Shamshera Movie Review: A Sluggish Snoozefest; Dear Ranbir Kapoor, Please Don’t Waste Your Stardom

After a long wait of four years, Ranbir Kapoor is back on the big screen with his latest period drama, Shamshera. The movie didn’t have much hype on social media, so I wasn’t expecting many people in the cinema hall.

However, to my surprise, the 9 AM show of Shamshera, the first of the day, was almost half-packed (quite unusual in the post-covid world). But what made it happen? Squarely, the credit goes to the star power of Ranbir Kapoor.

Despite not being on any social media platform, no releases in the past four years, and zero hype about Shamshera, the sensational actor pulled the audience big time.

I haven’t seen this much of a crowd in morning shows for long. It means fans had huge expectations from their superstar. But does the movie deliver on the excitement among people? Is Ranbir Kapoor back with a bang? Unfortunately, no!

Shamshera Movie Review Summary

Ranbir Kapoor is the only saving grace in Shamshera, combined with Saurabh Shukla and Sanjay Dutt. There’s literally nothing else to admire overtly about this sluggish big screen failure.

Shamshera Movie Synopsis

Shamshera’s story revolves around Khamerans, a tribe in ancient India considered close to the Rajputs. Khamerans fought alongside the Rajputanaas when Mughals invaded the latter’s lands. After the British captured India, Khamerans found it hard to survive since the Rajputanaas had lost power by then.

Therefore, they became Dacoits under the leadership of Shamshera and started robbing the rich and upper castes of Kaza. However, a trap laid by the Britishers ended their survival and put Shamshera on the death bed. The entire tribe was imprisoned and tortured for 25 years. Now, the onus to bring back their freedom lies on Balli, Shamshera’s son.

Directed by Karan Malhotra, Shamshera stars Ranbir Kapoor (Shamshera), Sanjay Dutt (Shudhh Singh), Vaani Kapoor (Sona), Ronit Roy (Pir), and Saurabh Shukla, in lead roles. It is written by Neelesh Mishra and Khila Bisht, and the dialogues are penned by Piyush Mishra.

What Works for Shamshera?

Story and Concept

Full marks to the makers for choosing to come up with a novel story arising out of a decent conceptual base. Originality should always be promoted, and Shamshera has my brownie points for the same.

A lost tribe fighting to free themselves and their leader, ready to do anything for their future, makes up for an intriguing watch. Whether the producers of the film execute it well or not is another thing, but they surely did well to bring freshness.

Action Sequences

All the action scenes in Shamshera are immaculately executed. They don’t look superficial or graphic-centered. Instead, they feel genuine and sometimes breathtaking as well. Ranbir Kapoor superbly aces his action avatar.

To be honest, there were a couple of moments where I felt goosebumps, but the drabby screenplay couldn’t hold such emotions consistently.

Performances

Ranbir Kapoor as Shamshera is unblemished and flawless. He retains the character’s intensity and adds his personal charm to elevate it further. His raw outlook feels genuine, and the actor’s expressions add flavor to the story.

Be it action scenes or emotional moments, Ranbir Kapoor never fails to deliver in Shamshera. Personally, as a fan of the actor, it felt satisfying to see him back on the big screen. However, my only grudge against Ranbir is his selection of films.

He must understand that the audience loves him and is willing to spend money (even for the morning show). However, what they least expect from Kapoor is a well-made film. Ha has to drop the mediocre idea of coming up with movies with the hero dancing throughout the runtime.

However, with Brahmastra lined up next, I hope my rockstar will bounce back.

Sanjay Dutt as Shudhh Singh adds the much-required evil touch to Shamshera. I wonder whether Dutt has started to enjoy negative characters off late. Even if he hasn’t, they seem to be working for him. Sanjay’s mien is apt for a villain, and his dialogue delivery sumptuously presents the corrupt side of the Indian caste system in Shamshera.

Vaani Kapoor is given one job in the film, which is to dance and dance with Ranbir Kapoor. Again, the regressive storytelling approach drowns Vaani’s ability as an actress. The writers could have given more importance to her presence in Shamshera. However, they fail miserably.

Saurabh Shukla is a saving grace for this Ranbir Kapoor starrer. The moment he arrives on the screen, you suddenly wake up from a drowsy state. Shukla’s heavy voice, characteristic humor, and proven ability to carry the plot forward put you in a relaxed state.

Ronit Roy as Pir in Shamshera is full of fierceness. Although the actor doesn’t get to actively play a pivotal role, his supportive venture has all the ingredients of his talent.

What Doesn’t Work for Shamshera?

Music

Too much of anything is bad, and music in Shamshera is an apt example. You are forced to go through a song almost every fifteen minutes in the first half. Moreover, barring one or two melodies, all are pathetic to hear in a cinema hall.

At least make good songs if you wish to sustain the audience. I feel bad for the crowd that came to watch Shamshera.

Slow and Dreary

Firstly, a period drama cannot be an excuse to call the film slow. Secondly, historical films must be powered by emotions, action, and thrill. Shamshera does well only with action. The slow pace adds to the downfall of the movie, pushing you into a sleepy state.

It has an insipid screenplay leaving nothing for you to feel excited about. I have never yawned so much, and doing so in the movie of one of my favorite actors is heartbreaking to witness.

Structure

I felt the makers could have chosen a different starting point for Shamshera to make things riveting. Instead of starting from the present and staying like that throughout, they could have begun with the present and then gone back to the past using intermittent flashbacks. In the present scenario, the narration is too straightforward and simplistic.

Final Word

I hate to say this but watching Shamshera will be a waste of money. To Ranbir Kapoor fans (though you won’t listen), guys, please save your pennies for popcorns and beverages while watching Brahmastra.

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