By Swati Chauhan

International superstar and Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan accompanied by south India’s heartthrob Dhanush and gorgeous Akshara Hassan, daughter of ace actor and film maker Kamala Hassan were in London recently to promote their new film ‘Shamitabh’.

DSC07222The cast of the R. Balki film met members of the British media at a press conference at St James court hotel to discuss the various aspects of their upcoming film.

While Big B wore a warm winter jacket, Dhanush was suave as usual in a black suit and tie. Akshara was smart in a black top with a blazer and denims.

Talking about the film, Mr. Bachchan said, “The story of ‘Shamitabh’ revolves around two different people who have unique qualities and are exceptional in their own fields. At the same time, they lack something which the other has and the movie talks about how these two extremely egoistic individuals come together and make progress in their lives. There is a journalist that observes this and that’s being played by Akshara.”

Explaining the unique title he explained “The title actually comes out of the script of the film. I give my voice to the character of Dhanush.”

For Dhanush, who has done more than 25 movies in South, “Shamitabh” is his second Hindi movie. The actor said that the movie was a great opportunity for him to learn from the biggest legends of Indian cinema like Amitabh Bachchan, R Balki, PC Sreeram and Ilayaraja.

“Balki is a task master, he knows what he wants, and he has mastered his art well and takes the best out of his actors. I am very thankful to him for giving me this character, this script, for giving me Shamitabh.

Working with Amitji is a great experience. Ever actors dream is to work with him. I wish there were more number of days with him to learn more from him.” Dhanush explained.

Shrouded in mystery, the film’s newly released trailer reveals a storyline that makes the immensely popular and heavy baritone voice of Bachchan the star of the film.

DSC07224Director R Balki (Cheeni Kum and Paa) is said to have created the story as a gift for the veteran actor on his 70th birthday, and has spent the past two years bringing his vision to life.

Akshara talking about her experience of being on a film set with such a big cast said “In the beginning I was uncertain, I was really scared but Balki sir helped me prepare before the film and when I got on set both Mr. Bachchan and Dhanush made me feel so comfortable. It made it a lot easier for me to perform.”

“I am completely honoured to be in my first film with Bachchan and Dhanush, I have learnt so much from sir. I just wish this film didn’t end”, she added.

Sharing his appreciation of Director Balki’s unusual and creative thought process Mr. Bachchan said, “He has a very intellectual and sensitive mind. He thinks differently, he has made stories that have not been the regular escapist fare that you see in Hindi cinema whether it was Cheeni Kum or Paa, there is always an element that has not been seen before.

It is a quality that he has. It’s not just the plot of the film but also the way he writes it and some of the things that he expresses through his dialogues that are exceptional.

It’s been a great joy and great experience to live with his thought process and be able to fructify whatever he thought. I think the hidden message behind the story is that when people come together they can achieve a lot more than when they were on their own.”

DSC07217Dhanush sharing his experience of performing on a pre-dubbed voice said, “The film was first dubbed by sir and then I had to perform for the voice. I can’t take prompting. First ten days it was little weird for me. His voice is so majestic. To hear his voice and not perform like him, that’s even a bigger task. The challenge was to be myself”.

Shamitabh is the first Indian movie based on the unique concept of being focussed around a voice, rather than a leading man or a lady. Mr. Bachchan explained “I like the concept of the film. As I said earlier on, it’s a concept that perhaps hasn’t been seen before. How wonderful to have that becomes the focus of the entire attention of the film.

The uniqueness of the film has been introduced by Balki to have voice being given to somebody else and what happens as a result of that. Its’ a very sensitive and complicated concept but its woven in the script so beautifully by Balki.”

“A day in flight, an evening in delight  … and now in waiting for the glorious night  … London is cold… but warm in reception!!,” tweeted the legendry icon of Indian cinema.

Shamitabh is now out in cinemas.