Imtiaz Ali: I didn't brief Ranbir and Deepika on the break-up scene
'Tamasha' director Imtiaz Ali speaks about the lead actors Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone, theme, characters and the selection of exotic locations in his movies
What was your inspiration behind ‘Tamasha’?
Tamasha is intrinsically linked to my childhood. When I used to travel as a child, I always ensured I occupy the window seat. I loved looking out of the window, seeing things pass by and creating a world of my own. A world of my imaginations, things which didn’t exist in reality. That was the beginning of stories and I believe there lies the inspiration behind making Tamasha.
What are the things that make Ved’s (played by Ranbir Kapoor) character relatable?
I believe all individuals ranging from an auto rickshaw driver to a liftman, or an executive working in a multi-national company, all have a different side to their lives that is unknown. We all see the traits that are exterior. But beyond this outer façade lies a different person, a man of different sensibilities, a man who seeks to be recognized but can’t. Ved is such a person. He is a story teller at heart, his inspiration lies in the numerous tales that he has heard in his childhood but in reality, he is stuck in a world of presentations and targets. This dichotomy and disparity in his character makes him relatable.
Ved identifies himself as Don in the film. How did this idea spring up?
Sometimes, we imagine ourselves to be the people we adore or admire. Ved’s presentation of Don is like that. It’s his (Ved’s) favourite character and thus, when he doesn’t feel like revealing his real self to Tara (Deepika Padukone) in the film, he pretends to be Don.
Share something about Tara.
Tara is a character very close to my heart. She is a sorted and balanced human being who knows how to handle things and how to be happy. She is not an artist, not extraordinary but she has this amazing talent of analyzing people and knowing their traits. In the film, she recognizes the inner conflict of Ved and also points it out blatantly. Tara is a girl who doesn’t keep secrets, she can honestly say whatever she feels about anything and everything.
Why did you choose Corsica as a location?
That again comes out of a personal interest. Just like me, Tara is a reader of Archie’s’ comics revolving in Corsica. There are beautiful sketches of the place made in the books that are captivating. So like me, Tara also dreamt of visiting Corsica once in her life. Another reason also was that Corsica is not a popular destination for Indian travelers. Ved went there as he wanted to be in a place where he would not be recognized. He could be anyone in such a surrounding and no one would know the real him. When we have familiar people around, we are expected to behave in a certain way which is boring for a person like Ved. His biggest relief of a holiday lies in the fact that he can be someone else unabashedly.
The break-up scene is a strong one in the film. How did that come across?
Sometime in our lives we come across some situations which are extremely personal but get exposed to people. As much as we want them to be sheltered in the corners of privacy, there are moments when certain things hit us and unwillingly we react in a public place amidst everyone. That is embarrassing but beyond control. For that break-up scene in the movie, when I briefed Ranbir and Deepika, I didn’t tell them to cry or shout but it came out naturally. I believe Ranbir and Deepika must have experienced such situations in their lives and hence they invested those emotions in the scene which made it look smooth. They are talented actors and can effortlessly do that.