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Film review: Ranbir and Deepika are on fire in the otherwise dull ‘Tamasha’

Imtiaz Ali’s latest ode to young love is a jumble of simplistic emotions and banal ideas.

Imtiaz Ali’s Tamasha has emerged from that corner of the college canteen where dreamy-eyed boys strum guitars and spout poetry in the hope that the inevitable journey into adulthood will be delayed just a little longer. Ali has been occupying this spot ever since he made his debut, Socha Na Tha, in 2005. His latest saga of an emotionally stunted type who uses a lover as a crutch is narrated with the same adolescent yearning that can be found in many of his films. Complex emotions are expressed in simplistic terms, the romance is chaste to the point that a kiss seems radical. True love strikes only once, and always between beautiful and impeccably turned-out people in photogenic locations. Everything is verbalised.

It worked beautifully in Jab We Met, Ali’s most perfectly realised movie, but the leads of Tamasha appear a bit too old to be running around like virginal teenagers. Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) meets Tara (Deepika Padukone) in sun-soaked Corsica, the French island that inspired the Asterix comic about Boneywasawarriorwayayix and his family feuds. Tara has come to Corsica expressly because she is a fan of the comic (she can be seen holding a copy, in case you miss the reference the first time) and when she runs into the only other Indian on the island, sparks fly. The well-shod Bohemians like to play act like their favourite movie characters, and they explore the island together and share a room. They don’t tell each other their names. Since this is hardly Last Tango in Corsica, their mutual passion is strictly family-friendly.

Four years later, Tara is handling her tea empire (holidays in Corsica don’t come cheap) and runs into Ved again in Delhi. What happens in Corsica has stayed there: Ved is a buttoned-up and emotionally withdrawn corporate drone. Yet, Tara, who doesn’t seem to have dated a single man since she returned from Corsica, begins a relationship with Ved that ends badly. Tamasha finally begins.

A never-ending journey

Like he did in his last movie Highway, Ali tries to expand the frontiers of the clichéd trope about life being a journey into the inner self with an ode to the joys of acting out. Ved has been forced into the drudgery of engineering and corporate sales, but his heart beats for the stage. Ali gets arty with the editing and shooting styles, and the choppy and abrupt cuts appear to be attempts to introduce edginess into a routine coming-of-age drama, but they only confuse the narrative and severely bloat the running time.

At 151 minutes (the filmmakers seem to have used every single shot canned), only a handful of scenes stand out. Kapoor and Padukone are perfectly paired, and Ali brings out their chemistry in many tender moments. The restaurant sequence in which Tara manages to rattle some of Ved’s reserve especially has the ring of honesty and truth.

The moment is aptly followed by a lullaby-like song (the music is by AR Rahman, the sharp lyrics by Irshad Kamil). Tamasha doesn’t have enough depth or profundity to say anything that Ali hasn’t said before. For all the movie’s affectations of sophistication and worldliness, it gets its depictions of non-Indians hopelessly wrong. All of Corsica respectfully bows to the whims of Ved and Tara, and doesn’t seem to mind when they put on stereotypical Continental accents. By the time Tara has started making fun of the way the Japanese speak English, it’s clear that for all its tributes to the magic of theatre, the free-wheeling rhythms of the road movie, and the emotional acuity found in arthouse cinema, Tamasha is a good old Bollywood flick.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.