Coming straight to the point, Ranbir Kapoor ‘starrer’ Shamshera is the prime example of how it’s the actor who propels a film, not the star. Safe to say, this action extravaganza hinges on the powerhouse of talent Saurabh Shukla more than any other star in the film.

Halfway into Shamshera, when Shukla’s character Doodh Singh is introduced to the story, the plot is suddenly injected with a heavy dose of energy, humour, and rhythm that the film desperately needed. 

To give context, Doodh Singh was Shamshera’s old Khameran companion who shared his dream of living life free from the shackles of the tyrants. When the warrior tribe was deceitfully enslaved in the fort of Kaza, Doodh Singh and a pocket of Khamerans settled in the neighbouring town of Nagina.

It was yet another run-of-the-mill role that basically had to shadow an invincible hero but this overused under-appreciated actor’s prowess offered much more than just a side-kick usually does.

When there are two seasoned actors in one film, it is natural to draw a parallel. Here, Sanjay Dutt and Saurabh Shukla re in radar. Undisputedly, Shukla reigned supreme. When the ruthlessness of a general could be brought to life in a slew of ways, it is fair to argue that Dutt’s hideous overacting could be one of the top 3 reasons why Shamshera went dud at the theatres.

Interestingly, a better part of Shukla’s dialogues was penned in a poetic style, making it simpler for us to connect to the time period the film was set in.

The story grows on us as Doodh Singh tells Balli (Ranbir Kapoor) about their tribe’s history, and it wouldn’t be the same without Shukla’s signature style of narration.

In one of the endearing scenes, when the tribe crashes at Shuddh Singh’s wedding to rob and plunder, he gives the looted gold back to the bride whom Shuddh Singh had forced to marry, proving that they are not the bad guys, after all.

Another character that helped the film sail was Pir Baba essayed by the ever-charismatic Ronit Roy. His acting chops reinforced our sense of familiarity with that day and age.

Shukla inhabits his character so naturally that it overhauls even the premium actors in the film without jostling for attention. If you miss catching Saurabh Shukla in Shamshera at his breezy best, you’ll most certainly regret it.

Talk about making a meal out of a mediocre story!

Also read: Bad Scripts To Lousy Sequels, 9 Reasons Why Bollywood Movies Are Actually Flopping

All the images are screen grabs from the film. You can watch Shamshera on Amazon Prime Video