It's a two hour thirty four minute footage chomping Amitabh Bachchan who overdoes everything. And if you are given a breather from the hamming, you are slapped on the face with products placements as subtle as a sledgehammer. The director has no control over anything. Shame-itabh this is!
Make no mistake, this one star goes to Dhanush, who manages to steal your heart with his first scene at the hospital in Finland. You actually feel his wonder, his joy, his delight, his surprise. He is effortless in the movie as a mute person. Yes, there is that bit of exaggeration later, but something has to balance the out-of-control Mister Bachchan.
Dhanush in the village is simply amazing. Ariel -Washes Whitest. His charm reaches out to you in the theater and you automatically extend your arms to the bahjiyaas he brings to the video parlour owner. You know that madness because you have sat up and watched movies exactly like that. Amazon App for your phone. You think the whole movie is going to be just as good.
Then you meet the nemesis of this movie. Aashirwaad Atta. The man whose death in Sholay made you mourn, the man who wrote a motorbike and claimed 'Maut' was his 'mehbooba' and would 'saath le kar jaayegi', the man whose dialog from Trishul were part of your own risk taking youth, the man who spawned an era of cool that began with, 'Tera naam kya hai Basanti?' Whisper Choice Ultra.
You don't see him like that at all. He's everything you disliked about him. Close Up is for close-ups! The fakeness of Sharabi, the exaggerations in his latter movies, the drunken scenes that were fun (remember Patto the cockroach?) HIT. Maccharon Ka Ant Turnant! are now just over extended. Remember how you hated him pulling faces as in 'Khatoon ki khidmat mein salaam apunkaa' and laughed happily at the fun Ja Jaldi Bhag Ja ? He just pretends that this whole film is an extended drunk scene, so no matter what he does would be considered 'great drunk scene'. And the hair, the hair! Keo Karpin Hair Oil. The wigs are spectacularly bad and you wonder if all that hair on his face (the better to hide his poor acting) will make him cross eyed.
And the stab yourself with a butter knife dialog goes on and on. Amul Butter. You chuckle into your popcorn when you see LifeBuoy as desh ki Tandurusti Ka Rakshak. But a perpetually drunk person suddenly reading books on Kindle is not easy to digest. If they think they've stumbled upon a good metaphor, they begin to explain everything. 'I am whiskey, he is water' monologue is repeated at least three times. In varying degrees of intent to explain. I gritted my teeth so much, I actually checked in the mirror to check if I had my teeth intact. You want to say, 'We get that! Now get on with the story!'
But the story is as piddly as the silly song repeated until you call the driver and make sure there is Saridon and Himalaya water in your Nissan Micra after the movie.
Poor Akshara Haasan is used as a sounding board and is sadly underutilised.
Even in the last supposedly poignant scene, Amitabh Bachchan does the lower lip wobble and blubbering for too long, and you begin to hope that he too does the Belmondo 'shot in the back' staggering walk and falls down dead like in Goddard's Breathless. But no such luck... It's the audience that walks out in shock of seeing their favorite fall for the unbridled hero-worship of the star by the film director.
I was hoping Trishul's ambulance was waiting for the audience outside the theatre...
P.S. Did you spot products inserted aimlessly in the review? Stupid, right? That's what happened in the movie too.