Ranbir Kapoor is back on the big screens after a hiatus of four years. Naturally, the expectations are running high from his first big release this year, Shamshera. The dacoit drama stars Ranbir Kapoor in the titular role. Ronit Roy, Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Dutt and Vaani Kapoor take up prominent roles in the movie. Shamshera is a break from Ranbir Kapoor’s regular outings as the boy-next-door and takes him into the territory of the quintessential Bollywood hero.
A full-on Bollywood masala entertainer
Shamshera was made for the masses and it shows. With grand sets, grander performances, a typical Bollywood hero, a diabolical villain, and some song and dance routines, Shamshera is the formulaic Bollywood entertainer. In that sense, the movie is quite predictable. You know exactly what will happen from scene one till the end. Despite the predictability though, the movie never fails to entertain.
Shamshera is the sardaar of Khameran, a tribe of dacoits who have been uprooted from their homeland. Shamshera’s motto is “karm se dacait, dharm se azaad” and that’s what the Khameran tribe follows as well. Ranbir Kapoor takes on the dual role of Shamshera and his son, Balli. As Shamshera, Ranbir Kapoor looks larger than life. He gives off tribe leader vibes with a certain craziness that’s visible in his eyes. His closest aide is Bir, played by the talented Ronit Roy, who never fails to impress. In an effort to get his tribe a life of dignity, Shamshera makes a deal with the devil, daroga Shuddh Singh. Unfortunately, the warrior tribe is imprisoned, enslaved, tortured, and forced to live as far from dignity as possible. With his death, Shamshera’s son, Balli, takes up the mantle to free his fellow tribe members.
Strong performances, but Sanjay Dutt shines
Shamshera is one of those movies where the performances, and not the story, are the highlight. Ranbir Kapoor does a great job in both his roles, but more specifically as Shamshera. He embodies the largeness and the craze that is attributed to Shamshera. Kapoor plays well with his eyes and therein lies the entire strength of his performance.
Sanjay Dutt is evil personified and it shows in his performance. From the way he talks to the way he walks, you can see the sadism in his eyes. Sanjay Dutt as Shuddh Singh is nothing like his name. His core is rotten and every frame he is in screams evil. Daroga Shuddh Singh is one character with absolutely no redeeming factor and that’s delightful to watch.
Saurabh Shukla as Balli’s right-hand man and Ronit Roy as his mentor are a delight to watch. The two actors never give a bad performance, because they have honed their craft so well and it shows. While Saurabh Shukla was given ample space to play his character and enough screen time, I wish the makers had given Ronit Roy more screen space to shine in his role.
Shamshera is running in theatres now.
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