By now everyone has probably heard that Big B has given the nod to play the role of a gangster, Kaderbhai in Mira Nair's upcoming movie, Shantaram, opposite one of the most talented actors in the world, Johnny Depp. Even though it's been all over the media, it's a little tough for me to believe that this will actually happen. I mean we've heard similar events in the past and nothing happened.
Anyways let's assume it is happening and talk about a more interesting question - who will steal the show? and whether Hollywood will take notice of the gem we know as BigB? (not that he needs any validation, but I am sick and tired of media calling Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro as the best old men out there and constantly leaving Big B out)
Obviously the role of the lead character will be strong, otherwise we would not have had half of Hollywood lining up for it and Bachchan's character has to be pivotal, otherwise he would not have signed the movie. So no matter who steps the show, it'll be a treat to watch the two guys going at it. So I think the question will be best answered by the fans when they watch the movie. But Amitabh's real value in this movie is not his acting, I mean this will not be like an Om Puri type of entry into Hollywood. I think Mira Nair has just added $ 50 Million or more to the opening weekend earnings of her movie by signing Big B (assuming it'll bring in 5 million additional Indians to the theater). She gets "mad props" for making that casting call and this is where Big B's big value is to the movie. I am sure the character of Kaderbhai could be played by any other season Indian actor, but by adding Amitabh she has raised the stature of this movie from an art house release to a blockbuster. That is something which Johnny Depp would not have achieved on his own.
Whatever is the future of the movie, this is the first announcement in weeks that got me very excited and it's easy to figure why. When you've grown up loving movies as much as I do and you come across a movie that will add to the greatness of your favorite film icon, you have to be thrilled. In addition getting a chance to watch him go head to head with one of the top players of our times is a dream come true for any Big B fan. I personally think that if Mira Nair delivers then Big B has a great chance of getting an Academy nomination (Not that its a validation blah blah blah ... but its a nice to have). Here's another feather in his already "feathered" cap !!