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How Imtiaz Ali filmed his Tamasha

Published : Dec 18, 2015, 10:01 pm IST
Updated : Dec 18, 2015, 10:01 pm IST

Tamasha is my sixth film and I think the difficulty with this film was that it was very vast.

Imtiaz Ali
 Imtiaz Ali

Tamasha is my sixth film and I think the difficulty with this film was that it was very vast. There were different kinds of things happening in the film — like playing the fool in Corsica, being Dev Anand, having these silly situations of trying to pick up a guy and a girl in a foreign location. There were also very serious and insightful moments that had a completely different tone. In a way you wouldn’t expect both these things in the same film — that was the challenge.

As a writer and director, the challenge was to keep things cohesive a couple that has so much lustre while in Corsica, looks so boring towards the end of the film. A kiss that is so passionate between two people in Corsica becomes so dull that it’s funny, in Delhi. So there were very different kinds of moods that were expressed in this movie. The challenge was to make it all part of the same film.

We shot Tamasha for 91 days in Corsica, Shimla, Delhi, Japan, Kolkata and Mumbai. At each of the locations, we hired local talent as actors, local crew and catering. Corsica was a very expensive location, but it was a location I wanted. I was getting much more than I had bargained for so I knew it would be justified (Not much shooting happens in Corsica) so everything had to be set by us almost for the first time. There was no steady catering and all the other services a team requires on a shoot were not established. We had to rely on smart people to help us out.

The one unique and interesting challenge with Tamasha was, how to make Ranbir look uninteresting! He would look attractive in one way or the other but when Tara comes to find him in Delhi, he had to look ordinary. So his hairstyle and the colour of his clothes didn’t suit him; pants were styled a certain way to make it seem like he had a paunch. The dialogues were also lacklustre.

One of the toughest scenes to shoot was the one just before the song Agar Tum Saath Ho, just because it was so emotionally draining for Deepika and Ranbir. The song and the sequence took over three days to finish and all of us had to sustain that emotion day after day. It affected everybody.

The scene where Tara says that she doesn’t want to be (with) Ved was difficult because it was unbelievably cold. We were shooting out in the open and we had to take breaks because (our) mouths wouldn’t open properly! Since we were shooting linearly, this was not a scene we could have skipped and shot later.

Ranbir had told everyone in Corsica that he has sung Matargashti. Those people have an operatic tradition where singers and actors are the same. Ranbir told them that it’s the same in India, and that we had recorded the song earlier as it had to be played out loud. They were all thinking that he would sing the song after the shoot gets over and they really respected him for having such a nice voice, in addition to being able to dance and act. They thought he is a dude! Everyone in Corsica still believes that Ranbir has sung the song and that he sings all the songs in his films!