Saturday, February 7, 2015

Amitabh Bachchan picthes for Bollywood museum in Mumbai

 Amitabh Bachchan picthes for Bollywood museum in Mumbai


Mumbai: Saying that he is “a proud Mumbaikar”, megastar Amitabh Bachchan today rued lack of auditoriums for Marathi plays in the city, and also pitched for a Bollywood museum.

“The Marathi stage is prominent entity and many of us are unaware of it. And they are unaware because we don’t have sufficient theatres for many of these people to perform,” Bachchan said at ‘Mumbai Next’ event organised by the state government.

Shamitabh Movie Review


The facility at Worli’s National Sports Complex of India is used for both plays and sports, so there should be an exclusive theatre for plays in Marathi and other languages, he said. The Prithvi Theatre, located near his house in Juhu, is too small, he noted.

Bachchan, who has had an over four-decade association with the film industry, said the city also needs a museum which will document the journey of entertainment world and how it has grown to be the biggest film industry in the world.

“I came here to look for a better job, entered the entertainment industry. But having come here, having established myself, I am very proud of the fact that I am a Mumbaikar,” the actor said. Drawing from his experience in Gujarat, where he is the brand ambassador for the tourism department, Bachchan said there would be many historical sites with archaeological importance in Maharashtra which we do not know of. “How wonderful it would be if we can initiate a campaign to inform people,” he said, offering his own services.

He also complained about the prohibitive costs and plethora of permissions required to shoot in the city. “Lots of us are moving out for locations because there are problems that we have seeking permissions to shoot within the city and sometimes they are so oppressive that we say no, we rather go out rather than face the problems,” he said.

Producer Ekta Kapoor said it costs Rs 2.5 lakh to shoot at the historical Gateway of India here against Rs 1.25 lakh at New Delhi’s India Gate. Tourism and culture secretary Valsa Nair Singh said the state has prepared a master plan for the Film City which includes a Bollywood museum, a section for Marathi plays and an amusement park. “The proposal will go before cabinet soon,” she said. She also said there are plans to reduce number of permissions needed to set up hotels from 146 to 20.

news by deccanchronicle

Amitabh Bachchan voice Power : Shamitabh Movie Review

 Shamitabh Movie Review : Amitabh Bachchan’s voice powers the movie

A reedy, scrawny, voice-less wannabe actor rides piggyback on a hypnotic, heavy baritone to super success in Bollywood : the premise of ‘Shamitabh’ is fabulous on many levels. Because of the cross-connections it makes with real life and reel life. Because of what we already know about the actors, stored in our memory banks. Because of its sheer degree of meta-ness.

Danish (Dhanush) and Amitabh (Amitabh Bachchan) are like ‘whisky’ and ‘paani’ : the former is an unprepossessing runaway, like a million others, who fetches up in Mumbai in order to become a star; the latter is a wasted alcoholic with a voice that we have known and loved, on and off screen. The coming together of the two– the ‘mixture’– becomes ‘Shamitabh’, super-successful Bollywood hero, aided and abetted by a bright young thing Akshara, a small cog in the big movie business.

Much of what constitutes stardom, the way it is constructed in the world’s largest film industry, is part of the film. The connection between how a person looks and how he sounds, and how that contributes to the making of a star, fashions the two halves of `Shamitabh’. And the predictable face-off between the two provides some of the film’s most alive moments.

The trouble is that there are not enough of those moments in which the two riff off each other, the others around them being just admiring ciphers. Large passages are devoted to Amitabh Bachchan and his soliloquies. Why, when we already know what a magician he is with his voice? They make the film a one-sided drone.

Also, so much of suspension of disbelief (how possible is it for an actor to be voiceless and not be rumbled within a moment?) needed to have been balanced by the sort of flourish, which makes us say okay, I buy into this, but only because you are showing it to me with quirk and smartness. ‘Shamitabh’ swings between being intelligent and banal, the latter more so when it begins worshipping at the altar of the nation’s most beloved voice.

Debutant Akshara Haasan, an intriguing mix of mom Sarika and dad Kamal Haasan, has promise. Dhanush shows what a real actor can do with just body language : he is fluid, twists and turns, and says what he wants to, without using any spoken words.

Paradoxically, it is Amitabh Bachchan, whose voice powers the movie, who is not able to break free from the pedestal he is put upon : the lines between Amitabh the superstar playing Amitabh the drunk wastrel are so blurred that the film becomes more paean than anything else, burying the character and the story.

‘Shamitabh’ had the potential to use irony and knowingness and a self-awareness, and the presence of the most durable star in Bollywood whose velvet-and-iron rumble has become part of the national soundtrack, to give us an unforgettable story of ego and identity, rejection and acceptance, success and failure. There are a few moments which sparkle, and we laugh in acknowledgement. But the rest of it is overpowered by unabashed reverence.


news by indianexpress

Shamitabh Movie Review : Amitabh Bachchan act is classy in this fun yet flawed film

 Shamitabh Movie Review: Amitabh Bachchan's act is classy in this fun yet flawed film

Ten minutes into Shamitabh, you begin to realize you’re feeling something that seems almost alien – entertainment. You’ll be glad that, after what seems like eons, we have a mainstream commercial movie with a story that’s unique and original, without the tacky underpinnings of the products from the genre. If you’re a Big B fan, the first half of Shamitabh is going to be your LSD.

Daanish, a kid from a village, grows up into a perfectly-cast Dhanush, with dreams of being an actor. Daanish moves to Mumbai and stalks whichever filmmaker he spots, and begins living secretly in a vanity van. When he finally gets a chance to do a screen test, he kills it. The only problem? He’s mute. But this is 2015, and filmmaking now has tools, like dubbing. With these tools, even a tool can be a hero. And as the protagonist mentions, if you’ve got the vocal cords of Amitabh Bachchan, even a dog can be star. So when Daanish comes across Amitabh Sinha (Amitabh Bachchan), a washed up drunkard with a glorious baritone, the collaboration reeks of superstardom. Daanish plus Amitabh become Shamitabh.

Going with the theme of the film, Shamitabh is half a great movie. This is a film about superstardom, starring superstars. It’s about the high of the rise and the constant threat of the fall; the jealousy, the disappointment and all the other emotional baggage that comes with stardom. In one scene, Shamitabh is shooting a movie where his heroine has to visit the loo, so he builds her a toilet out of snow and the commode becomes a romantic theme in the song. Yup, Shamitabh is also an unsubtle commentary of the nature of commercial Bollywood.
The ‘conflict’ in director Balki’s previous films Cheeni Kum and Paa were ham handed to say the least, but this time we have something imaginative. As Shamitabh becomes a star, his greed starts to eat him inwards. Amitabh, who is kept a secret and presented to the public as a valet named Robert, begins to wonder why he doesn’t get the lion’s share of the credit. Acting and screen presence is all about the delivery, he growls. To get you high, a bottle of whiskey doesn’t need water, but water does need whiskey. Even if a whiskey bottle is 43% whiskey and 57% water. His voice didn’t suit the industry in the ’80s, so how is it fair that someone with no screen presence becomes a star because of that very same voice? Neither can live without the other. The ego clashes and jealous bickering between the two are fun, as are Amitabh’s drunk philosophical putdowns.

However, it seems Balki took the dual nature of his film too seriously because the second half of the film crashes and burns. Balki loses the drive and is unsure of what to do with the characters, so he includes some truly horrendous contrivances to pad things up.

There is also a ton of stupidity in the movie, like the eyeroll-inducing, Finnish sci fi technology behind getting Amitabh’s voice in Daanish’s throat. Other contrivances include a random assistant director (an awkward Akshara Haasan) who rescues Daanish from being thrown out of Film City for stalking, puts him on a screen test, sends him to Finland, and convinces her director to cast him in his film as the star (twice). Talk about luck by chance. There’s also an unintentionally hilarious subplot of a tabloid reporter who realizes the discrepancy in Shamitabh’s voice and travels to Finland as an investigative reporter and then blackmails Shamitabh. Not to mention the hundred thousand product placements crammed into nearly every frame of the film.

If you were disappointed by the endings of Paa and Cheeni Kum, prepare to face something similar. During the closing minutes it becomes clear that Balki doesn’t know what point to make, so he just abruptly gives up and the credits roll, leaving you with a mixed bag of emotions.

Fortunately you’ll still remember the one thing that kept the film going – Bachchan’s performance. Such style and elegance is seldom seen in cinema. Even when he’s lying in the dirt, blabbering with a sozzled face, Bachchan is a class act. And it’s great to see him play a character instead of his own French bearded self. Amitabh points out that he’s the larger part of the name Shamitabh, and Big B is pretty much the only significant and memorable part of the film. This might as well have been called ShaMetabh.


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