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Fully agree..Yakuza. Love the song. Have been loop on this..What a way to begin new year…Amitji never stops to surprise and entertain us at this age..Hats off Amitji.. Salute and Respect. I hope this song gets due credit..I liked his singing in ‘Haal-E-Dil’ from ‘Buddha hoga tera baap’..But that never caught on.
I think the word that best describes for this visual/song would be…quirky! 2015 will have his two most intriguing movies…this one and Wazir. Both look well-made and he looks in top form in both. And there is no matching a “top form” Amitabh Bachchan.
agreed.. he’s magnetic in this song.. love everything about it. And Balki just has a knack of finding the mark right away. His third film, Piku, also looks interesting. In fact after a very long time he has an entire set of films, all of which are quality products. No dilution here in any sense. But yeah even at his age and specially in the right part it’s incredible how arresting he can still be.
When Ilayaraja, Amitabh Bachchan teamed up again
By Subhash K. Jha, January 02, 2015 – 10:13 hrs IST
“They were like two excited school children,” says R Balki who has the rare distinction of bringing together the two stalwarts, actor Amitabh Bachchan and the music composer Ilayaraja together, twice over.
The Big B sang for Ilayaraja in Balki’s Paa. Now again the iconic star has sung song entitled ‘Piddly’ for the legendary composer in the filmmaker’s forthcoming film Shamitabh.
Says Balki, “I consider myself very lucky. I think there are only two human institutions in the Indian entertainment world. One is Amitji and the other is Raja Sir.And I’ve worked with both in all my three feature films so far.”
Balki says Big B and the composing maestro were a riot together. “They are exactly the same age, 73. And they werelike two excited children in the recording room running riot in a toyshop. Their level of enthusiasm and passion to excel made me feel very old.”
Apparently both Ilayaraja and Amitabh Bachchan share a mutual fan club.
Says Balki, “They both admire one another’s works tremendously. Amitji who has sung songs for many composers (Rajesh Roshan, Shiv-Hari, Aadesh Shrivastava, R D Burman, Kalyanji-Anandji) says singing for Raja Sir was a dream come true. Amitji remembers each and every song that Raja Sir has composed in Hindi cinema.”
At the moment Balki is in Chennai recording the background music for Shamitabh with Ilayaraja.
“What he does to cinema is not just add music. He lends an added dimension to the plot.”
Just in 1.23 minute promo .. so many outstanding dialogues ..
1. Shamitabh hun main .. Shamitabh main bhi hun ..
2. Kalakaar hun main .. Kalakaar Main Bhi Hun
3. Hai koi paani jo chadti hai whisky ke bina .. Hai ? Whisky chadti hai pani ke bina . .
4. Har partnership mein ek partner ka talent doosre partner se thoda jyada hota hai ..
Awesome audio trailer.. So many dialogues at one go.. 🙂 eagerly waiting for this movie.. Background music is catchy n Amit Sir voice so magnetic so capturing.felt soothing hearing his voice and the way he has said dialogues reminds me of sharaabi n agnipath days.. 🙂 take a bow Sir.we r truly blessed to have him in our lifetime…
This is a fantastic promo. Captures the essence of the film quite well. It is pretty clear by now what this movie is going to be about. Taking an educated guess, a deaf and mute actor discovered by a casting agent Akshara and Amitabh would be filling-in as the voice of Dhanush.
While this might be a fine film over-all, I am thinking there is a danger of Amitabh being relegated to a supporting actor and Dhanush getting more footage. And of course he will have the author-backed role since he will be playing a person with disability.And our audience is a sucker for the bait of ‘sympathy.’
However, this is a tongue-in-cheek promo and there are fine references to how AMITABH is still the king of cinema, with his acts of the toilet-paper roll where is talks/writes of the stature of Dhanush versus Shamitab; who is actually the one who is actually the bigger of the 2, and who is obviously the better entertainer/actor with a similie to the Scotch!! Whiskey does the more than needful to the water; not otherwise!!
Amitabh is really rocking here. I hope he is not just a glorified supporting guy here.
As usual, Balki’s love-affair with poop and commode continues. We had nauseatingly enough of potty jokes in PAA. Hope he doesn’t repeat it here…
Balki also has a habit of either showing his leads indulge in physical intimacy in fields etc or them talking about the same- there is of course Tabu and Bachchan talking about it in CK, but here is also a very nicely filmed moment in “Mudi Mudi” (love this song and Shilpa Rao) from Paa
that’s an interesting trope but it’s a bit tricky with Bachchan because he’s still so physically dominant and culturally ubiquitous. And so his ‘image’ is still the most omnipresent one way or the other. Hence to have a film on this sort of ‘ventriloquism’ might be a bit tricky. Of course there might be more here. Balki though always comes up for Bachchan in very central parts so I don’t think bachchan would be ‘supporting’ in any sense. He even has the title to more or less to himself.
After the audio , this one was a middling trailor. Dhanush is a great choice here as he acts very well with his body and doesn’t need a voice. I think he is the best young actor today across India and its wonderful he is doing more Hindi movies.
Giving up chocolates, tea, coffee, pastries, non-veg…hmmm…this would be hard. I can live without alcohol and never smoked.
Though my new year’s resolution is to survive 1 whole year without sugary fizzy drinks.
I don’t think I could have the eating and drinking habits of Big B. I’m sure I could be the superstar he is though…you know all I need is a good script!!!
R Balki’s back with his latest film, and we have to admit it looks mouthwateringly intriguing.
Titled Shamitabh — the title conflating the names of the film’s leads, Dhanush and Amitabh — the film seems to be about a young boy learning the ropes to superstardom.
It all looks unconventional and heavily stylised, and both actors look in really good nick.
Dhanush does most of the heavy lifting in the trailer, but nobody in recent times has quite been able to milk Bachchan’s screen presence like Balki. The megastar with the gravelly voice intrigues us here as well.
We see Dhanush practicing, dancing, on the run, pretending to be a star and actually out there as a larger-than-life star, prompting him finally to show the SH of his name dwarfing Amitabh. That then leads to Bachchan nudging him off-centre as the duo, clad in matching suits and sunglasses stare at the camera.
Somewhere in the middle is Akshara Haasan, looking cute and, from behind a face-covering fringe of hair, bewildered.
Is Bachchan real or an alter-ego?
Is Dhanush losing it?
All we know is that this film — shot gorgeously by PC Sreeram — is looking super, and ends with a sharp metaphor about how water needs whisky but whisky doesn’t need anything else.
Talking about Shamitabh on his blog, Big B posted: “Two individuals that possess different talents. The one with one does not have the other of the other. And the other of the other does not have the one of the one…But when brought together they can achieve what individually they could not… and when they do due to the efforts of a third, they measure up to the best and the highest. “The problem shall come when the clash of the ego takes place…one realising that the other is the other because of him…and the other realising that the one is the one because of him.” The 72-year-old actor also feels that ‘Shamitabh’, which marks debut of Kamal Haasan’s daughter Akshara Haasan, will answer a lot of queries that people have about life and relationships.
“#shamitabhMovie may well be the answer to the many questions that could arise…and arise they will…ask they will…and the answer shall be there as well,” he wrote. The star was apprehensive about sharing details of R. Balki’s movie, fearing that it would kill the suspense. “They ask me why this title #Shamitabh…and I have no words to express other than if I do I shall have to reveal the story and that is a problem…for…if the story goes out, then the film is known and the element of surprise has left us and gone,” the ‘Paa’ star added. The film is set to release February 6. –
He has done it before in Prakash Mehra’s Sharaabi where he acted drunk throughout the film in spite of being a teetotaler in real life (and that too only in a manner of speaking, as Mr B doesn’t even touch tea) and in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Black where he demonstrated bouts of alcoholic rage with alarming authenticity.
Then of course there was the legendary drunken monologue in Manmohan Desai’s Amar Akbar Anthony…performed without the help of any alcohol, of course.
Now in R Balki’s intriguing Shamitabh, Amitabh Bachchan plays a full-blown boozer, sloshed to the gills for the entire film.
Balki says the inebriated act was so convincing, everyone on the sets would get fooled.
“How could anyone act so bloody drunk while staying sober? He’s amazing! It is impossible to believe he was stone-sober all through,” says Balki.
The challenge, says Balki, was to make the Big B’s drunken act different from what he did in Hum or Amar Akbar Anthony. “And he has done it! The sloshed AB in Shamitabh is very different from the boozer in the other films. Don’t ask me how he did it. It’s just a different variety of alcoholism. How he knows about so many kinds of drunkards without actually drinking a drop is a mystery I need to solve.”
Abhishek Bachchan to do cameo in dad Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Shamitabh’
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan’s son Abhishek is doing a cameo in his father’s much-awaited film ‘Shamitabh’.
Written by Dimpal Bajwa , Edited by Sarika Sharma | New Delhi | Posted: January 13, 2015 3:45 pm
Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan‘s son Abhishek Bachchan is doing a cameo in his father’s much-awaited film ‘Shamitabh‘.
The trailer of the film has already been trending ever since its release along with the song ‘Piddly Loo’ which has been sung by Amitabh Bachchan himself. With all this happenings, there are a lot of expectations from the film.
Now that we know that Abhishek will also be seen in the film, even though just for a while, the question is, what his role will be?
Abhishek Bachchan himself revealed about his cameo in R. Balki’s ‘Shamitabh’ at an event yesterday. His role will be important in the movie.
The movie will hit the screens on February 6.
Actually apart from Piddly .. None is gonna popular. And rest of songs have too much south feel .. sound like dubbed song of south movie. I am bit disappointed .. because none of song can boost the movie’s opening .. Songs may grow after repeat listening .. but point is release date is too close, so every promotional activity and content should have been sensational and instant appealing.
Piddly is the only really worthwhile song here. I find it quite addictive. The first song is decent too, has the Raja stamp. There rest of the album is quite indifferent. But Balki’s movies are about trending and not big openings.
“Shamitabh has been as challenging as Paa” – Amitabh Bachchan
Please tell me about your other projects during the coming year?
There is Piku with Shoojit Sircar.It has Deepika and Irfaan Khan with me. This is complete and should be the next release sometime in April. And then there is Wazir directed by Bejoy Nambiar, produced by Vinod Chopra, with Farhan Akhtar and Aditi Rao Hydari.
Music maestro Ilayaraja is a living legend whose music has touched chords beyond barriers and Shamitabh is a special film for the music director. The reason is that Shamitabh is the 1000th film for which Ilayaraja will be giving music to and to mark this occasion, friend and filmmaker R. Balki has decided to keep an event, a felicitation of sorts for the musical genius.
However, the event will turn even more special when other legends that include megastars Kamal Haasan, Rajinikanth and Amitabh Bachchan will come for the event and we hear that the trio has given a nod for the same. Ilayaraja has been associated with Balki’s previous films which include Cheeni Kum and Paa. It is also being said that many celebrities will be performing during this event and a special act will be put up by Amitabh Bachchan along with his Shamitabh co-star Dhanush and Big B will also be singing a song that he has sung for the film.
Far better trailer than the first one. And it should put to rest (atleast after one hears that Deewar dialogue) any doubts as to whether Bachchan would be central to the film or not. This is a multistarrer in the truest sense, but is also a Bachchan film like all Balki films have been. Incidentally both the earlier trailer and the Phillum song make it seem like it’s going to be Balki’s “ode to cinema/tale of cinema” with Bachchan (and his voice) being depicted a portal through which Bollywood (and its viewers) have been accessing cinema for so long
[You asked elsewhere about the Shamitabh trailer. You seem to be here the ‘voice’ of perhaps a mute actor or some such thing. This leads to some sort of crisis. This is an interesting concept as one has by now come to expect from Balki. I would however raise these red flags, even if it is Balki. The ‘oddness’ of the subject material should be stressed without hesitation. As was the case with Paa. the ‘signature’ or the calling card of the film shouldn’t be diluted in any sense. Even if some of the subject comes through in the trailer it sometimes seem cast within a somewhat more predictable format. There’s no need to do this. Paa never shied away from the much ‘odder’ Progeria subject in any of the advertising. The second red flag I’d raise is this and I concede at the start that since the film has been made not much can be done about this assuming that what I’m reading into the trailer is even remotely correct — it’s again an interesting concept, you see to have an interesting role (I wouldn’t expect anything less from Balki), and I certainly defer to the director given his two previous films. However there is a certain ‘non-diegetic’ risk here. The idea of using your ‘voice’ in this sense is itself a kind of homage to your legendary history even on this score. But the ‘ventriloquism’ conceit is also in a way challenged by your ubiquitousness in contemporary Indian life. In other words could the essential idea of a disembodied ‘Amitabh Bachchan voice’ which is to say one which could be used for another really be a totally plausible proposition?
Because your ‘image’, by way of your appearances on TV or in films or in ads and indeed by now social media, and including all your offscreen appearances as well (award shows and what not) is so omnipresent and hence still so wedded to the voice that it’s hard to imagine one without the other or one taking a backseat to the other. If I might phrase this differently still — could you become a radio voice so late in the day? And so intrigued as I am by this subject (again assuming I’m correct to any degree.. and even before the trailer I had some sense of this being the subject) I am a bit unsure about the basic conceit here — could the audience suspend its disbelief just enough here? Could it believe for a moment that your voice, easily the most recognizable such in Indian popular life, and perhaps in the entire history of the Republic, that this voice, always so essentially and intrinsically and even intimately a part of your person and persona.. that this voice could be used by another, that you could somehow be in the background.. and the audience could in turn accept all of this forgetting all the ‘overdetermination’ of your history in this regard? It’s a rather bold bet to make. Undoubtedly there are more layers to the story even if I’m right (or partially right). The very asymmetry between you and Dhanush in all sorts of ways. How does this translation work?
I am not therefore suggesting doubt about the film (I said earlier I loved the first song video and that the second trailer was still effective if not entirely ‘novel’ given Balki’s lofty standards…). What I am saying is that this is tricky terrain precisely because your screen history is so overwhelming. You might wonder how Paa was acceptable. But there the real narrative was about the ‘greatest’ actor taking on this most challenging and improbable of roles. ‘That’ was the story here (and one should never forget how crucial Abhishek was here.. his ‘normal’ presence constantly raises the specter of your ‘usual’ signature even as you are literally buried under prosthetics). But also to the extent that you are shown frustrated in the trailer, down on your luck in some ways.. relegated to the background perhaps.. again all of this has always been hard to pull off with you as the protagonist. It is all said and done a fascinating premise but one fraught with more risk than one might think, precisely because it is not the more obvious set of risks one might have in mind.
Looking at the first trailer I got the Paa feeling. Felt this was going to be successful. The second trailer has created some doubts. I also don’t think based on my sense of reactions from others that this second trailer has quite the ‘wow’ factor that Piddly ha d. This can perhaps be addressed going forward. A quirky subject should have trailers that stress the quirkiness. If you convert it into a somewhat dramatic subject with conflict as the trailer seems to suggest it possibly makes the film more accessible but also renders it a bit more predictable despite the interesting foundational premise. Again all of this might be premature but I am just offering some thoughts here.]
Kamal and Rajini sharing a ‘moment’ (embarrassed) when Amitabh mentions ‘I am here really to be able to talk to these 2 great legends’, shows that they are both very grounded and humble friends who ‘made it’, they are really THE greatest ever.
I liked the second Shamitabh trailer a lot more than the first — however, it continues the unfortunate trend (especially where “different” films are concerned) of giving away just about everything about the movie in the trailer, lest anyone be — God forbid! — surprised when they sit down to watch it in the theater…
Didn’t they get anyone better than Akshara Hassan here? She is out of place here. I am a little worried about the movie . Apart from the one upmanship between the two here, there needs to be a good script around it. I hope the ‘one upmanship’ is not the movie here.
This is an utter mis-match. Amitabh’s booming baritone coming from Dhanush’s mouth seems like a pup trying to roar. It really isn’t about how good an actor anyone is. That is how it comes off in this trailer. It might work in the overall arc of the premise.
That baritone, even when divorced of the Amitabh persona, is a stupendous and enviable one and it simply isn’t possible for anyone and anything to fit that voice into another persona.
It does lend credence to the fact that water/Dhanush is nothing without whisky/Amitabh.
A poor trailer in the sense of giving away everything. On that note, CHEENI KUM’s trailer was really good – a great appetizer for a full course menu.
Abhishek Bachchan Cameo In Shamitabh Accidental
Posted by: Nandhini Published: Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 15:21 [IST]
If you readers are waiting to watch one Bachchan (Amitabh) and his role in Shamitabh, wait till you hear that there is another Bachchan (Abhishek) who has a cameo in the film. Amitabh Bachchan and Dhanush starrer Shamitabh is about ego clashes between two people. The actor who doesn’t like the concept of promotions is busy promoting his film.
He also revealed that Abhishek Bachchan has a cameo in Shamitabh and that was accidental. Big B said, “We were shooting at the airport and Abhishek was returning back home, while he was coming back, we asked him to be a part of the scene, just like that. It was an accidental cameo.” Amitabh Bachchan also wants to and desires to work with his son Abhishek. “I would like to work with him again, but there should be some nice script where we both can agree for it,” said Big B. Shamitabh which marks the debut of Akshara Haasan is all set to release on February 6.
will wait for the youtube to update the post. This is a very ordinary trailer though. I really liked the Piddly trailer. Nothing else quite as much though the second longer trailer was better than the first one.
Join the ‘Shahenshah’ of Bollywood, Amitabh Bachchan, for a special edition of BBC Asian Network’s In Conversation with… series at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London on Tuesday 27 January.
Having worked in Hindi cinema for over four decades, the ‘angry young man’ has starred in some of the industry’s biggest blockbusters including Sholay, Coolie and Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. His talents are not limited to India alone, working in Oscar-nominated The Great Gatsby alongside Leonardo Di Caprio.
The Big B became a trendsetter when he smoothly made the transition to the small screen as a television host and in 1999, the international icon was voted the “greatest star of stage or screen” in a BBC Your Millennium online poll.
Since then, the world renowned star has been immortalised in wax at Madame Tussauds, honoured with several Doctorates and even carried the torch during the London 2012 Olympics.
Amitabh Bachchan will take you through his story so far and talk about his latest film Shamitabh.
You can apply for tickets for this exclusive event for the BBC Asian Network at any time until 10am on Friday 23 January.
Tickets are free and will be allocated at random once registration has closed.
You can apply for a maximum of one pair of tickets per household, and you must make your own way to and from the event.
Please note that this event is for over 16s only.
When I think of Balki’s work I am reminded of those painters, like Picasso or Turner, who take something we all take as a given– light, shape — and bring it into issue by making it the subject of the work (thereby changing our perception of the world). Balki has something of the same vibe, of an experimenter, of someone who wants to play with his material, except his material isn’t some universal given, but Amitabh himself (although that choice speaks volumes about Amitabh’s role in Bollywood). So these films are exercises in distorted Bachchan effects — more accurately, exercises in what happens if everything remains the same, but Bachchan is distorted (a child of his own child in Paa; a disembodied voice in Shamitabh). All this could be fascinating (perhaps as an oeuvre, when one looks back at it a few years later, rather than film-by-film), but Balki also gives off the vibe of an ad man, and as such, the risk is that it won’t amount to anything more than mere effect. That is, does Paa tell us anything about the nature of the Amitabh phenomenon, or of the wider world when the world’s Amitabh is distorted? Not to detract from the film’s enjoyability, but I would say that it does not. Shamitabh from the trailers seems even further along the path of the gimmick (Paa at least had a moving story of loss, fatherhood as its narrative core).
I saw Shamitabh yesterday, and I must say this quite a poor film: it has its moments, but most of these turn on in-jokes and moments that work quite independent of the film — the movie itself features a number of repetitive scenes that end precisely as one would expect them to. All in all, while I hadn’t had the highest expectations going into Shamitabh, I’d certainly expected more than this tedious affair. I found myself checking my watch every now and then. It’s a pity Balki wasted the strong Dhanush/Amitabh casting (although the film probably does work if consumed as Bachchan voice porn), a few excellent scenes notwithstanding — meanwhile, Akshara Haasan is just horrible.
I’m clearly in a very small minority, but watched it at the weekend and loved it. I’m not sure how I feel about the ending but pretty much had a blast throughout the film. Awesome performances (and i thought Akshara’s awkwardness worked well too).
Shamitabh release timing is getting very bad .. All of sudden Delhi elections has taken prime interest .. news channels are back on higher ratings .. other entertainment options shall be on back seat for next 2 weeks. In any case Shamitabh was not suppose to take great opening .. but i am suspecting growth based on WOM even .. Baby is also partly suffering because of this .. Lower collections of Delhi belt is evident, not only for Baby .. but for other movies as well.
Shamitabh and Top-10 Amitabh Bachchan grossers since Mohabbatein
By Joginder Tuteja, Jan 29, 2015 – 11:28 IST
Amitabh Bachchan’s Bollywood journey can be clearly distinguished into two phases – Pre and post Mohabbatein. While he enjoyed countless superhits and blockbusters in the 70s and the 80s, 90s weren’t too kind on Big B when he made his comeback with Mrityudaata. It all changed after Mohabbatein though. As the living legend gets set for Balki and Eros’ Shamitabh, here is looking at 10 of his biggest successes since the year 2000 when Mohabbetein hit the screens.
Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham [Rs. 45 crores]
The biggest of them all stays on to be Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham. A weep fest by Karan Johar that promised to tug the emotional strings, it had Big B playing a patriarch in a multi-starrer affair that boasted of a stellar starcast comprising of Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Hrithik Roshan, Kareena Kapoor and Jaya Bachchan. The film stays on to be Bachchan’s biggest blockbuster in overseas too till date.
Bhoothnath Returns [Rs. 40 crores]
Much anticipated sequel to Bhoothnath, the film made some good early impressions at the promo stage itself. Later, it did well on its release too as word of mouth helped it hang on well at the box office. Amitabh Bachchan was clearly having a lot of fun playing an invisible ghost in the film. While ‘Party Toh Banti Hai’ stays on to be a chartbuster, there was wholesome family entertainment in store.
Bunty Aur Babli [Rs. 35 crores]
The man was clearly having fun while playing a bad a$$ cop in Yash Raj’s Bunty Aur Babli. Though the title roles were played by Abhishek Bachchan and Rani Mukerji, it is Bachchan Sr. jig with Aishwarya Rai (not Bachchan, back then) in ‘Kajra Re’ which is remembered most till date. It was fun to see Amitabh Bachchan in a cop’s outfit and the film was lapped up by the masses.
Black [Rs. 30 crores]
When Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Amitabh Bachchan decided to come together for a film, it had to be something special. Black was as experimental as it gets with Rani Mukerji playing a deaf, mute and blind girl with Big B edging towards Alzheimer’s too. Commercially, this film carried bleak prospects but audience turned out to be more receptive than expected. Black did well at the urban centers.
Kaante [Rs. 30 crores]
When Amitabh Bachchan stepped into this multi-starrer affair, Sanjay Gupta’s Kaante was one of the biggest films put on floors. It went through its fair share of turmoil as well right from the inception till the day of release. However the action thriller found good audience for itself and Amitabh Bachchan’s face-off with Sanjay Dutt found good popularity as well.
Paa [Rs. 30 crores]
Clearly, this is the most challenging role till date that Amitabh Bachchan has been a part of in a career spanning over four decades. For him to step into the part of a teenage boy was just unimaginable and with Abhishek Bachchan playing his dad, it was a thin rope being walked upon. However, Balki carried a vision and Big B was more than happy to execute that extremely well on screen. Audience loved it too.
Sarkar [Rs. 28 crores]
One of the most popular roles that Amitabh Bachchan has done in the last 15 years, Sarkar was a powerful affair with Ram Gopal Varma in an explosive form. Based on the life and times of a real life political personality, Sarkar had Big B coming up with a terrific performance with his baritone making all the difference. No wonder, dialogues were the key in this film that also featured Abhishek Bachchan.
Khakee [Rs. 27 crores]
For those hunting for vintage Amitabh Bachchan in the part of a cop, Rajkumar Santoshi came up with a worthy gift in the form of Khakee. With a stellar cast including Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and Aishwarya Rai, Khakee was a ‘masala’ outing with Bachchan leading from the front. The film was a good commercial entertainer and was accepted by one and all.
Baghban [Rs. 26 crores]
In a central role, Amitabh Bachchan paired up with his co-star of many films, Hema Malini. As a married couple, they were clearly enjoying each other’s company on screen. Their romance was text-book for those youngsters who wanted to learn a thing or two about what ‘chemistry’ stands for when it comes to portraying some true love in front of camera. This social film was a big success with the ladies.
Mohabbatein [Rs. 25 crores]
This was a film that started it all. The legend has it that when Amitabh Bachchan was down and out, he called up Yash Chopra in the dead of the night and expressed his interest in working for the production house. It didn’t take time for Chopra Sr. and son Aditya to spin a strong character for Bachchan in Mohabbatein. With Shahrukh Khan and Aishwarya Rai bringing on the star quotient, Big B was back, and how!
This is not only about Shamitabh .. but practically every other entertainment source is side-lined and focus is entirely on Delhi elections. Release time can not be worst than this .. look how big/small movies in past few weeks performing ..
I will say this though, and I’m not responding to the promotion volume at all, I’ve even said this on Bachchan’s blog. But a certain quirkiness that one has so far associated with Balki is missing from the campaign so far barring the Piddly trailer which I loved. This typified Balki. The rest is fine on its own but it doesn’t necessarily belong to Balki’s world (the drunk scenes for instance) and certainly the rest of the campaign isn’t as sharp as his work usually tends to be (i.e. in this pure advertising sense). With Piddly I felt the Balki signature but I haven’t since. I’ll check it out and it might still be a good film but not going into it with as much expectation as Paa. On a related note even the central conceit of the film is a bit odd with Dhanush at the other end. I’ve offered a long comment on this but it might have been better to have a Bollywood star for this conceit to work better. They initially wanted SRK. I think there were good reasons (!) why he decided not to do it. But he would have been better here. With Abhishek actually it would have been truly interesting for reasons I’ve discussed at length in the past. But in any case and in the absence of ideal alternatives a Bollywood star would have been a much better idea. I actually prefer Dhanush to most Bollywood stars but there’s something odd about about the whole premise with him part of it. But again I have enough respect for Balki to give him the benefit of the doubt.
On the box office front though one shouldn’t overestimate these things. It’s true that Delhi might be a problem here but on the evidence of the past Balki’s films are never in the totally mainstream blockbuster mould. They’re small films that get modest starts and then trend well or very well. But the overall gross is never big or something, these are hits in terms of that larger picture. And so I wouldn’t worry too much about the initial even if delhi affects it adversely. The trending will be much more key here. But yes they could definitely have done with a better overall campaign. One couldn’t have faulted Paa on this score.
Will you make a film without Mr. Bachchan?
I wish I can keep finding ideas for making films with him. I have already got several parts of him in my films. I don’t want to force-fit him into ideas just to work with him. I have taken his voice in Shamitabh. He is actually a kid who is sarcastic and that part of him I used in Paa. In Cheeni Kum I used the part of him being khadhoos and the adult who is sarcastic. All throughout the shooting of both Cheeni Kum and Shamitabh he has behaved like a khadoos with me as he was in his role. People ask me how I have lost weight so much, I said, ‘Just work with Amitabh Bachchan for one film.’ Amitabh Bachchan is the best weight-loss programme in the world. He is so much in the role so you are always on tenterhooks. But in Paa, he was always like a kid, so I put on weight. But I also know that if there is one person who makes me more comfortable than me myself, it is him.