In a country where Sholay is an epic and movies like Baahubali and KGF are massive hits, thinking about making something like Shamshera can’t be considered a bad idea. Shamshera is a bad film. But it’s not a ridiculous film. Usually, movies have a first act, second act, and third act. But for Shamshera, you have the first act followed by multiple second acts. By the time the film reaches its masala-soaked third act, you will find yourself staring at your watch; it is that exhausting.
Set in the 18th century, it is the story of a marginalized community named Khameran. They once had a leader named Shamshera who fought for them. But his efforts to bring respectability to the community didn’t go the way he planned and resulted in worsening the condition of Khamerans. The journey of his son Balli to fulfill his father’s dream is what we witness in Shamshera.
There is a phase in the film, around the interval, where you see the movie having the energy you typically associate with a Ranbir Kapoor entertainer. It’s that zone where you won’t mind the filmmaking being cliched or the visual effects being bad because there is that gist in what you are witnessing. But to reach that phase, the movie takes a really long time, and after that, it tests your patience to reach a conclusion. And sadly, a lot of the money shots are happening in these uninteresting areas, and all you can do is sit through it till the end credits roll.
Ranbir Kapoor has a charm and energy that this movie utilizes to give us some hope. But as the senior Shamshera, Kapoor isn’t completely convincing, and the fake beard somewhere has a role in that. Vaani Kapoor as Sona will remind you of Katrina Kaif from Thugs of Hindostan. For a majority of the screen time, she is dancing in those deep-neck outfits that clearly don’t belong to the 18th century. Sanjay Dutt looks intimidating with all that pan in his mouth. Saurabh Shukla is that poet gang member who is definitely better than Farhad Samji. Ronit Roy plays the Ajay Devgnish PR head of Shamshera and his son.
Karan Malhotra, who previously made those emotionally powered Agneepath and Brothers, tries his luck in an out-and-out commercial hero-worshipping plot. But the excitement you see witnessing the canvas of the film was not there in the execution. The pacing of the movie on a screenplay level itself feels unimpressive. The visual effects and set pieces are vital aspects of the film, and the final output was inferior. There is a single shot set-piece that shows how Ranbir’s character took the Crown of the queen from the British. The whole scene played out like a computer-generated basic rendering of the stunt choreography of that sequence. The songs aren’t placed in a convincing way, and the main theme music of the movie felt like what if Ajay-Atul composed Bandook Meri Laila.
Shamshera is an opportunity lost at making an old-school blockbuster. It had a solid hero and an interesting plot. But the writing couldn’t find the peppy rhythm one would expect in a movie of this scale and canvas. With too many easily recognizable shoddy CGI works reducing the charm of set pieces, Shamshera is yet another debacle for yrf.
Shamshera is an opportunity lost at making an old-school blockbuster. With too many easily recognizable shoddy CGI works reducing the charm of set pieces, Shamshera is yet another debacle for yrf.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended