Home » Amitabh Bachchan » Shamitabh (2015) movie review


Shamitabh thrives on the infectious energy that the two lead actors – Amitabh Bachchan and Dhanush – generate when they are set off against each other, which is almost always in this 153-minute film.

The two stars are in fine fettle, especially in the first half. But once the novelty of the gravelly voice meets starry-eyed village lad construct wears off, the film assumes the likeness of an oversized ship driven by a fist-sized engine.

Inevitably, Shamitabh, despite scaling some high points, tilts over and runs aground before it can make it to the shore.

Seasoned adman R Balki’s third directorial feature is in many ways like his first two: Cheeni Kum and Paa.

The film ventures into uncharted terrain, conjures up passages that are genuinely startling and gives the three key members of the cast free rein to express themselves, but eventually, as it nears its business end, succumbs to the lure of average Bollywood melodrama.

Shamitabh is embellished with great music (Ilaiyaraaja), some outstanding camerwork(P C Sreeram) and many impressively deft directorial touches.

The bright flashes are, however, eventually lost in a miasma of excesses that leave avoidable pockmarks on the otherwise imposing edifice.

It is the unique story that lends Shamitabh much of its weight until it loses its way somewhat in pursuit of the brazenly implausible.

A geriatric wreck who has nothing to lose and an Igatpuri youngster who has everything to gain if the two men can sink their temperamental differences and fill in for what the other lacks.

All through the history of cinema, such odd pairs have yielded great chemistry on the big screen, but only when the balance between the pivotal figures has attained perfection. Shamitabh does not quite make that grade.


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