Tamasha (2015 film)

Tamasha (transl. Spectacle)[4] is a 2015 Indian romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Imtiaz Ali and produced by Sajid Nadiadwala under his banner, Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment. It features Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in lead roles. The film score and soundtrack album were composed by A. R. Rahman, while lyrics for the songs were written by Irshad Kamil. Filmed briefly in Corsica, Indian citiesShimla, Delhi, Gurgaon, Kolkata; followed by two-day schedule in Tokyo, the film tells the story of character Ved Vardhan Sahni (played by Kapoor) in three stages–as a 9-year-old child, a 19-year-old adolescent and a 30-year-old adult in a drama-based non-linear screenplay.

Poster of Tamasha
Theatrical release poster
Directed byImtiaz Ali
Produced bySajid Nadiadwala
Written byImtiaz Ali
StarringRanbir Kapoor
Deepika Padukone
Music byA. R. Rahman
CinematographyRavi Varman
Edited byAarti Bajaj
Distributed byUTV Motion Pictures
Release date
‹See TfM›
  • 27 November 2015 (2015-11-27)
Running time
136 minutes[1]
Budget87 crore[2][better source needed]Note: includes print and advertising costs
Box officeest. 136.6 crore[3]

The film was released on 27 November 2015 to mixed reviews by film critics.[5] However, they widely praised the performances of lead actors but criticised the unsatisfactory togetherness of the plot. The film grossed over 136 crore worldwide,.[6][2][7]Over the years, the film has built a strong cult following, with viewers appreciating its deep writing, sheer complexity and message the film conveys through its plot about the society. The film received nominations for direction, music and performances of the lead actors, notably Kapoor being nominated under the Filmfare Award for Best Actor category. Padukone won the Stardust Award for Best Actress and Irshad Kamil won the Filmfare Award for Best Lyrics for his lyrical work to the soundtrack album of the film.


The film begins as an onstage skit as part of a spectacle by Ved (Ranbir Kapoor) and Tara (Deepika Padukone). The skit presents monotonous office lives of people in general along with their pasts, which are shown through flashback sequences. The film switches to a flashback, in Shimla, showing a child Ved being fascinated by the stories narrated by a roadside storyteller (Piyush Mishra) who keeps mixing up his characters.

The film then shifts to a time where Tara meets an adult Ved while both are holidaying in Corsica. After instantly connecting, they come up with an amusing verbal pact to keep their real identities undisclosed, with hopes of not falling in love, as they explore the island together. One of their frequent jovial activities include pretending to be movie characters where Ved often poses as "Don" and Tara, as "Mona Darling". As their bond grows stronger, Tara realizes she is falling in love with Ved and afterwards, decides to leave Corsica despite their romantic friendship. The film moves back to another flashback where a young Ved is seen questioning the storyteller about the reason for happy times ending quickly, after noticing a sad part in all of his stories.

In India, after Tara returns to Kolkata, her father (Nikhil Bhagat) hands her over his tea business and she expands it by starting a line of tea boutiques, taking the company ahead. Four years later, after going to Delhi for work, she meets Ved one day, much to her surprise, and learns he is now a product manager. They reveal their original identities and she becomes excited to spend time with him, ready to act on her initial love for him. However, as they spend time together, she notices how vastly his charismatic persona and carefree attitude has changed. He talks differently, behaves more formally at their dates and shows up at a fixed time at her place. His monotonous and tedious lifestyle on a daily basis, from morning to evening in a similar pattern, includes him waking up on time, completing the morning chores, wiping the car, ignoring the hijra on the way, helping an elderly woman at his office, giving a presentation for work, and, meeting Tara in the evening. Ved, now more reserved, proposes to Tara with a ring on his birthday but she declines as she is unhappy with this reserved version of him. Ved leaves for his home and on the way, the driver (Ishteyak Khan) tells him about how his dreams of becoming a singer were crushed in earning his livelihood. Ved breaks down and his residual mental disorder is triggered.[8]

Due to his borderline personality disorder, Ved ends up upsetting his boss with nonsensical presentations and random behavior display in business meetings. As Ved begs Tara to come back to his life, she indirectly informs him she is fixated in his cheerful personality from Corsica instead of his attitude of simply living by societal conventions. After claiming his lively nature to be his true, undiscovered identity and politely asking him to genuinely figure himself out, Tara tearfully expresses her realization of unintentionally hurting him and apologizes. Frustrated and confused, Ved leaves in tears. The next day, he slightly changes his daily routine at the office, gives the ring to the eunuch and afterwards gets evicted from his workplace for his continuous mindless actions.

Ved returns to Shimla and gets in a tussle with his father, Brijmohan Sahni (Javed Sheikh), after telling him he had lost his job and had been wandering around for six months. Ved then gains introspection from a reflection in the mirror, as he decides to meet the old storyteller from his childhood in order to complete his own story. Upon their encounter, the old storyteller criticizes Ved's irrationality, and confronts him to complete his own story. This opens Ved's eyes and he goes back to his house where he starts narrating events which happened in their family, using theatrics and metaphors in the form of storytelling to the family audience. Moved by his art of storytelling, Brijmohan forgives him for leaving his job and lets him pursue his life as he wishes.

Ved returns to Delhi and accepts the ring being kindly returned to him by the eunuch. Tara, after finishing a business meeting at Oracle in Tokyo, is surprised when Ved shows up back with his gleeful attitude and they both happily begin impersonating characters again. The film goes into a flashback and through a montage sequence, shows Ved in three of his stages as a child, an adolescent and an adult, sequentially. The film cuts back to the onstage skit again, which is in continuation of the opening scene of the film and the elaborated allegorical spectacle, as Ved and Tara prepare for its conclusion. The film ends with Ved taking bow amid the applause of audience.




"This thought played in my mind for very long, basically who are we? Sometimes people have to pretend what they have to be, than what they actually are. In front of people we all have to behave in a certain way, we are in some character. We can’t be who we are. I had this thought even as a kid. I think it’s coming from there."

 —Imtiaz Ali on how he got the film's idea.[14]

In 2013, it was announced that director Imtiaz Ali will be making a film with Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone in the lead titled, Window Seat.[15] Anushka Sharma was the original choice for the lead actress which later went to Padukone.[16] The title was changed to Tamasha in 2014 which was taken from the lines of poet Ghalib–"Hota Hai Shab-O-Roz Tamasha Mere Aagey" (your most personal thought is your life's biggest spectacle).[17][18] Ali said that the film is "about the journey of someone who has lost his edge in trying to conform to the society" and about "abrasion and loss of self in attempt to fit in".[19] He called the film "severely intense and personal" story that questions the "systems we get trapped in and crushed childhood dreams".[20][21]

Talking about the reason behind the working title Window Seat, Ali said: "It’s that thought that crosses your mind when you are sitting by the window of a train and watching Ratlam go by and you think, what if I get down from this train? What life awaits me there?".[22] Ali stated that he wanted to create "different tone" for the film and thus made Kapoor look attractive in Corsica and ordinary in Delhi.[23] Both Ali and Kapoor met Teejan Bai for the research for narrations of the Mahabharata in the film.[24] Ali described the characters of Ved and Tara as "storyteller" and "emotionally agile" respectively.[22] He called these characters as the closest to him.[22] When the characters meet for the first time in the film, they decide not to disclose their identities. The film paid homage to actor Dev Anand through this act. Kapoor took classes from mime artists to mimic the requisite dialogues.[25] Pakistan actor Javed Sheikh was cast in the role of Kapoor's father.[18] Aki Narula designed the costumes for Kapoor whereas Anaita Shroff Adajania for Padukone. The costumes were made according to the different mood of the film.[26]


Ali,Kapoor and Padukone filming in Corsica.

Principal photography began in Corsica, France on 9 July 2014 and was wrapped on 30 July 2014.[27][28] The song "Matargashti" was shot in Bastia.[29] Some portions were shot in Shimla for 15 days featuring flashback sequences of a younger Ved.[30][31][32] Tamasha was also shot in Kolkata on January 2015, where Padukone's office scenes were filmed on a set in the office of J Thomas & Co. Pvt. Ltd.[12][33] The song titled, "Heer To Badi Sad Hain" was shot in Kolkata.[20] The sequence between Kapoor and Padukone before the song "Agar Tum Saath Ho" took over three days to finish as Ali felt it was "emotionally draining" for Kapoor and Padukone.[23] Ali said he was inspired by a real girl he saw in Europe who was continuously crying on a bench and people were coming and going.[34] Padukone did not use glycerin for the scene and cried for real. The following scenes were improvised.[34]

The Delhi schedule of filming began on 29 January 2015.[35] Scenes featuring Kapoor were shot at the Time Tower Business Park in Gurgaon.[36] Padukone joined the same schedule, a day later, beginning the shoot in southern Delhi's Hauz Khas.[37] The schedule was wrapped up by 23 February 2015.[38] Certain scenes were shot in Delhi from 10 March 2015, extending a week further.[39] Majority of the scenes were shot at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla.[40] The next filming schedule began in Tokyo on 8 April 2015 and lasted for two days.[41] Further filming continued in Delhi for five days.[41] In August 2015, the last schedule of filming began at Mehboob Studio in Mumbai.[42][43] The filming was completed on 6 August 2015.[44][45] Tamasha was shot in 91 days in Corsica, Shimla, Delhi, Tokyo, Kolkata and Mumbai.[46][23] Ravi Varman and Aarti Bajaj served as the film's director of photography and editor respectively.[47]


The soundtrack album and film score is composed by A. R. Rahman with song lyrics by Irshad Kamil.[48] The soundtrack album's first single "Matargashti" was released on 9 October 2015.[49] The album was released on 16 October 2015 by the record label T-Series.[50]


Ranbir Kapoor had no releases in the year 2014. After January 2015, Kapoor had Roy, Bombay Velvet and Jagga Jasoos lined up for release. In order to avoid back to back releases with less time gap between his films, he decided to postpone Tamasha to 2016.[51] Further, the producers of the film couldn't opt for a late December 2015 release due to multi-starrer films Bajirao Mastani and Dilwale, where Deepika was also a leading actress in the former.[51] However, in May 2015, it was announced that Tamasha will release on 27 November 2015 and Kapoor's other film Jagga Jaasoos pushed to mid-2017.[52] The film was promoted with the tagline "Why always the same story?".[53]

The film was censored with U/A certificate on 7 November 2015. Scenes with bawdy dialogue references and comments addressing Padukone's character[54] were muted.[54][55] The censor board claimed it as the most lengthy kissing scene ever on screen, longer than the one picturised between Aamir Khan and Karisma Kapoor in the film Raja Hindustani.[55] On 17 November 2015, The British Board of Film Classification passed the film uncut with PG certificate.[56] The film had a special screening at Yash Raj Studios on 26 November 2015.[57]

The film released on 27 November 2015 at an estimate 2100 number of screens in India and 571 screens overseas.[58]

Home mediaEdit

The film was made available to stream on OTT platform Netflix [59]

Critical responseEdit


Critic Mehul of Deccan Chronicle awarded 4 stars (out of 5) and stated, "Imtiaz Ali, in this film, creates a different world and makes you believe in it till the last shot of the film."[60] Ananya Bhattacharya of India Today gave the film 3.5 stars (out of 5), writing, "In all, Tamasha is vintage wine. There are inhibitions that keep you from falling head-over-heels in love with the film the first time you watch it. Once done away with the initial hesitation, Tamasha is an experience."[61] For The Times of India, critic Priya Gupta said, "The route Tamasha takes is long-winded and plain boring at times."[62] She gave the film 3 stars (out of 5).[62] Pallavi Patra of Zee News gave the film 3.5 stars (out of 5) claimed, " A clear picture of how twisted your life can get under the painful currents of life. All said and done, the clear winners in this 'drama' are the protagonists, more than the story itself."[63]

For The Huffington Post, critic Supratik Chatterjee writes, "Tamasha is, in many ways, a culmination of the recurring themes in Ali’s filmography. It is tonally messier than his last film, Highway, but more emotionally satisfying than Rockstar and brings together elements from many of his films in a pleasing-enough manner."[64] Writing for CNN-IBN, film critic Rajeev Masand called Tamasha an uneven film that oscillates between inventive and indulgent, never quite striking a consistent tone. He criticized the script but praised the performances of Kapoor and Padukone. He gave the film 2.5 stars (out of 5).[65] Critic based at Bollywood Hungama gave the film 2 stars (out of 5) and wrote, "On the whole, Tamasha comes across as a colossal disappointment in spite of towering performances and chemistry between the lead stars."[66] In his review for NDTV, Saibal Chatterjee gave stars (2.5 out of 5) writes, "Tamasha is at best a one-time watch because of the sparkle the leads lend to it. It could have been so much more."[67]

Surabhi Redkar of Koimoi pointed out, "Tamasha is different but not perfect. Ranbir Kapoor and Deepika Padukone deliver fine performances." However, she awarded the film 2.5 stars (out of 5).[68] Critic Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express reviewed in positive stating, "Deepika is luminous, and she is much more sure-footed in her part. Even though Ranbir gets more space, Tara is drawn with welcome depth."[69] However, she gave the film 2 stars (out of 5).[69] Critic Subhash K. Jha for Firstpost stated, "This is a film that doesn’t entirely succeed in its endeavour to decode the heart's enigmatic excursions. But the journey is fascinating and admirable, though not entirely fulfilling."[70] Critic Anupama Chopra, in her review to Hindustan Times writes, "Tamasha starts to feel indulgent and predictable. The writing also gets lazy — Imtiaz settles for stereotypes and simplistic resolutions."[71]

In her review for The Hindu, critic Namrata Joshi called the film 'ponderous and protracted'[72] Rachit Gupta of Filmfare mentioned, " Ironically, it has a story that tries to ward off mediocrity in everyday life, and yet the film only manages to evoke mixed reactions.[73] Satya Kandala who gives the film 3 (out of 5 stars) in her review, stated " Tamasha fall short of true greatness is Ali's indulgence with the characters and situations, which at times makes the film look like it is trying too hard and a little too kitschy." [74] However, the film received a rating of 7.3/10 on IMDb, rare for a film with mix reviews, showcasing good audience response.


Andy Webster for The New York Times emphasized reviewing the characters and the direction. In his review, he mentioned, "Imtiaz Ali actually celebrates two love affairs: Ved and Tara’s, and (given Ved’s universal adulation) with his own self-aggrandizing vision of his calling."[75] In her review for Gulf News, Manjusha Radhakrishnan wrote, "The lead actors and Corsica look picture-perfect, but the movie isn’t free of blemishes."[76] Sneha May Franics of Emirates 24/7 opined, "Imtiaz Ali's indulgent narrative isn’t quintessential Bollywood, and that’s not necessarily bad"[77] In a review for The Guardian, Mike McCahill wrote, "Imtiaz Ali’s film is a surprising meta-narrative of archetypal star-crossed lovers, but its cool tricksiness leaves little room for surrendering to the story."[78] Deepa Gauri of Khaleej Times awarded the film 4 out of 5 stars and wrote, "Tamasha is un-Bollywood in its rhythm and pace, yet endears you with its essential simplicity."[79] Lisa Tsering of The Hollywood Reporter stated, "The film is a moving meditation on what it means to find out who you really are."[80] In his review for The Express Tribune, Rafay Mahmood gave the film 2.5 stars out of 5, stating: "Great music, exceptional performances and a different take on love don't prevent Imtiaz Ali's Tamasha from culminating in a disappointment."[81] Jay Seaver of Online Film Critics Society noted, "So it's a little bit bigger than a romantic comedy, although still enough of one that the story of a guy finding what he wants to be doesn't overwhelm it. It's not a perfect film, but it's consistently a bit better than expected."[82] Giving the film 2.5 stars out of 5, Mohaiminul Islam's review in The Daily Star opined, "This is Ali's most complex story, teeming with ideas, and gives us Ranbir back again, along with the lovely Deepika, even if the plot keeps losing sight of her."[83]

Box officeEdit


The film opened with 40% occupancy on the day of release.[84] The opening day nett figures were 10.94 crore (US$1.5 million).[85] On the second day the film collected 13.17 crore (US$1.8 million).[86] On the third day, the film raked in 14.12 crore (US$2.0 million) nett.[86] The total opening weekend collections of the film were 38.23 crore (US$5.4 million) nett.[86]

However, the collections dropped in the beginning of the first week, collecting 5.07 crore (US$710,000) on the first Monday.[86] Estimating for individual days until Friday—collections were 4.07 crore (US$570,000) nett, 3.32 crore (US$470,000) nett, 2.77 crore (US$390,000) nett and 1.72 crore (US$240,000) nett.[86] On the second Saturday and Sunday, the collections were 2.84 crore (US$400,000) nett and 3.21 crore (US$450,000) nett respectively.[86] By end of first week, the total collections (on tenth day) were 53.46 crore (US$7.5 million) nett.[85][86]

The collections between eleventh to fourteenth day were 2.37 crore (US$330,000) nett.[86] By the end of second week, the total collections stood at 63.6 crore (US$8.9 million).[85][86] The collections between fifteenth to twenty-first day were 3.64 crore (US$510,000) nett.[86] By the end of third week, total collections were 67.24 crore (US$9.4 million).[85][86] The collections between twenty-second to twenty-eighth day were 2 lakh (US$2,800) nett.[86] By the end of fourth week, total collections were 67.26 crore (US$9.4 million).[85] Film's lifetime collection at the Indian Box Office are ₹94.92 crore.[86]


By end of December 2015, the film earned 14.88 crore (US$2.1 million) gross in USA and Canada, 5.13 crore (US$720,000) gross in United Kingdom, 10.84 crore (US$1.5 million) gross in United Arab Emirates and Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, 1.64 crore (US$230,000) gross in Australia, 30 lakh (US$42,000) gross in New Zealand, 4.05 crore (US$570,000) gross in Pakistanand 18 lakh (US$25,000) gross in Germany.[86] In remaining territories of the world, the film collected 2.26 crore (US$320,000) gross.[86] Summing up the collections at Indian and overseas box offices, the film collected an estimate 136.63 crore (US$19 million) [86]


List of Accolades
Award Date Category Recipient(s) and nominee(s) Result Ref(s)
BIG Star Entertainment Awards 14 December 2015 Most Entertaining Actor in a Romantic Role – Male Ranbir Kapoor Nominated [87]
Most Entertaining Actor in a Romantic Role – Female Deepika Padukone Nominated
Most Entertaining Romantic Film Tamasha Nominated
Stardust Awards 21 December 2015 Best Actor Of The Year (Male) Ranbir Kapoor Nominated [88][89]
Best Actor Of The Year (Female) Deepika Padukone Won
Best Director Of The Year Imtiaz Ali Nominated
Best Playback Singer (Male) Mika Singh

(for the song "Heer Toh Badi Sad Hai")

Best Playback Singer (Female) Alka Yagnik

(for the song "Tum Saath Ho")

Producers' Guild Film Awards 22 December 2015 Best Music A. R. Rahman Nominated [90][91]
Best Male Singer Mohit Chauhan

(for the song "Matargashti")

Best Female Singer Alka Yagnik

(for the song "Tum Saath Ho")

Screen Awards 8 January 2016 Best Actor (Popular Choice) Ranbir Kapoor Nominated [92]
Best Actress (Popular Choice) Deepika Padukone Nominated
Best Jodi (Popular Choice) Ranbir Kapoor,

Deepika Padukone

Filmfare Awards 15 January 2016 Best Actor in a Leading Role (Male) Ranbir Kapoor Nominated [93][94]
Best Music A. R. Rahman Nominated
Best Lyricist Irshad Kamil Won
Best Playback Singer (Female) Alka Yagnik

(for the song "Tum Saath Ho")

Zee Cine Awards 18 February 2016 Best Music Director A. R. Rahman Nominated [95][96]
Best Lyricist Irshad Kamil

(for the song "Tum Saath Ho")

Best Playback Singer – Male Mohit Chauhan

(for the song "Matargashti")

Mirchi Music Awards 29 February 2016 Listener's Choice Song of the Year "Agar Tum Saath Ho" Won [97][98]
Female Vocalist of the Year Alka Yagnik

(for the song "Tum Saath Ho")

Lyricist of the Year Irshad Kamil

(for the song "Tum Saath Ho")

Song of The Year "Agar Tum Saath Ho" Nominated
Times of India Film Awards 18 March 2016 Best Actor in a Leading Role (Female) Deepika Padukone Nominated [99]
Best Album A. R. Rahman Nominated
Best Lyricist Irshad Kamil

(for the song "Tum Saath Ho")

International Indian Film Academy Awards 26 June 2016 Best Actor Ranbir Kapoor Nominated [100]
Best Lyricist Irshad Kamil

(for the song "Tum Saath Ho")



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