

If Socha Na Tha was a bolt from the blue, Jab We Met made us fall in love all over again. Love transcended time in Love Aaj Kal, left us lost in Rockstar, and found us again in Highway. So intense and overwhelming is its power, that with Tamasha, which releases this November 27, Ali has decided to use the word ‘love’ with caution.

“The dichotomy is to discover again and again the meaning of ‘that’ word. Yes, it’s a man woman relationship that is recurring, but in Tamasha, I have used love as an inspiration, something that breaks you down to make a new you,” says Ali, as he is accompanied by the stars of his film, Deepika Padukone and Ranbir Kapoor, at Holiday Inn in Panchkula.

“An entertaining spectacle,” is what Kapoor calls this film, one that questions the ‘systems we get trapped in and crushed childhood dreams’. That’s also the crux of the story, where Ved (Kapoor) meets Tara (Padukone), and is rescued by her. It’s a character Kapoor identifies with as opposed to the ‘jatt’ Jordan of Rockstar with a destructive streak. Flaunting a constructive streak, “Ved is an average guy who doesn’t want to tap into that special quality within till someone comes along and helps him open up,” says Kapoor. Tara unplugs him ‘off the mechanical life support’.

“Although I identify more with Ved’s journey than Tara’s, she shows Ved the way out of the robotic life he is stuck in,” says Padukone.

For Kapoor, love is evolving, ‘and he is like a scientist who keeps chasing to find that perfect formula’. Padukone feels she can’t really define it, but experience it.

Ali, on the hand, presents one that is reflective of his experiences. Nonetheless, it’s a journey, both internal and external, in motion and adventurous, just like their work.

“It’s regressive to be stuck. I want to be dazed and confused, to break the mould in my films else I’d feel insecure,” says Ali, wearing a Tamasha tee customised by Punjabi culture brand, 1469 (one can pick Tamasha merchandise at Sector 17 outlet). Anxiety, pressure, love, anger, hate— Kapoor wants to feel a wave of emotions through his characters, while Padukone would hate to be an option for a particular type of film.

“A lot has changed with our generation for now one is assessed on what one brings to the table as a character,” adds Padukone.

Tamasha is also one of the first films where Ali has repeated his actors.

“They were always the only choice because Ved and Tara suit them. Ranbir is someone who doesn’t come with a bag of tricks to impress. He is here to express as he has the potential to reach the highest level of being an actor. Media embarrasses itself by asking about his failed films, whereas, it is only the director who is to be blamed for the failure.”

According to Padukone, “we are a fit and our energies match”.

Close on the heels of Tamasha is Bajirao Mastani for Padukone, and Kapoor is looking forward to Jagga Jasoos in June 2016. But it’s Ali who is all set to give another dose of love with a contemporary version of Laila Majnu. “It is Laila and Qais (Majnu’s name), and we are setting it in Kashmir,” says the filmmaker. He “does want to stay in India, feels that a kiss is not a national threat but perversity is and that one should be able to exercise his/her creative freedom within constitutional rights”.

“Rest is cyclical phases, and what Aamir Khan said was just an emotional reaction,” he signs off.

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An inspiration, a formula, a discovery – Imtiaz Ali breaks down ‘love’

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