5 Lessons in Teamwork from Shamitabh

By Somali K Chakrabarti

Shamitabh – the movie with an unusual name formed by merging the names of the characters Daanish (played by Dhanush) and Amitabh (Bachchan), is a movie with an unusual theme.

Now before you think that this post is a review of the movie, I need to tell you it is not. This post is about the compelling thoughts conveyed beautifully through the story of Shamitabh.

A mute lad Daanish, who is obsessed with movies since he was a child, harbours the dream of becoming a film star. Akshara (played by Haasan), an assistant director, helps him to overcome his handicap and communicate through a borrowed voice with the use of technology. Amitabh Sinha, a cynical drunkard and a failed actor, with a baritone voice, who lives in a graveyard, becomes the voice of Daanish. The duo turn out to be a winning combination and Daanish, renamed as Shamitabh, becomes a superstar. 


Lessons from Shamitabh

1. Whole is greater than the sum of the parts

Success is usually brought about by a combination of several factors. For a team that becomes successful, it is very difficult to isolate the factor to which, or single out a person to whom, the entire success can be credited. The value of a winning combination is more than the sum of the value of the individual talents.

When a successful team splits, the talented individuals who form the team, may not be equally successful on their own.

In Shamitabh, the combination of Amitabh Sinha’s voice and the talent of Daanish drew crowds to the box office. But after they break up, neither the magical voice of Amitabh (even though he dubbed for a much better looking hero), nor the talent of Dhanish alone could replicate the success of their combination.


2. Recognition and appreciation are as big a motivator as money or even bigger

To be recognized and appreciated is an innate need in all humans. Sometimes demotivation due to non-recognition or the feeling of unfair treatment, can exceed the motivation due to compensation offered.

Amitabh Sinha feels slighted that he is not getting the due recognition, in spite of his voice being the cause of Shamitabh’s success. This results in his tantrums and ultimately breaking up of the team despite the fact that he received a generous payment.

3. Do not let your talent lead you to arrogance

Sometimes when people with god gifted talent have a taste of success, they tend to develop big ego or arrogance that may actually work against their own interest. When success starts evading them they find it extremely difficult to cope up with it.

The film reminds us that human faculties are the gifts from god, though it is up to the beneficiary to nurture the talent, while retaining his/her humility.

When Amitabh Sinha loses his voice after an accident, it strikes the viewer at once that a person who is bestowed upon with certain faculties can lose the faculties at any point of time.

The post 10 Quotes On Nurturing Talent reiterates on the need for humility and right attitude for nurturing talent. .


4. Being driven by purpose can open up new doors

Talent alone may not be enough to prepare a person for a successful journey. Talent without purpose is as futile as purpose without talent. The combination of purpose, drive and talent make the recipe for success, when presented with the right opportunities.

The story begins with Shamitabh, saying during an interview that merely banking on his talent would not have got him anywhere. It was the immense drive to act in movies that helped him to succeed.


 5. A good mentor can work wonders to guide you towards your goals

A influencer and mentor, who knows your strengths and weakness, and is both supportive as well as corrective can be a great catalyst in your success.

Akshara, the Assistant Director, uses her influence to get Danish a role in a movie, finds a voice for him, encourages him and puts him on the way to stardom. Yet she chides him and a much senior Amitabh Sinha when she finds that their ego got too big for their own good. 


Though this post is not a review, still can’t help mentioning that the movie, directed by R Balki, has terrific performance of Dhanush matching the captivating performance of Amitabh Bachchan. Akshara has carried off the role with élan in her debut movie. The editing could have been crisper – a few scenes appeared stretched and repetitive, but overall the story is striking and conveys deeper meaning.

At large, the sentiment echoed by the movie is that The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.


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19 thoughts on “5 Lessons in Teamwork from Shamitabh

  1. A perfect teamwork put into play achieves a kind of synergy which the individual players without the teambuilding process can not be expected to match .Shamitabh team of Director R. Balki ,actors Amitabh Bachchan ,Dhanush and Akshara Haasan and the Music Composer Ilaiyaraaja and all others seem to have achieved the synergism .In your Blog you have beautifully drawn the lesson regarding the preeminent role of teamwork in superior accomplishment of the stated goal .
    From Bhudeb Chakrabarti Kolkata 13 February 2015

    Liked by 1 person

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