Monday, January 26, 2015

A thought on Shamitabh's Trailers...

Shamitabh trailers HERE

When I think of Balki’s work I am reminded of those painters, like Picasso or Turner, who take something we all take as a given– light, shape — and bring it into issue by making it the subject of the work (thereby changing our perception of the world). Balki has something of the same vibe, of an experimenter, of someone who wants to play with his material, except his material isn’t some universal given, but Amitabh himself (although that choice speaks volumes about Amitabh’s role in Bollywood). So these films are exercises in distorted Bachchan effects — more accurately, exercises in what happens if everything remains the same, but Bachchan is distorted (a child of his own child in Paa; a disembodied voice in Shamitabh). All this could be fascinating (perhaps as an oeuvre, when one looks back at it a few years later, rather than film-by-film), but Balki also gives off the vibe of an ad man, and as such, the risk is that it won’t amount to anything more than mere effect. That is, does Paa tell us anything about the nature of the Amitabh phenomenon, or of the wider world when the world’s Amitabh is distorted? Not to detract from the film’s enjoyability, but I would say that it does not. Shamitabh from the trailers seems even further along the path of the gimmick (Paa at least had a moving story of loss, fatherhood as its narrative core).

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