Take a creative idea. Develop a novel story around that. Write the script and draw out the characters based on whom you have chosen to play them on the screen. Get first rate actors to emote these roles. Weave short crispy dialogues. Sprinkle liberally truisms and philosophies of life throughout.
Balki’s SHAMITABH perfectly fits the above description. A brilliantly original idea of how teamwork can deliver and individuality can destroy. Amitabh Bachchan excels as usual: no other director can take such liberties with Amitabh’s make up as Balki does ( remember his famous PA?); Dhanush is above average, although we see him displaying a number of the mannerisms we saw in his debut performance in RANJHAANA; Akshara Hassan ( daughter of Kamal Hassan and Sarika) is not only pretty looking, but also does act well, although she has got to improve considerably in her voice modulation.
And yet, seen as a whole, SHAMITABH falls short of being an above average production. A classic case of the sum of the parts being less than the whole. It appears to me that Balki has fallen into the trap of nurturing creativity for its own sake rather than it being the instrument for creating a truly first class film. The pace is slow in several places, the narrative appears jerky and the Piddly song definitely looks out of place. Despite this, SHAMITABH is worth watching to see the performance of the lead actors which to a very large extent shores up the weak supporting structure, And yes, the fillum song by Amitabh is enormously likeable.
RATING: 3.5 out of 5
February 5, 2015