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Review: Amitabh Bachchan kicks off KBC with style

Last updated on: August 18, 2014 19:15 IST

Review: Amitabh Bachchan kicks off KBC with style

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Raja Sen/Rediff.com in Mumbai

The best chunks of the show were not the ones with Kapil Sharma or any random singing tomfoolery, but the ones where Amitabh Bachchan sat across a participant in the hot-seat and played the game, writes Raja Sen.

During Sunday's premiere episode of the eighth season of Kaun Banega Crorepati, it felt a bit jarring to watch quiz show host Amitabh Bachchan constantly refer to the series as Kaun Banega Maha Crorepati while the signage stayed stubbornly fixated on the old logo, with nary a hint of maha-ness.

Is this because Kaun Banega MC sounds potentially rude and ripe for parody? Or is it because it’s purely unnecessary? Since when it comes to this show and this man, we’ve never needed to ask who the emcee is.

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Image: Amitabh Bachchan in Surat at the premiere of Kaun Banega Maha Crorepati


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Raja Sen/Rediff.com in Mumbai

Amitabh Bachchan’s back, baby.

Freed from the shackles of the tedious Yudh, he’s up and about with that trademark energy.

It’s staggering, really, to watch the megastar perform with defiant vitality, even groovily rapping Right Here Right Now, a song originally sung by his son. 

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Image: Amitabh Bachchan hugs a fan at the premiere of Kaun Banega Crorepati while Kapil Sharma looks on

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Raja Sen/Rediff.com in Mumbai

The problem with a show like last night’s seemingly unending premiere, though, was that he was made to dance in the first place -- and that to apparently coax the hot-seat into appearing on stage.

The man with the immaculate diction is a sensational host, tapping warmly into the participants’ vein, but just because he can still dance doesn’t mean he should be made to.

He seems game enough to recite the Agneepath lines anytime anyone asks, but lay off it, folks? (Also, what’s with just that quote? Why isn’t anyone asking him to do a bit from Sholay or Satte Pe Satta or -- my favourite -- the Chupke Chupke schtick about corolla/karela?)

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Image: Aditiya Srivastav and Dayanand Shetty of CID along with Kapil Sharma and Amitabh Bachchan at the premiere of Kaun Banega Crorepati


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Raja Sen/Rediff.com in Mumbai

The format has been customarily tweaked, with it now taking 14 questions to reach the Rs 7 crore bumper prize instead of 15, and a new lifeline called Tiguni (the symbol for which was completely obscured by the channel logo) which lets the participant consultant a group of three experts.

In a clever move, the experts on the premiere show included two former KBC winners. 

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Image: Neeti Mohan and Meiyang Chang sing at the premiere of Kaun Banega Crorepati

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Raja Sen/Rediff.com in Mumbai

The show took place in Surat, Gujarat, on a grand stage with a huge audience, and it remains to be seen if that big stage-show gimmick can stay fresh.

At one point a participant, stuck on a question about Gandhi, hemmed and hawed about option B, and the audience cheered her on with a groundswell of support.

Bachchan, quickly realising how problematic this could be, turned to the crowd, bit his tongue and chastised them ever so gently and comically.

Super.

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Image: Amitabh Bachchan with the Shillong Chamber Choir at the premiere of Kaun Banega Crorepati


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Raja Sen/Rediff.com in Mumbai

But it was an exhaustingly long show, long stretches of which served as advertisements for other shows on the same channel, with actors performing dances and characters popping up to ‘help out’ the host.

Bachchan, the channel needs to now observe, does not need help, and the best chunks of the show were not the ones with Kapil Sharma or any random singing tomfoolery, but the ones where Bachchan sat across a participant in the hot-seat and played the game.

That simple act of basic quizzing (with mostly guessable questions) remains surprisingly watchable, after all these years, like a familiar bowl of comfort food.

Just serve that up and we’ll be okay.

Rediff Rating: 

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Image: Faisal Khan of Maharana Partap fame performs at the premiere of Kaun Banega Crorepati


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