Shamshera, played by Ranbir, is a Lone Ranger who becomes Robin Hood. The story doesn't stray too far from what was teased in the advertisements. Ruling over an impoverished tribe known as Khamerans, Shamshera (Ranbir) is their chief. Mountains and trenches surround them in these desolate regions. Shuddh Singh (Sanjay Dutt), a feared police officer tasked with maintaining order among the tribals, rules over their clan, which is ruled by the British army. Shamshera, determined to rescue his people from their oppressors, devises an uprising that goes horribly wrong and ends with his death.
The story moves 25 years into the future to present us to Ranbir's son, Baali, who aspires to be an officer like his father. His hatred for his father, who abandoned him years ago, overcomes his loyalty to his people. Nonetheless, the blindfold is quickly lifted to show the reality. As Shamshera, Baali is on a mission to rescue his tribe and avenge the death of his father, Shuddh Singh, who was killed by the British. His journey is complicated by his romance with Sona (Vaani Kapoor), his fatherhood, and his attempts to rally his tribe's courage in the face of the injustice they have endured.
A good dacoit film has a heroic dacoit and a terrifying antagonist. Shamshera is an example of a story where the authors fall short on both fronts. Shamshera, played by Ranbir, goes through the motions and fulfils all of the expectations of the genre. Raising a rifle in the air while you deliver a speech while breaking into song with the tribe are all things that may be checked off your list when it comes to performing this stunt. But the box that it does not check is the effort to keep your audience interested. In Shamshera's extended runtime, the film's major problem is its sluggish screenplay and lack of emotional connection to the protagonist. Karan Malhotra, the film's director, focuses more on the technical aspects of the film than on creating compelling storylines.
The truth about Baali's father has been kept from him for an inordinate amount of time. One has to wonder how, with so little weapons, Sanjay Dulti manages to take out the entire British army. Whenever Baali takes on a foe, what amazing CGI crows appear? An unsteady train carries an unsteady crown on the head of England's monarch, how is this possible? When we suspend our disbelief, the film fails to establish a compelling narrative that makes us root for our hero.
Adding music to a film like Shamshera, which is already so heavy on theatrics, simply serves to slow down the narrative and make the experience less enjoyable. Shamshera's songs are a disappointment. You can't help but notice the scenes' attempts to include elements from the KGF and Baahubali. The sequences in which the tribals are tied and whipped are too similar to those in KGF, and Baali's mother's cries of vengeance are eerily similar to those in Prabahs.
Ranbir, despite the poor plot and clichéd characters, rises beyond expectations and delivers in even the most gloomy of conditions. Natural timing and playing off the enthusiasm of his co-stars are evident in his scenes with Sanjay Dutt. Even when the lyrics are corny, he gives it everything he's got.
Shamshera's photography and score, both of which provide the film an air of majesty, are among its strongest assets. We wish Malhotra had put as much effort into his writing as he did into his music.
Shamshera is a mess in desperate need of more than just A-list assistance. I'm sorry, Ranbir Kapoor.