Shamshera (2022/ Action/ Fantasy/ Period/ Drama)
Writers – Nilesh Mishra, Khila Bisht
Director – Karan Malhotra
Cast – Ranbir Kapoor, Sanjay Dutt, Vaani Kapoor, Ronit Roy, Saurabh Shukla, Iravati Harshe
Set in pre-independence times, it is the story of a clan Khameran and its head Shamshera fighting for their freedom.
Ever since the onslaught of south films, the audience can be hypothetically divided into two categories – those whole loved RRR and KGF and those who did not.
The problem with Shamshera is that it will not be wholeheartedly received by either.
Disclaimer: This review comes from someone who belongs to the latter.
I have been a great fan of Karan Malhotra ever since Agneepath, which I consider to be amongst the handful of remakes that have been done extremely well. In fact I loved his Akshay-Siddharth starrer Brothers too, which incidentally was not that well received.
In Shamshera, Karan Malhotra seems heavily under the influence of an audience demanding those larger than life, fantasy fiction kind of period dramas that are the forte of south.
When the film begins with a terrific Ranbir Kapoor amidst terrific BGM, it sends your adrenaline soaring. And let me tell you that these two aspects remain terrific through out the film which goes on to follow the graph like your ECG. Sporadic bursts of energy and goose bump moments and music which get dominated by dark, macabre, heart breaking proceedings which mostly pull you down.
We all love larger than life, gravity defying, logic defying action and can be very selective in accepting it. We love Robinhood-esque heroes fighting but are happy only to see them winning. A big problem with Shamshera is that the gloomy moments far outnumber the joyous one; violence that makes you cringe and the downtrodden being crushed most of the time. There are portions which stand out and there are portions that seem a drag.
Through out this rollercoaster watch, what I could admire was Ranbir Kapoor’s sincerity towards his role and Karan Malhotra’s efforts in a genre that he seemingly tries to handle at his best. The cinematography and the background score are his comrades in arms. They are a great support through out. Loved Piyush Mishra’s lyrics in “Hunkara”.
It is the writers who do not deserve any sympathy for doling out such a dull affair. The story is a big let down. Songs seem way too many.
This fantasy genre works best in mythological fair like Bahubali. But otherwise ends up looking a mish mash. Remember how Thugs of Hindustan was ruthlessly rejected by the audience? But YashRaj is neither short of money nor persistence, they do have an awfully short record of getting it right though.
Looks like Ranbir has a lot banking upon the much awaited Brahmastra. My heart goes out for him. As an actor, he needs to be out of this patch. It was a pleasure watching him after long. Wish the film was as much a pleasure.
For Ranbir Kapoor fans, even though you’ll need to have a heart to see him beaten to pulp most of the times.
For those who like larger than life period/ fantasy kind of cinema.
For those who are Bollywood loyalists like me and want to support their films that are reeling under the comparison with south.
Score 2 on 5