Movie Review: Shamitabh
SHAMITABH is a fitting tribute to the Indian film industry and the pride of position that Amitabh Bachchan’s baritone has in it. One couldn’t agree more with Bachchan when he says, “yeh awaaz ek kutte ke munh se bhi achchi lagegi”. Daanish (Dhanush) dreams of making it big as an actor in Bollywood despite being dumb. Akshara Haasan an AD to a hot shot director notices him, sympathize with his struggle and helps him. To find out how Amitabh Sinha (Bachchan) comes into the scene and under what circumstances he becomes Dhanush’s voice, you have to watch the film.
Whenever the best of Bollywood and South Indian cinema have collaborated, the result has been more than encouraging. Shamitabh follows the same route. Director R. Balki creates an original idea but falters in his direction. The film begins and ends well but it hardly recovers from the lackluster middle portion. Also the film has quite a few sophisticated references which the masses may find hard to identify with. (For instance how many of you know or remember that Rohini Hattangadi played Gandhiji’s wife in the Oscar winning film Gandhi).
Bollywood has never been skilled enough to handle science and technology, and Shamitabh suffers because of it. You must make a conscious effort to overlook the technical inaccuracies in order to enjoy the film, which is asking for too much in today’s time.
Acting is the only department where the film excels. It’s almost unbelievable that you never get to hear Dhanush’s voice in the film yet his performance strikes a chord. Anyone who can carry off the Bachchan baritone without showing an iota of incompetence is worthy of heavy praise. Dhanush is the perfect actor to carry forward the legacy of Rajnikanth and Kamal Haasan. Speaking of Kamal Haasan, his youngest daughter Akshara makes her debut in this film. She has a charismatic screen presence and comes off as ‘different’ in her demeanor, which is a positive sign. And finally what to say about Mr. Bachchan, he is just pure magic. Ilaiyaraaja’s music has a life and class of its own.
DAANISH+AMITABH= SHamitabh OR shAMITABH, that is the question. An ‘original’ movie, which falls short of being a classic. Nevertheless a good watch.