Before writing this review let me make a couple of things clear – 1) I am not a professional critic and will not be able to comment on too many technicalities. 2) As I have mentioned in the ‘about me’ section, Hussain is someone whom I love and admire and he is one of my idols so there may be some bias but I am trying my best to disconnect myself from him and Shree and write this review as objectively as possible.
Let me begin by asking you all a simple question. How many times do you walk into a Bollywood movie and are able to predict the ending by the interval? or in some cases within a few minutes? More often than not, right? Well, Shree is not one of those typical leave your brains behind masala entertainers with some big names from the industry. What it is though is a bunch of first timers getting together and giving an honest effort towards a script that they believed in. You will not see any of the big established directors/producers going forward with such a script because very few of them are ready to experiment with their fixed formulas of getting success at the BO. Whether you like Shree or not will depend on whether you can accept the fact that you (the viewer) will not be able to predict the twists and turns in Shree.
I will not bother writing about the plot as a lot has already been written and the trailer is more than enough to convey what the movie is all about – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA4pvJdLMdc
Instead what I will do is write about what I liked and did not like about Shree.
Performances: Hussain Kuwajerwala, an established television personality, carries this movie from the very first scene to the very last and he does it with utmost of ease and conviction. The honest effort he has put in can be seen and as he himself mentioned in an interview a few days back: “Nothing is ever too late in life”. So this is an excellent debut for him and he is able to showcase his potential. My favorite Hussain scenes are the one right before the interval and the very last one. Those are the only two scenes where I feel that we see glimpses of the Hussain that we have known for the last many years. The rest of the time he is so deeply into the character that we only see Shree on the screen.
Coming to the rest of the performances, Anjali Patil has proven her mettle in Chakravyuh but falls short of impressing this time around. I do not know whether to blame the director for this or Anjali but she is too loud throughout the movie and I do not think the role required that. The other actors have been aptly cast and do justice to their roles. Especially the experienced Paresh Ganatra who puts in an excellent performance as the inspector.
The story and direction: As I have already mentioned above, Shree has a refreshing story-line and it will keep you hooked till the very end. There are numerous twists and turns and they will keep you at the edge of your seats. As mentioned by By Martin D’Souza, Glamsham Editorial, the first half could not have been any better. The plot does lose a bit of steam going into the second half but is back to its riveting best very soon. Mr. Rajesh Bachchani, the director, has done a wonderful job for a debutant and I would especially like to congratulate him for having the courage to go ahead with this script and also for spotting the right talent in Hussain.
The Science? : Without giving away any spoilers I have to say that the explanation given by the professor about the experiment being conducted should have been elaborated on properly to make it more convincing. The science behind it is alright and could have been believable but I believe that part could have been worked on a bit more so that the viewers are totally convinced. Maybe the budget is a reason here because it might not have been possible to shoot in different locations or a proper hi-tech lab.
Music: The songs in the film are only used to carry it forward but they could have been better, especially Phat Gayi. Hussain is an even better dancer than what he showcases at the end and perhaps a more catchy song would have allowed him to showcase his dancing prowess.
The Dialogues/ background score: I am putting these two together because I found them to be the weakest part of the movie. A bit more variety in these two aspects could have enhanced the narrative. By the third (or fourth? ) time you hear “duniya mein sabse mushkil kaam kya hai…..” you are cringing and hoping that it does not come your way. And its not just this one but a few others too which I don’t want to mention as they could reveal the plot.
Entertainment Value: While Shree keeps you engaged it does lack a bit on the entertainment quotient. It keeps you thinking throughout and keeps you hooked but something seemed missing. Perhaps it was the final touch that could have taken it to a completely new level and made you jump out of your seat and applaud it.
My Final Verdict: I loved the movie for the ‘newness’ that it brings to the table. It is not a typical Bollywood movie and it explores a genre which most directors would be afraid to explore. It does an excellent job with the script and if you like offbeat films then do not miss this one. It may not receive the BO success that it should have received but if that makes the director and Hussain work even harder in the future then we have a lot to look forward to! Oh yeah, did I mention that the next superstar has arrived so beware Bollywood? 😉
Rating – 3.5/5
Note – this is my first attempt at a review ever so forgive any technical, grammatical or any other mistakes.