Shamitabh : It is Amitabh all the way!
R. Balki’s movies has a world of it’s own. His world is full of nice and well off people. Majority characters are living an elite life. They do mistakes but are nice enough to mend hearts and close the storm in the tea cup. It is a nice world so to say.
From Chinny Kum, Paa to Shamitabh, R. Balki’s movies have one common factor, Amitabh! He envisions Amitji is unique and incredible roles (remember “Paa”?) challenging the actor in him to do something different. Amitji to reciprocate and deliver what is asked for.
So it is feel good combo to look out for. With guarantee to be something of quality with decent entertainment value. That is the promise of R. Balkis movies. Is “Shamitabh” able to fulfill that promise?
Shamitabh is based on a concept which is very enticing. At narration stage, it would have been very thrilling for the actors enough to make them jump at the project. It is about 2 unknown persons who due to circumstances need to live together and work together and almost be integral part of each other.
Danish (Dhanush) is an aspiring actor from Igatpuri who is mad about movies from his childhood. He runs to Mumbai to become an actor but despite talent and help from Akshara Pandey (Akshara Haasan), he is rejected for reason, even after liking his performance. To fill that lacuna, he needs Amitabh Sinha (Amitabh Bachchan) who is a dispomaniac living in a graveyard.
Amitabh had also arrived in Mumbai 40 years ago to become and actor, but due to his heavy voice, he was rediculed and rejected. So he spends his life in dispair drinking whisky any any and every hour of the day. After much pesturing, he agrees to support Danish and they both become super star SHAMITABH. What happens after that is the story of the movie.
Story, Screenplay and Directed by R. Balki himself, Shamitabh is a great concept but it has a half baked screenplay. Repeatitive and leghthy Screenplay, Direction that feels like being done by a novice and a failed casting coup rendered Shamitabh as an ineffective movie for me. The movie tries to spoof the cliches in bollywood but follows them at many places. Supposedly funny situations do not work. Few dialogs are good.
Editing by Hemanti Sarkar is very sluggish. I wonder why one needs to make a movie for more than 90-120 mins if the content is not there. Why shy away from deleting unnecessary scenes? Why test patience of the audience?
There are good moments in the movie but those are “piddly” ie small, insignificant and trivial as the song in the movie says. The best moments are when Star of the Millenium Amitabh Bachchan is on screen. He just do not lit up the screen, he puts it on fire. He is outstanding and a delight to watch. Dhanush though I liked in Ranjhanna, fails to stand up to the charisma and screen presence of Mr. Bachchan. Wherever he tries to show talent or style, it did not work. For me it is clearly a miscasting. He is not bad, but does not stand out as he meant to be.
Akshara Hussain looks like a teenager and acts like one too. She has a long way to go to be called a good actress. Everyone else in the supporting cast is good.
Technically film is superb. Cinematography by P. C. Sreeram is very good. Production Design is good. “Piddly” song is good. Rest are forgettable.
Overall, Shamitabh is a wasted opportunity. It is not expected from the likes of R. Balki.
Recommendation : Skip unless you are a Big B or for that matter a R. Balki fan.