When it comes to Bollywood movies I am a wee bit picky. The recent slew of offbeat movies has conditioned me to stay away from asinine blockbusters a la Chennai Express. Then again there are these commercials gems like Highway and Queen which perfectly hits the sweet spot. R. Balakrishnan aka Balki’s movies have always captured my attention. I know he has only 2 movies in his pocket now but then again to bag a National Award for his second movie, he truly deserves to be followed. Unlike other Bollywood flicks, Paa and Cheeni Kum, will be remembered for years to come.
Just like Balki’s previous outings, Shamitabh is fresh and stars Amitabh Bachchan and Akshara Haasan. It could just be labelled a mild sci-fi drama revolved around the beloved Bollywood industry. I was unable to figure out squat from the previews and I wouldn’t get to the story details here as I don’t want you to comfortably have it deciphered. It’s the story of a mute who wants to make it big in Bollywood and as his luck would have it, he stumbles across the right people at the right time ie until he meets match. It could all seem a bit too far fetched to digest, at least, initially yet you’ll be sucked into the narrative and the awe inspiring performances. Shamitabh mocks Bollywood’s current trends, takes a jab at Rohit Shetty movies and has its own share of cheesiness.
Shamitabh packs some heavy weight performances that starts with Dhanush. Being his second Bollywood appearance, he shows off some major improvements and a mute Danush could be the best thing that could happen in Shamitabh as it focuses more on his body language and performance than his rather erratic dialogue delivery. Akshara Haasan’s debut was commendable and she oozes cuteness and a lil bit debutant nuance. And as for the Titan himself, Amitabh never ceases to amaze. His looks, his voice, the charisma he packs and the control he has over a scene and his co-stars is just impeccable and can be seen in every frame. This is in fact an out and out Amitabh movie and he owns it!
Technically, Shamitabh is just as sound as Balki’s previous movies thanks to PC Sreeram’s astounding cinematography that makes you want to take a dive in the visuals drenched in lively colors and hues. Ilayarajas score and music once again makes it a wonderful treat. Unfortunately the curse of awful product placements hits again; Shamitabh is packed with very relevant product placements and that too multiple times which takes away some charm.
While it edges extremely close to Balki’s previous movies in terms of novelty, performances and over all quality, the completely lackluster and unimaginative ending made it lose some major points. Otherwise Shamitabh is immensely enjoyable and does fare well as a good movie but most of all its a true audio visual treat for Amitabh fans.