Shamitabh (2015) is a Hindi movie. R. Balki has directed this movie. Amitabh Bachchan,Dhanush,Akshara Haasan,Abhinaya are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2015. Shamitabh (2015) is considered one of the best Drama movie in India and around the world.
The film revolves around a very unique plot, where it shows two different individuals having different talents and when they become ONE, the mixture measures up to be a very big hit in the industry. But in the meantime, EGO comes in the way and prepares to shatter the bond into pieces. Dhanush is a mute aspiring actor from a small village but with great acting talents. Amitabh has a very impactful voice. Both, on their own, can not achieve any greatness in the film industry. But with a help of a third party (Aksara Hassan), when they come together, the talents combined, make a complete new Artist. Dhanush becomes the actor onscreen and Amitabh becomes his Voice. But after reaching the peak of success, Both the leads start to become miserable to the question of having more importance in the unique cocktail. An unstoppable fight of ego comes in action And the clash drifts them apart, destroying every greatness they achieved and every possible milestones they could build together.
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Bollywood isn't stranger to movies where the lead actor is handicapped. From Khamoshi to the recent Barfi, movies have portrayed that with the right will no handicap can stop you. This movie is about Danish who is a mute. Like the thousands that are born in India who apparently only has three professions to choose from (i.e. Engineer/Cricketer/Actor), he shared a passion to be a film star. He goes straight to the film city where he understandably gets a beating from the guards before being saved by Assistant Director Akshara. Now I'm sure she must've seen hundreds knocking the door of film city to get an opportunity to be in a film. Despite that she grows sympathy towards Danish's cause and decides to help him in anyway possible. Even if that means sending him to Finland and paying for what I'd imagine is a very expensive experimental operation to install a fancy speaker into Danish's mouth. Through that speaker anyone's voice will come out through Danish. Now comes the part to find that perfect voice. Enter Mr. Amitabh. Ironically it was his voice that apparently stopped him from making it in the film industry himself and made him an alcoholic. Now if you are a mute that needs to hide the fact to the world that his own voice is being borrowed from someone else, would you choose someone who is a drunk and could be dead from natural cause or otherwise in a not so distant future? You would if you are working with a bad script. Because if Danish chose someone who is more sensible, sober, and maybe a bit younger, the movie would've ended right there. I understand they chose Amitabh because his voice made Danish stand out from everyone else, but I refuse to believe that they couldn't have find someone else with equally distinct voice that also matched those criteria. Also if your entire career depended on the guy giving you voice, wouldn't you treat him with a bit more respect and not as a servant? Well again, in order to create unnecessary drama and move the plot forward Danish doesn't. So the failed actor Amitabh starts to get jealous that Danish is getting all the fame even though without his voice Danish is nothing. Danish feels that without his acting, Amitabh who couldn't become anything will go back to being nothing. Ego clashes and both goes their separate ways. Of course that doesn't work out. Akshara then takes them to school literally, to teach them the importance of team work. Is that the happy ending then? Nope. The bad script becomes even worse. Like the Masala movies where the hero comes back to life despite being shot 50 times and kills the villain and leaves with the heroine and his mother, this movie ends in a car crash where, hold on to your seat, Amitabh now loses the ability to speak. Oh the irony huh. And Danish? Well what is Danish without his voice? Dead. Yep. On an end note, this movie also introduces us to Akshara Hassan who comes from a family of movie stars. She is just terrible. Another proof that acting isn't born in the family. You either know how to act or don't. To be fair this movie gives you a hint of its terrible nature in the title where the best way the director tried to show the Yin and the Yang is by combining the two lead stars names.
Excellent performances from Amitabh and Dhanush. Not too sure about the green eyed beauty. Honestly, she seemed a bit lost especially in front of such other great actors. Dialogue delivery was very poor. I absolutely love Dhanush and his acting skills but this movies wasn't as good as it COULD be. Story-line lacked a solid foundation. Also, even after the end of the movie I wasn't sure about Dhanush's love interest. Pretty confusing in terms of who he wanted to be in a relationship with. This reminds me, there was a short sex scene that didn't seem to add anything fruitful to the storyline. Expected more from the movie. Also, too much advertisement of products like Lifebouy, Knorr soup and FinnAir. And the way it was incorporated into the movie line was just ridiculous.
The film is another salute to the phenomenon by director R. Balki who previously presented Amitabh in two unconventional roles superbly in CHEENI KUM and PAA. Though in SHAMITABH, he once again brings in a fresh concept that in fact is not an easy one to shoot with all the voice and expressions matching to be done perfectly. Still the basic theme of the storyline is much thinner than his last two projects, which in turn makes it look like an overstretched, uneven film having few highs and lows together till its sudden and sad climax. It begins with a great promise from a star studded premier of a film called LIFEBUOY attended by celebrities giving supportive TV bites and then introduces Dhanush the new star of the industry more famous for his heavy & impressive voice along with the acting. During his speech on the stage we are taken back to his flashback introducing another exceptional child artist who is a treat to watch (in a mute appearance) in those 10 opening minutes accompanied by an apt, catchy song with the lyrics "Salaam-E-Fillam" talking about the love for cinema in the general public. The intercuts of more flashbacks further introduce us to a grown-up Dhanush (as a bus conductor in a small city), who cannot speak but is confident enough to be a Hindi film hero rushing to Mumbai. After this fine start the first unconvincing phase of SHAMITABH comes as Akshara meats Dhanush (who is just an Assistant Director) and she at once decides to help him out by even sending the struggling actor to foreign land for a costly operation of planting a voice box into his throat. A device, that enables him to lip-sync someone else's voice with a kind of micro recorder/transmitter working between two persons within a range of a few 100 meters. Now though the proceedings try hard to explain the procedure clearly, still the explanation remains a confusing one and the viewer has to accept that OK, let's assume that its possible! Anyway the brilliance returns on the screen when the enigmatic Amitabh Bachchan is introduced as a drunken, beggar like defeated personality living in a graveyard and from here on we have the few worth watching sequences of the film written and enacted impressively. Both Akshara and Dhanush choose Amitabh to be the voice behind Dhanush's face and the fun begins as SH from Danish (Dhanush's name in film) and AMITABH together becomes SHAMITABH. Their first movie together becomes a hit and then the ego clashes begin claiming who he is the bigger star among the SH and AMITABH from the SHAMITABH. The story progression featuring a hit film-star (who cannot speak) living a celebrated life, fooling the entire industry, successfully hiding the man behind his famous voice in the closet, turns out to be unconvincing repeatedly. And so does the character of Dhanush, who doesn't seem to be caring about anybody around like an arrogant celebrity proud of his instant success. As a result the ride becomes even more bumpy post intermission with uninteresting sequences coming at regular intervals like the use of bathroom pots in the immensely likable "Pidlee" song, Amitabh giving voice to a rival producer's B-grade film without any issues raised, his unnecessary dialogue with Robert De Niro poster leading to jail abroad, a lot of brand endorsement made in its various sequences and then the investigating reporter track left in the middle. Yes, no doubt the director comes with many realistic characters with a visible effort of delivering a fine product based on a thin but fresh plot line particularly in the film's first half. Yet overall its only the superfine performances that actually carry the film forward much ahead than any other department of music, cinematography, background score or art direction. Promoted as the maestro Ilayaraja's 1000th film as a composer, the soundtrack has both good and average songs together with Swanand Kirkire's theme related lyrics. In the performances, as I already mentioned it's a film once again proving the Shehenshah status of Amitabh Bachchan in the industry, who gives another worth watching and worth cheering performance as the deserted man with a golden voice. And I must say that I haven't seen anyone doing a better drunkard act in Hindi films ever with so much ease, elegance and conviction winning hearts right away. Also another appreciable feature of Amitabh's act remains that he never tries to outshine the co-actors giving them much space to perform too. And that's what proves the greatness of this 'Actor of the Millennium' evidently. Dhanush, the 'on-screen' hero of SHAMITABH confidently manages to stand in front of the magnetic persona of the Big B throughout and wins your heart in the early part of the movie before becoming the Superstar. Plus he also leaves a highly emotional impact on the viewer after the sudden, unexpected tragedy striking in the climax. Akshara Haasan makes a stunning as well as sincere debut amongst two towering personalities and so does the actor playing the landlord of Amitabh in the Graveyard hut. Though the film revolves around a few characters only, here we also have some smartly inserted cameos by the industry figures too such as Mahesh Bhatt, Karan Johar, Raj Kumar Hirani, Rohit Shetty, Ekta Kapoor, Javed Akhtar, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Boney Kapoor and many more along with Rekha giving an award to Dhanush on the stage smilingly calling him SHAMITABH. On the whole, SHAMITABH certainly cannot be rated as a close to perfection project as Balki's CHEENI KUM or PAA but it does have its appreciable highs along with the avoidable lows (offering a novel, inventive plot), making it a one-time watch for sure, especially for its enjoyable performances led by Amitabh Bachchan and his cult baritone voice.
We all love his voice and have loved it ever since we've known Hindi cinema. But to dedicate 153 minutes just to his voice seems stretched. The idea itself is flawed, and the over indulgent R Balki does it anyway. He takes a mute man (Dhanush) and gives him Amitabh's voice. They could have still made it work if the screenplay wasn't so lousy. You have a tremendous cast in the form of Dhanush and Amitabh Bachchan that even a slightly tedious script would have helped the movie receive accolades. But I guess that was too much to ask, they take a decent idea, and I say decent because it was slightly unconventional and not the run in the mill over the top Bollywood action non-sense, and they make a complete mockery of it. Initial 15 minutes of the movie are reasonably entertaining and probably only believable part of the movie, after that you may just switch of the video and only listen to the audio of the movie because that's what R Balki wants us to focus on. The rest 138 minutes of the movie is an ode to low deep voice of Amitabh Bachchan. I felt like I am hearing the dialog "vijay deena nath chauhan" continuously and to everyone's astonishment Amitabh delivers it. I could have still tried to overlook the gigantic, enormous plot holes in the screenplay if the movie had even a slight bit of theme, they could have taken the movie in any direction – ego clash between two artists, ode to Bollywood cinema, handicapped guy realizing his dreams but instead R Balki decides to put Amitabh on the pedestal and worship him and expects the audience to worship him as well. For a good part of the movie we see Amitabh only talking to non-living objects (tree, grave, poster etc. etc.) repeating his "Sharaabi" act, I mean he is a good actor and we get that but audience would much rather appreciate decent storyline and not an eighty year old drunk man sulking. My sincere advise to everyone including Amitabh fans, spend your valuable money some place else.
One thing that helps Shamitabh in making it a decent watch is a new story line. The concept itself is not yet tried in Bollywood. The trailer pretty much speaks about the story yet watching it unfolding on screen can be interesting. The second great thing about Shamitabh is the performances of Amitabh and Dhanush. Dhanush just nails it again and manages to get noticed even when he shares the frame with Indian legend Amitabh Bachchan. Kudos! On the flip side you might have wanted the screenplay of the movie to be more tight as there are few dull moments in the movie which at times hamper the narrative. Nevertheless, Shamitabh is a one time watch owing to fresh new story and decent performances by its lead protagonists.