Pre-‘Tamasha’ Special: Philosophy of Imtiaz Ali films


Tamasha - Ranbir Deepika

Recently, the trailer of Ranbir-Deepika�۪s starrer ��Tamasha�۪ was released and has so far accumulated approximately 4 million views. From the trailer, one is reminded of the Shakespearean monologue ��All the world’s a stage�۪, which compares the stage of a play to life. However, this is not the first time Imtiaz Ali includes some kind of philosophical element. From ‘Socha Na Tha’ (2005) to ‘Highway’ (2014), there are several elements which can be seen or denoted. Which elements are these? Let�۪s find out!

‘Socha Na Tha’��

Socha Na Tha

Imtiaz Ali’s first directorial venture was about Viren (Abhay Deol) who refuses to marry Aditi (Ayesha Takia) as he wishes to wed his girlfriend Karen (Apoorva Jha). On a trip to Goa, Aditi and Viren coincidently meet and grow closer. He realises that he has fallen in love with her. However, wedding preparations with Karen had begun since he fought hard (due to religion differences) to get engaged. After walking out of the marriage, Aditi rejects him out of the respect of her uncle and aunt. The fact that Viren later on forgets her and becomes miserable, the philosophical message is conveyed through how a human being conflicts their desires/feelings in life and how one should pursue what they deeply want to remain happy. NOW THAT’S THE IMTIAZ ALI MAGIC!

‘Jab We Met’ (2007)

Jab We Met

The 2007 blockbuster was not only lauded for the lead actors- Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor�۪s performances/chemistry and foot-tapping soundtrack, but also the simplicity of its storyline. But what is quite interesting, is the fact that Shahid Kapoor (as Aditya Kashyap) essays a depressed/heartbroken businessman who loses focus of his life. Until he is forced to accompany Kareena Kapoor (as Geet) back to Bhatinda and then elope to unite Geet with her boyfriend. The fact that Aditya had become like a lost soul without any destination, Geet becomes a motive for his livelihood. Furthermore, there is a scene where Geet tells Aditya to flush down the photo of his ex-girlfriend. This symbolises how we all should not let our past restrict us. (Like Frozen) we should also LET IT GO!

‘Love Aaj Kal’ (2009)

Love Aaj Kal

‘Love Aaj Kal’ emerged as Imtiaz Ali�۪s next commercially successful venture post ‘Jab We Met’. The film portrayed the love story of Jai (Saif Ali Khan) and Meera (Deepika Padukone) who meet and separate after being unsure about their feelings. During this time Jai talks to caf̩ owner Veer (Rishi Kapoor) who tells him about how in his time love was not just about the physical aspect, but the inner feelings. The philosophy in the film is depicted through the discovery of Saif-Deepika�۪s feelings��_ As both act to be comfortable in their lives without each other��_ NOW that�۪s deep romance!

‘Rockstar’ (2011)


‘Rockstar’ is another film which has many deep/spiritual elements. Similar to ‘Love Aaj Kal’, the philosophy is firstly essayed through Ranbir Kapoor�۪s character Janardhan Jakhar aka Jordan. His character is a lost, frustrated soul in search of his true love, Heer (Nargis Fakhri) (Which may also resemble to Shahid�۪s character in ‘Jab We Met’). As such, the track Nadaan Parindey reflects Ranbir Kapoor�۪s character. For instance the lyrics: kyun des bides phire maara kyun haal behaal thaka haara. Kyun des bides phire maara tu raat biraat ka banjara��_ Symbolises his character as a na�ve bird who wanders around countries fatigued, unknown of his destination��_ In the darkness. This, to some extent, could relate to us, how we could be like this na�ve bird, trying to find our destination in life. This example is the tip of the iceberg. The film has many more philosophical elements!


Alia Bhatt in 'Highway'

‘Highway’ narrated how an affluent girl, Veera (Alia Bhatt) finds freedom whilst kidnapped by Raghuvir (Randeep Hooda). The film was not only a path-breaker for Alia, but it was thought-provoking. As the ��Highway�۪ itself was not just a road, but a metaphor for Veera�۪s life. In the film, we see that she was abused during her childhood and forced by her mother to hide it. Thus, being taken on a long journey, on long roads and without any security, became her liberty. Furthermore, in the award-winning song Patakha Guddi, the lyrics towards the end are: Maalik ne jo chinta di toh door karega woh hi meaning if god has given the worries, then he�۪ll remove it. This acts as a reminder for all of us that god is looking after us, regardless of how big a problem is.

On the whole, what makes Imtiaz Ali such an exceptional director? It is mainly because his films offer philosophical, deep-thinking elements which adds a soul. WE, as audiences can take these elements and consider how these quotients relate to our lives. Final word? Imtiaz Ali�۪s films are not just a ��Tamasha’ (spectacle) on-screen. It�۪s life, as we know it.

By Anuj Radia

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