From Evocative Visuals To Self Discovery, 5 Distinctive Patterns You’ll Find In Imtiaz Ali Films

Imtiaz Ali

Ask a Bollywood fan what’s their favourite movie and there’s a high chance that one of them will be directed by Imtiaz Ali. As a filmmaker, Imtiaz captivates audiences with his narrative style, exposing the depths of human emotions, romance, heartbreak and the healing process. He displays the character’s development in a way that no other filmmaker can, which is why he appeals to his viewers.

Mumbai, India, South Asia & Beyond : AMAR SINGH CHAMKILA (2024) dir. Imtiaz Ali

An admirer of Imtiaz Ali is aware of his distinctive style of filmmaking. Certain aspects of his movies have become his signature style, or you can say that’s what sets it apart.

1. Birth Of An Unabashed Artist

There’s no guess as to which movies we are talking about. Imtiaz Ali’s filmography has shown many rockstars (pun intended) who rise from nowhere to the top of their world. Be it Janardan “Jordan” Jakhar (“JJ”) to Amar Singh Chamkila. He translates the concept of desire—namely, how a person’s priorities and desires shift when they fall in love and rise to fame—in a very intriguing way.

2. The Other Side Of Life

We all wonder what happens when we die and where our soul goes. This is something a lot of his characters also ponder about. In Laila Majnu, after Laila’s death, Majnu hallucinates about his life on the other side of the world with Laila. The same goes for Chamkila, where we reckon that Chamkila saw his life’s end inching closer. This part was beautifully lensed and weaved with the song Vida Karo, sung by Arijit Singh, where in the lyrics he is asking people to let him go to the other side.

3. The ‘I Can Fix Him’ Trope

If You'Re There... GIF - Agar Tum Saath GIFs

Kareena Kapoor has several characters who have everyone in a chokehold, and one of them is Geet from Jab We Met. Shahid Kapoor’s character Aditya almost quits his job until meeting Geet, becomes greatly motivated, and changes his course in life. This isn’t the only time he took the famous saying “behind every successful woman, there’s a man” too seriously. There’s an unsaid cycle of his male characters’ made-it phase coming to life, a push by female characters, be it in Geet and Aditya’s story or Ved and Tara’s in Tamasha.

4. Midlife Crisis

I have never seen millennials on the internet collectively agree to something more than their reliability with Tamasha or SRK’s character from Harry Met Sejal. Imtiaz Ali’s characters are often witnessed having midlife crises, be it personally or professionally, which we feel is mainly for their character development.

5. Chart-Topping Music

Lastly, along with all the story-telling, visually stunning screenplay, and iconic acting performances, music has always been one of the main characters in his movies. Over the years, he has collaborated with some of the biggest hit-makers like Pritam, AR Rahman, Mohit Chauhan, Irshad Kamil and more. Take his films like Rockstar, Laila Majnu, and Chamkila; apart from their stories, their songs and tunes have been engraved in everyone’s hearts.

Also, read: Dauntless, Daring, And Diljit Dosanjh, Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Amar Singh Chamkila’ Strikes All The Chords With Its Impeccable Storytelling

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- Digital Writer


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