From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Theatrical release poster
Directed byR. Balki
Written byR. Balki
Produced bySunil Lulla
Gauri Shinde
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala
R. K. Damani
Abhishek Bachchan
StarringAmitabh Bachchan
Akshara Haasan
CinematographyP. C. Sreeram
Edited byHemanti Sarkar[1]
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Hope Productions,
Eros International,
Saraswati Creations
Distributed byEros International
MAD Entertainment Ltd[2]
Release date
  • 6 February 2015 (2015-02-06)[3][4]
Running time
135 minutes
Budget45 crore[5]
Box office37 crore[6]

Shamitabh is a 2015 Indian Hindi-language satirical drama film written and directed by R. Balki.[7][8] The film stars Amitabh Bachchan, Dhanush and debutante Akshara Haasan.[9] The film is jointly produced by Sunil Lulla, Balki, Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, R. K. Damani, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan under their respective production banners. Ilaiyaraaja composed the soundtrack album and background score, while cinematography was handled by P. C. Sreeram.[10]


Danish, a mute man from Igatpuri whose childhood dream was to become a Bollywood actor, reaches Mumbai to fulfill his dream. He tries to enter Film City, but is stopped by guards. He trespasses anyway and meets an assistant director, Akshara Pandey, who is amazed by his acting. She approaches a director to request a role for Danish in a film, but the director refuses after he learns that Danish is mute.

Danish and Akshara go to a voice hospital to get his check-up, but doctors declare his vocal chords are fully paralyzed and are unable to be treated. Akshara's father reveals a new "Live Voice Transfer Technology" exists in Finland; a chip will be fitted inside the patient's larynx which can help them "speak" via a borrowed voice. After getting this operation done in Finland, Akshara and Danish return to Mumbai and set out to search for a person who could speak for Danish every time, when they come across an old drunkard, Amitabh Sinha, lying on the footpath. Amitabh also wanted to become an actor but was rejected because of his voice.

Danish approaches the director again, who agrees to launch him this time, but wanted him to change his name. Danish searches for a name and concludes on Shamitabh (a portmanteau of Danish and Amitabh), giving credit to the person who provided him with voice. Danish makes two films and turns out to be a hit actor to which Amitabh realises was only because of him and an ego problem between the two starts to rise.

Danish arrives at London to deliver a speech which Amitabh voices for him, but Danish treats him like a servant. Amitabh later becomes inebriated and is arrested after attacking a police officer, but Danish bails him out. When the duo return to Mumbai, journalists ask Danish if he is apologetic about the incident. Danish tells Amitabh to say that he apologises from his servant, Amitabh's side. Enraged, Amitabh mischievously makes him reply in negative, much to Danish's fury. The duo parts ways; Danish plays a mute person in his next film, while Amitabh dubs for another actor in a different film. Both films fail.

Akshara makes both Amitabh and Danish realise they are nothing without each other and gets them together for a film titled Sorry, which she is directing. Meanwhile, Akshara and Danish tell that they like each other. While Amitabh and Danish are on the way to the venue of the press meet for Sorry, a car accident occurs; Danish is killed while Amitabh's larynx is damaged, making him mute.

Some time later, Amitabh paces around Danish's grave with the script of Sorry, imagining that Danish is still alive and practising his lines for the film.


Cameo appearances



In August 2013, reports announced that Dhanush would play the lead role in R. Balki's next film.[11] But Balki denied them as rumors, citing that they may have arisen when he had shot for an advertisement featuring.[12] In November 2013, Bachchan and Dhanush were announced as stars. The film also marked the acting debut of Kamal Haasan's second daughter, Akshara Haasan.[13] In addition to portraying one of the film's central characters, Bachchan had also bankrolled the venture.[14] In May 2014, Balki revealed that the film would be titled Shamitabh, which also sounded similar to the Bollywood star's name,[15] whilst also revealing that half the film's shooting had been completed.[16] Bachchan lent his voice to Dhanush, who plays a dumb aspiring actor in the film.[17] The film's title derived from the duo's names in which 'Sh' from Dhanush was added as a prefix to Amitabh, therefore becoming Shamitabh.[18]


Besides the lead cast,[13] it was confirmed in February 2014 that actor Rajeev Ravindranathan would appear in a small role in the film.[19] Rajeev confirmed the same again in July 2014.[20] In August 2014, it was reported that director Mahesh Bhatt had acted in a cameo role in the film.[21][22] Later it was reported that not only Mahesh Bhatt, but Karan Johar, Anurag Basu, Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, Rajkumar Hirani, Gauri Shinde, along with lyricist Javed Akhtar and producers Boney Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor would do cameos in the film.[23] Actress Abhinaya of Nadodigal (2009) fame was selected to play a crucial role in the film.[24] Actress Rekha was selected to play a supporting role.[25] Vandita Shrivastava, an MBA-turned-actress, stated that she had a role in the film.[26]


Principal photography commenced in February 2014 in Igatpuri.[10][27] Amitabh Bachchan began shooting for his portions in the film in April 2014.[28] Shamitabh became the first Bollywood film to be shot in the Lapland region of Finland and in Helsinki.[29][30] The crew shot some scenes at the Seven Hills Hospital, the same place where Bachchan underwent two abdominal surgeries and saw the birth of Aaradhya, his granddaughter.[31] Some scenes were also shot in London.[32] The team took a break in mid-July 2014 to celebrate Dhanush's birthday and the success of his 25th film, Velaiyilla Pattathari (2014).[33] In mid-August 2014, Amitabh Bachchan stated that he had completed his portions for the film,[34] whilst also confirming that 90% percent of the film's shooting had been completed.[35] Dhanush reportedly did a few dastardly stunts in the film.[36] The film's cinematographer P. C. Sreeram was fascinated by Akshara's acting capability and lack of nervousness while shooting with Dhanush and Bachchan and lauded her as a "woman of substance".[37] Akshara did her own choreography for her dance.[38][39]


Soundtrack album by
Released16 January 2015
Recorded2014 -2015
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LabelEros Music
Ilaiyaraaja chronology
Touring Talkies

The soundtrack album and background score were composed by Ilaiyaraaja.[10] Illaiyaraaja began work for the film's songs on 6 January 2014 in Mumbai.[40] Bachchan had lent his voice to a song in the film. The song "Stereophonic Sannata" was reused from the song "Aasaiya Kaathula" from the Tamil movie Johnny.

1."Ishq E Phillum"Swanand KirkireSuraj Jagan, Shaan, Haricharan04:30
2."Sha Sha Sha Mi Mi Mi"Kausar MunirCaralisa Monteiro05:20
3."Piddly Si Baatein"Swanand KirkireAmitabh Bachchan, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Mohit Chauhan05:09
4."Stereophonic Sannata"Swanand KirkireShruti Haasan04:59
5."Thappad"Swanand KirkireSuraj Jagan, Earl D'Souza, Ilaiyaraaja04:07
6."Lifebuoy"Swanand KirkireSuraj Jagan, Mika Singh, Shankar Mahadevan01:54
Total length:25:40

Promotion and release[edit]

The film released worldwide on 6 February 2015.[needs update][3][4][41]

The first look of the lead actors Bachchan and Dhanush were released on 23 July 2014,[42] and 25 July 2014,[43] respectively. A video trailer of Bachchan sitting in a toilet and singing "piddly si baatein", a catchy, peppy song while holding the script, was released on 31 December 2014. An extended version of the trailer was released on 2 January 2015.[44] Bachchan had been reportedly seen sporting a rugged look and wearing shabby clothes,[45] Bachchan found the look quite difficult to preserve throughout the shooting of the film.[46] Bachchan described every film he made with Balki as "novel, out of the ordinary and most challenging" and Shamitabh is "no different".[47] A still featuring the lead actors was released by Amitabh Bachchan on Twitter on 20 August 2014.[48] Eros International distributed the film worldwide.[49]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics and audience.[50] Srijana Mitra Das of The Times of India gave it 3.5 stars out of 5 and stated, "Shamitabh has a doubly dramatic act – but less emotion".[51] Indian Express gave the movie 2 stars.[52] Rajeev Masand of IBNLIVe gave the movie 2.5 stars stating "The promising film comes undone by the curse of the second half". The Guardian gave average reviews describing the movie "Amitabh Bachchan in affectionate but incoherent satire".[53]


  1. ^ "SHAMITABH CAST & CREW". Cinestaan. 09 November 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Eros International's big plans involve Superstar Rajinikanth, Ilayathalapathy Vijay, and Thala Ajith". Behindwoods. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b Suparno (7 August 2014). "Amitabh Bachchan's 'Shamitabh' Release Date Declared!". Oneindia Entertainment. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b Seshagiri, Sangeetha (7 August 2014). "Dhanush-Amitabh Bachchan's 'Shamitabh' to Release on 6 February 2015". International Business Times. Retrieved 26 August 2014.
  5. ^ "'Shamitabh' 2 Days Collection at Box Office: Amitabh Bachchan-Dhanush Starrer Earns ₹4.75 Crore on Saturday". International Business Times. 8 February 2015. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  6. ^ "Shamitabh – Movie – Box Office India". Retrieved 2 September 2018.
  7. ^ Mitra, Tathagata (29 May 2014). "R Balki's next starring Big B titled 'Shamitabh'". India Today. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
  8. ^ "Movie Review: 'Shamitabh'". No. Retrieved 6 February 2015.
  9. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan nervous to shoot R Balki's next". The Indian Express. 20 April 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  10. ^ a b c Goyal, Divya; Sharma, Sarika (25 February 2014). "Dhanush, Akshara Haasan shoot for Balki's film". The Indian Express. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  11. ^ Iyer, Meena (21 August 2013). "ready for R Balki?". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  12. ^ K. Jha, Subhash (6 March 2013). "No Shah Rukh Khan, only Amitabh Bachchan in R. Balki's next". Daily News and Analysis. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  13. ^ a b "Big B-Dhanush-Akshara Haasan In R Balki's Next" Archived 21 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Box Office India. 16 November 2013. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  14. ^ Baksi, Dibyojyoti (9 April 2014). "Amitabh Bachchan to co-produce R Balki's next" Archived 21 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Hindustan Times. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  15. ^ "R. Balki's next titled 'Shamitabh'". Zee News. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  16. ^ "R. Balki's next titled 'Shamitabh'". Sify. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  17. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan to give voice-over to Dhanush". The Indian Express. 18 July 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  18. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan's Next With R Balki Is Titled 'Shamitabh'". Koimoi. 30 May 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  19. ^ Sampath, Parinatha (4 February 2014). "Rajeev Ravindranathan begins shoot for R Balki's next". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  20. ^ Talukdar, Taniya (23 July 2014). "Why is Rajeev Ravindranathan tight-lipped about his next film?". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  21. ^ "Check out: Mahesh Bhatt does a cameo in 'Shamitabh'". Bollywood Hungama. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  22. ^ "Mahesh Bhatt turns actor for R Balki's 'Shamitabh'". India Today. 13 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  23. ^ Gupta, Priya (22 August 2014). "R Balki gets 6 directors to do a cameo in 'Shamitabh'". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  24. ^ Borah, M. Prabalika (1 September 2014). "Going places, quietly". The Hindu. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  25. ^ "One more legend for Dhanush". Behindwoods. 2 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014.
  26. ^ The author has posted comments on this article (11 December 2014). "The Shaukeens actress Vandita to be seen in Shamitabh – The Times of India". Retrieved 5 December 2015. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  27. ^ "Dhanush kick starts Balki film!". The Times of India. 4 February 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  28. ^ Dubey, Rachana (22 April 2014). "Big B begins shooting for R Balki's film". The Times of India. Retrieved 20 August 2014.
  29. ^ Jha, Sumit. "'Shamitabh' will be the Bollywood's first movie to be shot in Finland". The Times of India. 24 June 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  30. ^ K. Jha, Subhash. "'Shamitabh' to be shot in Helsinski". Bollywood Hungama. 23 June 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  31. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan's encounter with reality on 'Shamitabh' sets". IBNLive. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  32. ^ "Dhanush shoots in London with Amitabh Bachchan". The Times of India. 3 July 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  33. ^ "Dhanush celebrates with Big B and Akshara Haasan". The Times of India. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  34. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan wraps up R. Balki's 'Shamitabh'". India Today. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  35. ^ Pathak, Ankur (18 August 2014). "Amitabh Bachchan's final impact". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  36. ^ "Dhanush goes crazy!". Behindwoods. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  37. ^ "Akshara Haasan a woman of substance". The Times of India. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  38. ^ K. Jha, Subhash (16 September 2014). "Akshara Haasan turns choreographer for 'Shamitabh'". Bollywood Hungama. Retrieved 16 September 2014.
  39. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan's 'Shamitabh' cast and crew face storm trouble in Finland". The Indian Express. 1 July 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  40. ^ M. Suganth (13 January 2014). "Ilaiyaraaja in Mumbai to compose for Balki's film". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 August 2014.
  41. ^ "Dhanush reveals 'Shamitabh' plans". The Times of India. 19 August 2014. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
  42. ^ Nagwekar, Santosh (22 July 2014). "Revealed: Amitabh Bachchan's New Look in R Balki's". NDTV. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  43. ^ "First Look: Big B & Dhanush in 'Shamitabh'". The Free Press Journal. 25 July 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  44. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan & Rekha Meet Again – Watch Shamitabh ExtendedTrailer". Archived from the original on 16 January 2015.
  45. ^ "Snapshot: A disheveled Amitabh Bachchan is spotted wearing shabby clothes on the sets of 'Shamitabh'". IBNLive. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  46. ^ "Big B shares 'Shamitabh' look, says difficult to preserve". Deccan Herald. 21 July 2014. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  47. ^ Joshi, Priya (10 July 2014). "Amitabh: 'Shamitabh' is out of the ordinary like all R Balki films". Digital Spy. Retrieved 7 August 2014.
  48. ^ "Amitabh Bachchan reveals Dhanush and Akshara's look from 'Shamitabh'".The trailer was released on 6 January 2015 Daily News and Analysis. 20 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  49. ^ "Eros International and R Balki team up for 'Shamitabh'". Business Standard. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 28 August 2014.
  50. ^ James, Anu (10 February 2015). "'Shamitabh' Actor Dhanush Busy with 'Anegan' Promotions [PHOTOS]". International Business Times. Retrieved 28 April 2020.
  51. ^ "Shamitabh Movie Review, Trailer, & Show timings at Times of India". Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  52. ^ "'Shamitabh' movie review: Amitabh Bachchan's voice powers the movie". The Indian Express. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
  53. ^ Mike McCahill. "Shamitabh review – Amitabh Bachchan in affectionate but incoherent satire | Film". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 December 2015.

External links[edit]