No spoilers. This is not a review.
Did I like Shamitabh? Yes! Why? I am still figuring out.
As the film ended and everyone got up and started leaving the auditorium, I marvelled at the beginning of the credits. That was predictable, I thought. But was it required?
I thought I would update my facebook status something on the lines of ‘Shamitabh- Go. Watch. It’. But then I thought there were a lot of things I wanted to talk about and I ought to write a blog, a facebook status won’t do justice.
No, save it for the release of Ghoomketu, my heart said. And I agreed to it for a minute. Just for a minute. Before I went for my phone and saw a notification for a new comment on my most recent blog entry, ‘What if you died right now?’
With the gentle reminder of the inevitable I knew I had to write an entry immediately.
As I got food packed for dinner and walked home, I started reflecting on the film I had just seen. A friend who had seen the film had told me, “It’s for selective audiences. And I think you will like it.”
I have been a long time follower of AB’s blog, but since last June, I have been a regular follower, not missing a single post. Not even missing a single episode of Yudh. I have been seeing him post updates about the work he is doing presently on his blog. When Shamitabh released last Friday, I knew I had to go and see it. I had absolutely no clue what the film was about. Being active on social media has its own disadvantages and by the time I went to see the film I had a rough idea of what it was going to be about. (But frankly the limited knowledge didn’t spoil the fun)
Walking down home, I realised that this was the first Amitabh Bachchan film I had seen on the big screen. I quickly opened his filmography on wikipedia and realised this wasn’t true. I had seen Bhoothnath Returns last April. But then, that was before I had worked with him.
I went to see Shamitabh because I believed I would be missing something important if I didn’t. My respect for Mr. Bachchan has grown exponentially in the last 8 months- From someone who is big but I don’t care about to someone who is humble and commands respect. And the film completely reaffirmed my belief.
Shamitabh is about cinema and the love we have for it.
It is a comment on Bollywood shown through Bollywood. It is about superstars and how we make superstars. It is about basic human emotions and the marvel ambition can bring to it. It is about how the biggest ego can have the simplest and most clichéd ending. And at the heart of it all, it is an ode to the biggest living star of the Hindi film industry.
You can’t stop but snigger at the sarcasm and the intended puns in the clever dialogues that not only serve the purpose of the plot well, but remind you about the reality of life in the film industry.
There were a few things which I thought were ‘just too easy to happen’ and ‘it’s taking things too far’. The film had its negative points. But I won’t ponder on them here because the bigger thing is the subtle meaning that comes out from the story.
I went to see the film because it meant something to me. I don’t know if the film is going to work for you as much as it did for me. I don’t know if you will connect to it the way I did. But I am sure you will understand what the director wants to say through the film. If you are a film lover, you will critically appreciate the attempt the film is making.
If you have seen the film, you will understand the importance of the title to this post. Yeah, it is just another film. But then in its own ways, it is different. It works right now. And it will be remembered as an ode – and a good one at that - to what it revolves around: the voice of Amitabh Bachchan.
Go and watch the film. And even if the cinema lights are switched on signalling you to leave, give a little attention to the beginning of the end-credits and think why it is the way it is.
And most importantly, go and watch Shamitabh for the love of cinema and respect of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan.