“Tamasha” and the “Catch-22” congruence

Kunal
4 min readJul 17, 2021

The basic similarity between “Catch-22” and “Tamasha” is the ultimate paradox.

“Catch-22, a satirical novel by American writer Joseph Heller, was published in 1961. The work centers on Captain John Yossarian, an American bombardier stationed on a Mediterranean island during World War II, and chronicles his desperate attempts to stay alive.”

“Catch-22” is a satirical, War novel. With a Sub-linear plot that is complex and has no major hint of the time of events (Whether it’s past or future) and “When” is a question almost every time. Joseph Heller’s Novel instead of all the 100 problems and complexities is an absolute masterpiece. Yossarian wants to get out of the island, Leave war and go home, But despite him trying to get out, he is not able to because of “Catch -22” For Yossarian to go home he must be mad, If he tells someone that he is mad and want to go home then he is not mad because he has acknowledged it himself this is a paradox. To make it more simple to understand, The most basic example of “Catch-22” is “to get a certain job, you need work experience. But to get that work experience, you need to have had a job. It’s a Catch-22.”

Imtiaz Ali’s Tamasha which came out in 2015 was a big flop at the Box-office, But that is normal for Indian films and obviously, despite that, it was a pretty good movie. “Ved and Tara fall in love while on a holiday in Corsica and decide to keep their real identities undisclosed. Tara returns to Delhi and meets a new Ved, who is trying to discover his true self.”

Over the course of the whole film, there are several scenes where ‘Don’, ‘Mona’, and ‘Tara’ are seen reading this book. Don is reading “Catch-22” in Corsica while we see ‘Mona’ taking a glimpse of it too. We see Tara in “Social” (Cafe/Bar) Checking out the book. Imtiaz Ali is known for his style of storytelling, He captures it sometimes with just one shot. As in the bed when Don is sleeping we see a shot of the book just right there and in that shot, Ali has shown us the Hidden inner self conflicts, The life he had growing up, The deep satisfaction Ved has while he is Don. The paradox that he is relating to.

Catch-22 as a Book is Funny, you can laugh hard turning pages of the book, But in that Funny sequences, The trembling horror of War and Inhumane thoughts are molded, Complex Paradoxical situations where people are but bounded with their ideologies, With their beliefs, Confused over the ideas of War, and Religion conflicting their free selves with Patriotism. Quirky sense of Humour is just used to create a false sense of security just to surprise the reader with Tragedy.

Ved also after Corsica has become a machine, stuck in a never-ending Paradox, or a mortal loop, We see comfort in Ved’s life as he is living alright, Has a car, Has a house, Yad yad yadda… But it’s also a false sense of Security, Ved is Dissatisfied with himself than he is from society. Silence is but the most visible thing in Ved and Yossarin’s Life. They both have and they both hold a common idea within themselves, and they both are tired and exhausted over their current situation which is defined in a word that is “Abstract”

When the parents of the soldier who saw everything twice misunderstood Yossarian for their son and Yossarian tries to act which is a terribly funny scene, but then the father has some parting words for dying son who is really Yossarian and not dying

talk to the man upstairs,’ he said, ‘I want you to tell Him something

for me. Tell him it ain’t right for people to die when they’re

young. I mean it. Tell Him if they got to die at all, they got to die

when they’re old. I want you to tell Him that. I don’t think He knows

it ain’t right because He’s supposed to be good and it’s been going

on for a long, long time. Okay?’

Ved also talks to his father almost near the climax about how he was killed long ago, How he is swimming in the mundanity, Confession about Death in a metaphoric sense seems terrible, Sometimes more than real. Mediocrity has its own place, some aspects of it are taken from the book. The light of doing what the heart tells and running towards what you really want can be the greatest thing that “Catch-22” and “Tamasha” Have in parallel.

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Kunal

I’m Kunal Rajput, I’m a writer based out of Ahmedabad. I write weekly essays/Articles on Art, Culture, philosophy and Politics.