Feroz Abbas Khan's DEKH TAMASHA DEKH is a well-nuanced film which is frighteningly disturbing and intelligently engaging at all levels; be it at the stark portrayal of political situations, comedy or tragic relationships.
Khan treats the movie by weaving vignettes in the beginning which, later on, helps him in painting a larger picture; a picture so clear, that towards the end the message rattles your senses.
The basic premise is the Hindu-Muslim divide but this is not the 'overdone' subject that we have been treated to time and again. Khan gives it a different hue injecting love, revenge, tragedy, ignorance and political machinations.
On one end is a Hindu leader who knows how and when to play his cards and instigate his people. There is also a Muslim torchbearer who holds the lead for his community in the locality, albeit with a little less power. CHECK OUT: DEKH TAMASHA DEKH director not worried about protests
A Muslim man dies under the weight of a hoarding of a politician that comes crashing down on him. Just as he is being buried, a Hindu mob comes to claim his body saying he is Hindu. The case is moved to the court which gives the whole situation a different turn. With a slight bent on satire, Khan throws open the minds of small-minded people, and politicians who look for situations to get 'mileage'.
The widow meanwhile is watching as her son is lost in this fallout and her teenaged daughter is torn between her love for a Hindu boy. The Muslims around her are engaged in a bitter battle with the Hindus.
Meanwhile, the Police Inspector in charge of the police station is caught between his immediate junior and the clout of the politicians around, while an old Maharashtrian author, who has highlighted history, makes the Hindu outfit uncomfortable. Nothing wrong with his facts, just the fact that they are not able to digest the fact!
His books are burned. He turns a deaf hear to them by pulling out his hearing aid!!
The last scene with the Hindu and Muslim leaders bonding is something that gets you out of the auditorium thinking of the political circus that goes around us.
The performances are engaging, be it Satish Kaushik, Zarina Wahab or the girl who plays Shaboo or her lover. Even the old judge who sits to hear the case stands out. Khan delivers a powerful message giving a new meaning to subtlety.
DEKH TAMASHA DEKH is liberating.