Both of R. Balki’s previous films (Cheeni Kum and Paa) have been different, and Shamitabh is no exception. However, this time, it gets too predictable and monotonous.
Shamitabh starts off with Dhanush accepting laurels for the performance in his début film, his speech being in Amitabh’s voice. Then we are told the story detailing a young dumb boy’s love for movies, his journey to Bollywood wanting to be an actor, and how he gets Amitabh’s voice. Balki showcases all of this in an entertaining manner. While the story seemed unrealistic, thanks to witty dialogues and perfect direction, you have a delightful first half. But come second half, the film seems like a bore, the flow goes for a toss, and the climax is clichéd. Wish Balki tried to do something different here (just like the ‘Piddly’ song).
Dhanush puts up an engaging performance as the dumb wannabe actor. His countenances when he makes it large, and his interactions with Bachchan are superb. Akshara has a meaty role and she does a good job. Her dialogue delivery was pretty good. The true star however, is not Amitabh Bachchan, but his voice. Not that Amitabh’s performance was bad, it was in fact splendid, but it’s his voice which adds life to this film.
Music by Ilayaraaja is a another asset to this film. It’s soothing and seemed just perfect. Cinematography by P C Sreeram is neat. Editing by Hemanti Sarkar could have been better; the second half seemed unnecessarily long, and could have done away with some cuts.
Is it worth your time and money??: Though the second half plays spoil sport, Shamitabh deserves a watch for the performances by all three leads.
Worth mention: Amitabh’s voice!
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10