Many people might have missed this, but Akshara Hassan is the real star of this movie – SHAMITHAB. What a performance – you should see the way she handles both the domineering male leads ~ Amithab & Dhanush! This movie, even if it’s not great or entertaining, it is differently innovative – see it if you like off-beat movies 🙂
SHAMITHAB is about a dumb man wanting to become a Hero in Bollywood, and ending up becoming one (in a highly unrealistic storyline). They use some scientific technology lingo to place mic/speaker into Dhanush’s body which, when paired with another person with mic/speaker in a nearby range, enables everyone to listen to what the Hero is saying, who is only lip-syncing to the words spoken by the nearby person. As the other person speaks, the hero is able to listen to it and lipsync to it by the time it comes out of his mouth.
Amithab is that second person who gives his voice to Dhanush. He talks from a nearby range, and Dhanush lipsyncs to his words. The first movie is made and the movie becomes a super hit. Then differences start sprouting between the two lead characters as they have independent opinions about what story might suit them next. They try to double cross each other, while Akshara, who brought the duo together as an assitant director, and wants to make her first movie with them, tries to get them understand the ‘ABCs’ of life. Literally.
Let’s admit that Dhanush, although his performance is good, is a misfit for this role. I mean, him, with his easily identifiable South Indian looks, becoming a Bollywood superstar, that too without having any filmy background, is too good to believe. And Amithab’s voice, being so authoritative, doesn’t really suit him. Somehow they managed it!
Amithab’s performance is stellar, as usual. The real surprise, at least for me, is the knock-out acting of Akshara Hassan. What a performance! She just breaks all the conventional norms required for a Bollywood heroine and delivers a superb (and mind you – realistic) performance. At times, I was in awe with her on-screen personality, and the no-nonsense philosophy. Sample this – when Dhanush comes to kiss her, she says – “In this industry, actors suck up to the director, not the reverse. If you expect me to run behind you leaving all my career ambition (to become a director), go KISS YOUR ASS man.” And she makes us believe what she says!
One issue I had with was the the lack of major conflict. There was so much power in Amithab’s hands with which he could have literally controlled the young superstar’s life. But no. Although, realistically, they show the egos of stars to be the biggest conflict, and that is easy to believe. When it is difficult to convince one star on a script, how do we convince two people? Valid point. Mentioned in the movie too!
Initially I didn’t like the climax, but it grew on me and made me realize what a different feel it gives to the movie, instead of the usual everything-ends-well-go-back-happily sorts. Illayaraja’s music is situationally good and the music/songs create a great effect throughout the movie, but as singles, the songs don’t create much of an impact.
Altogether, though not an entertainer, SHAMITHAB is a classy off-beat movie that you can see for the innovative thinking of the scriptwriters. Do see if you like different movies, you won’t be disappointed 🙂