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#BackInTheDay: Amitabh Bachchan laments the demise of lyricism in Indian cinema

From ‘Silsila’ to ‘Bombay Talkies’, the life of Amitabh Bachchan has been dissected, analyzed and venerated on the big screen since, it seems, time immemorial.

So it’s only appropriate that the iconic actor’s legendary voice – one of those once-in-a-lifetime vocal chords with the ability to soothe, thrill, inspire and terrorize in equal measure – has now become the focus of his latest film, ‘Shamitabh’.

Even more appropriately, the film is directed by the visionary R. Balki whose unique ability to deconstruct myths, conventions and personalities gave us ‘Cheeni Kum’ and ‘Paa’ – arguably the two most unconventionally moving films of Bachchan’s storied career.

‘Shamitabh’ has a unique premise – south Indian star Dhanush plays a performer voiced by Amitabh Bachchan’s character, the two men creating a whole that would be unattainable on their own.

Infuriatingly, as happens with Bollywood, details of the film have been kept under tight wraps. 

Thankfully, Mr Bachchan himself was in London to shed some further light on the film.  During a media interaction he revealed that he doesn’t use Listerine or honey to keep that magnificent voice fighting fit.

He does have a secret though – “I have to talk a lot”, he said.  Invariably, the 73-year-old did talk a lot, in particular about the generational shifts taking place in a business of which he has been an integral part for nearly fifty years.

It’s a given that every generation complains about every successive generation. 

No one however, can do it better than Amitabh Bachchan.



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