Movie Name: Tamanna
Release Date: 13 June 2014
Director: Steven Moore
Review by: Muhammad Aayan Mirza
It took more than three years for Tamanna to come out, the three years amount for a lot of expectations and anxiety from a fan’s point of view. But the film is finally out in cinemas all across the country and you must go in a cinema nearby, watch the film, and form an opinion of your own as well, besides first reading this review of course.
Before I come to the review it self, let me update a little on the state the film is being run on in cinemas. Tamanna, unfortunately, is currently being run with merely one show per day in most cinemas, the most generous of which seem to be Cine Gold, Super Cinema Vogue Tower and Super Cinema Prince in Lahore where the film is adjusted for two shows per day. The occupancy on the first weekend is varying from 70-80% in Karachi while the case in Lahore isn’t much different either.
Now let’s come to the review. I will structure down my comment as per the different aspects of the film and will rate them individually to give you a sense of how the different areas of the film stand in their respective individuality, concluding it of course with a final verdict and rating.
Acting & Role Distribution:
With the kind of acting power the film has, it would be a sort of disrespect to start off the review from somewhere else.
The acting in the film, if described in one word was simply, spellbinding. The powerful most aspect of the film. What was actually the four character story, merely and largely revolved around the two characters only; Mian Tariq Ali (Salman Shahid)—a very huge name in the filmmaking world married twice and a carefree soul having a knack for playing games, and Riz Ahmed (Omair Rana)—a small part-time actor and a candidate for marrying Tariq Ali’s younger wife, Mehreen (Mehreen Raheel).
Salman Shahid was simply spectacular in his role, no questions on his acting. You would surely love the way he carries himself throughout the movie, in all his different attires; be that of an up class owner of the mansion his character is shown to occupy in the film, or the drunk, comically maneuvering and a miser husband he is shown in regards to the matters relating his wives, he completely ace them all. In one of the last frames too, Salman Shahid absolutely takes your breath away with a very heavy, silent performance, single most beautiful scene of film’s end.
Omair Rana similarly amazes you in his own capacities. Where Salman Shahid dominates the first half of the story, Omair, largely on his own, spearheads the second half as the main highlight of an otherwise…let’s just call it not so great of a plot. There is one particular scene in the movie that we will discuss later in the review where he simply astounds you and actually makes it the biggest highlight of the film.
Mehreen Raheel didn’t have much to play in the story, and thus, not much for me to judge on. But she too did all to the best of her capacities whatsoever she got. I have never seen her look more beautiful in any of her projects before. She looked absolutely stunning in the movie, in scenes, in song picturisation and everything that she had in her plate. You would wish to see more of her in the movie.
Faryal Gauher had an even smaller part, the most confusing one too perhaps. It looked as if there was more to it but got slashed down at film’s final edit. Nevertheless, the actress made her mark, from the very initial appearance to whatever she was supposed to do in the end. Full marks here. 5 out of 5 to acting on whole.
Story, Script and Plot:
The film starts off with a very promising first scene and you think, wow, money well spent, this really looks like something worth not falling asleep. But as the film takes off from that point, and as it progresses, you keep on slipping more and more on your seat from the mildness of the story and the very ordinary aura that it creates. The interesting bits do come in between and the writer does try to create a few bumps here and there, but they all unfortunately fade away into the otherwise, flat moving story. This flatness doesn’t stop hindering the entertainment you desire until the well-defined first half of the movie comes to an end. The plot maybe flat, but it is in no way slow. The story moves quite speedily ahead.
The second half is where Omair Rana takes the wheel. The story gets a little interesting, but the sole credit of it goes to Omair’s acting and nothing else, the twists and thrills, otherwise, are so humble that they just snap away without making you awestruck on them. The one scene that you would particularly love is where this strange looking SHO makes the entry into the story. That’s where you enjoy film the most. If nothing else, watch Tamanna for this part.
Then comes the climax; the very confusing, numb and a very tranquil bit of this particular story. This part again flies away in such a rapid way that you feel that the story maybe is on a sedative of some sort.
The ending is even more shocking. Right when you think, ‘no no there must be something else in the story and that the director is just playing with us here’, you get the disappointment that the film has ended for real. But…then comes a mid credit scene, like it mostly does at the end of trailers, but it disappoints you even more. If you think Leonardo Di Caprio’s Inception had an ending that you couldn’t digest, be prepared to replace it with Tamanna’s end scene. Inception at least ended making you think on your own about the different possibilities, but Tamanna’s ending doesn’t even feed you that. It just ends. I would rate the story at 1.5 out of 5 on whole.
Direction & Cinematography:
Direction was where Steven Moore showed his real mettle since he also wrote the film. It was good, new and refreshing. A few bits that would look extremely ordinary in between the film, but that’s largely because Steve creates a very classy feel from the very first scene, and you naturally expect the same from each and every scene in the film.
The cinematography was good too, the mansion in focus looked absolutely grand and really gave its natural feel. The lights at times, however, one feels were not played with in the best possible way. But a good effort overall. I will give this particular aspect 3 stars out of 5.
Visuals and Music:
A visually modern film overall, the production quality spoke for itself. Sarah Tareen very smartly kept the things simple otherwise and focused largely on making this film count amongst the new age cinema of Pakistan. Overall a very nice effort.
The music in the film really surfaced out, the background score and the regular songs both. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan never sounded more soulful, and the credit of this not only goes to Rahat but Steven Moore for beautifully picturising it as well, plus the feel Faryal Gauhar, Slaman Shahid and Mehreen Raheel collectively put into it, Mehreen as mentioned earlier could not look more stunning.
The other song, probably named, Shanreybaaz, was also well sung but could be dealt with better visually.
One big disappointment, however, was not finding Sahir Ali Bagga’s Allah Hoo in the movie. The song when released was heavily promoted as part of film’s OST list, but to the disappointment of everyone eagerly looking for it, it was nowhere to be found. The song was perhaps slashed for good, as it would have been really difficult to adjust it in the particular pattern that the movie ran on, or maybe it was part of the movie’s ending credits just like the Amanat Ali sung title track was, and couldn’t be heard as everyone by then had left the hall, I can’t be certain in this regard. But on whole I give this area 3 stars out of 5.
Tamanna is Steven Moore’s excellence at direction and failure at writing. A real masterpiece however at the acting part, a really smart move by the makers where they wanted to keep the film financially economical, but rich in substance. ‘Only if the story was as powerful,’ one really wishes at the end. All in all, another vital addition to the new age cinema, and perhaps another effort at finding Pakistan film industry a filmmaking formula of its own. Definitely watch the film for its acting, music and mansion. On whole I give it 3 stars out of 5.
Give would you rate Tamanna: