July 1, 2011 7:19:15 pm
Director : Puri Jagannadh
Cast: Amitabh Bachchan,Hema Malini,Sonu Sood,Prakash Raj,Sonal Chauhan,Charnmi Kaur
Even if you miss the directorial statement of intent as the end credits of Bbuddah roll,you know that this is a film which is more genuflection than exploration. What Puri Jagannadh does in this Bachchan redux is to give us a Big B retelling,and reveling in,his own myth,of superstar eternal. Which seesaws between getting us all nostalgic,and all irritated : when Bachchan plays it with a nudge and wink,we are laughing with him,having a blast; when he gets serious,hes the one we are hyukking at.
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Bachchan may have even pulled it off if he had been given a better film : every time he starts getting into his stride,which he does more fluently in the second half,completely extraneous things come and halt him in his tracks. If you really want to know,he plays,apart from the Big B-with-a-thickened-girth,Viju the ex-gangster who runs a pub in Paris and is back in Mumbai to wrap up unfinished business,in a series of white suits and multi-coloured scarfs,two watches worn side-by-side on the same wrist,and jazzy shades.
In a film whose only purpose is to get Bachchan into the frame as much as it can,all the supporting acts have to stay content with the sidelines,even if it is a scene gobbler like Prakash Raj (bad guy),or a good actor like Sonu Sood(good guy) who looks a lot like the young,clean-cropped Bachchan in a cop uniform,or the graciously ageing but no bbuddhi Hema Malini (romantic interest,also estranged wife) who steams up the scene,or even the on-the-comeback Raveena Tandon (blonde-streaked flame,there solely to provide laughs).
If Bbuddah proves something,it is that there has never been star-actor to fill the Bachchan shaped hole his getting silver has caused. No one delivers dialogue (never just lines,okay?) with such impeccable timing as he does; and as to romance,well,just look at him look at Hema. Yearning went out of style,when Amitabh Bachchan stopped lovin and leavin.
Hes sung a few songs for Bbudah : yes,the man can still sing,even if his kicks now dont quite have the same punch. ‘Haal-e-Dil is a lovely,sonorous ditty and makes me all gooey : Bachchan is no bbuddah,hes just a grown-up hero in an industry full of callow youths. Only those who retire,or are about to,require tributes. What Bachchan needs is a real,grown-up film,not a stand-up,send-up act.
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