The best part of director Balki’s latest movie Shamitabh is the competition between the well established Amitabh Bachchan and the talented Dhanush. The on screen sync of this pair helps the movie very much in becoming an attention-grabbing narrative. The director’s intention to make this movie a less ambitious one has definitely made it a slightly underwhelming experience, but with its subtle humor and well structured characters Shamitabh is a decent flick overall.
Danish is a dumb boy from a village in Maharashtra. Even though he cant talk, he aspires to be an actor, the typical Hindi film hero. With this intension, he goes to bollywood and manages to convince an assistant director Akshara that he can act. Akshara’s attempts to get him in to the industry failed due to his inability to talk. But an advanced technology helps Danish to speak in a very constrained manner. The struggling actor finds this drunkard guy named Amitabh Sinha who had a solid voice. The movie basically tells us the combined journey of Danish and Amitabh as Shamitabh.
The most difficult part in terms of execution in this movie is in convincing the audience about this body and sound existence of a popular bollywood star. I won’t say Balki has presented it convincingly, but he has smartly covered the possible damage by dipping the script in repartee between the central protagonists. The conversation gives us lot of good moments to laugh out loud and that makes Shamitabh an original idea. The sarcasm and humor in the content keeps the film alive for a good portion. But soon after the ego clash starts to act very typically, the film plunges into a less exciting phase and the climax becomes a predictable one.
On screen Dhanush has done a fabulous job without uttering a single word. The character has nuances of the characters he has portrayed in Tamil films, but still keeping the audience focused on his performance was not an easy thing and he has done it very nicely. Amitabh Bachchan was terrific with his dialogue delivery and portrayal. Akshara Haasan was a sweet face that managed to exist in the competition that was happening around her (quite an achievement). The girl has the talent to be a good leading lady.
Balki has treated the content in his own typical style by blending humor in to a struggle tale. The script at many areas shows smartness in covering its imperfections. And there is a good chunk of the movie that makes fun of the industry that goes after the 100,200, 300 crore clubs by making crappy masalas. I loved the dialogues in those portions, especially where Amitabh Sinha teases Bollywood for not even having a genuine name. The tail end of the story could have been made in a better way. Cinematography from P C Sreeram was nice. Edits gives the movie a good speed. I loved the Piddly song, but the other songs weren’t that great. Background score also lacked charm.
Shamitabh is a beautifully constructed and unappealingly ended idea that has some solid performances and sequences. The rating for this R. Balki movie is 3/5. You won’t hate it for sure.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended