Shamitabh I Movie review – Though it has its loose ends but High on concept

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Planet Movies Rating – three-stars_0    (3 out of 5)

Reviewed by Madhukar KR (krmadhukar@nehamediahouse.in)

Shamitabh is a 2015 Indian comedy drama film written and directed by R. Balki.A unique concept, two brilliant actors in the lead and a baritone (Mr Bachchan’s, of course) to kill/die for. The film features Amitabh Bachchan, tamil superstar Dhanush and daughter of tamil superstar Kamalhaasan, Akshara Haasan, in her debut, in the lead roles.

The concept is fresh & out of the box which deserves to be seen for the acting provess of Amitabh Bachchan & Dhanush.

The plot revolves around an aspiring film actor who can’t speak by birth & a failed wannabe actor with a baritone voice who was rejected by Bollywood & even the All India Radio due to his villianish voice which is too feeble for a villian & too villianish for a hero (True reference to Amitabh Bachchan’s life event). Eventually, Amitabh Bachchan becomes the voice of Daanish who is helped by a budding Asst director played by Akshara Haasan & the combination strikes gold at the box office. It portrays the rise & fall of both these characters dubbed as “ShAmitabh” Sh – Stands for silence here. The fall comes about when the ego of these actors clashes & comes in the way of their success. The climax depicts the irony of sorts illustrating that both are inevitable for each other.

 

The films parodies on its own industry Bollywood in certain scenes when Amitabh resents that this film industry couldn’t even find an original name for itself & that the name “Bollywood”in itself is a blatant copy of its US counterpart – “Hollywood”.

There are some witty acts from Daanish who chooses to theme the toilet seat as a theme for the piddly song sung very well rendered by Mr Amitabh Bachchan. The piddly song is very well composed by Musical Maestro IllayaRaja. Apart from the piddly song which is the pick of the album we have a title track & another song called “Stereophonic Sannata” which are average numbers.

Dhanush, Amitabh & Akshara’s performances are top notch & are at their best & the story which is high on concept provides them ample opportunities for showcasing their talents.

Akshara Haasan , daughter of Kamal Haasan makes an impressive debut with her performances but the funny part is that her hairstyle often comes in the way of looking at her cute face in the film !

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Shamitabh starts off with the introduction of Shamitabh (Dhanush) who has become an overnight Bollywood superstar with his debut movie ‘lifebuoy’. Yes… Like how lifebuoy kills & cleans germs from human body our hero kills the germs plaguing the society.
The movie slips into a flashback of sorts in a small village called Igatpuri where Daanish (Dhanush) is a young school kid who is obsessed with Films so much so that he draws references from Gandhi hindi movie for lessons on Gandhi from history. Sample this.. Gandhi’s wife was Rohini Hattangidi !!

His mother lies about her health to him else he would run away to Mumbai to pursue his dreams of being a bollywood actor. Eventually the mother succumbs to death & Daanish proceeds to Mumbai to pursue his dreams. He gatecrashes the Mumbai Film city & even hides in the vanity vans of film stars. He bumps across Akshara who is an asst. director who realizes his acting potential & gets him operated to install a micro-speaker & a technology through which another person’s voice resonates out of a micro-speaker installed inside Daanish’s throat. They then find Amitabh, a failed actor who is now old & who has a baritone voice who agrees to lend his voice to to Daanish. Amitabh also wants to make it big with his voice which was once rejected by the film industry.

The combination strikes gold & make it big at the box-office but soon the ego between the two actors comes into play which paves the way for the downfall of the actors when the two part ways. Daanish goes on to make a film where both the leads actors are dumb & Amitabh lends his voice to a producer’s son who has a stammering problem who wanted to make an entry into films. The films fail individually where it proves the the two are inevitable for each other.

The famous quote from the film is that when Amitabh claims “Whiskey is required for giving the real kick in the drink & water has no role in it”. When they fail independently Akshara has a nice quote where she shows Amitabh that even the Wiskey bottle contains only 43% Alcohol & the rest of it is plain water.

The film is high on concept but the second half could have been bit more tightly edited.

******Spoiler Ahead*********

The tragic climax of the film reminds us of yesteryear films such as Sadma, Ek Duje Ke Liye & so on. Its been a long time that a film employed tragic ending in Bollywood & this is a refreshing change in Shamitabh. The two actors re-coup to announce the truth to the world that the real voice behind Shamitabh is that of Amitabh. As they are on their way to annouce this fact to the world they meet with a tragic accident where Daanish succumbs to death & Amitabh looses his voice which is an irony depicted in the film. Amitabh remembers Daanish’s words where he says “Agar main finish toh tumhara voice bhi finish”.

 

Directed by R. Balki
Produced by Sunil Lulla
R. Balki
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
R. K. Damani
Amitabh Bachchan
Abhishek Bachchan
Sunil Manchanda
Shobha Kapoor
Ekta Kapoor
Dhanush
Written by R. Balki
Starring Amitabh Bachchan
Dhanush
Akshara Haasan
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography P. C. Sreeram
Edited by Hemanti Sarkar
Production
company
Distributed by Eros International
MAD Entertainment Ltd[1]
Release dates
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget INR40 crore(US$6.3 million)[4]

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