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Monday, July 13, 2020

What a Shame!

You have to go looking for the plot with a microscope.

Written by Shubhra Gupta | Published: October 5, 2013 2:20:31 am

Movie: Besharam

Director: Abhinav Kashyap

Cast: Ranbir Kapoor,Pallavi Sharda,Jaaved Jafferi,Amitosh Nagpal,Rishi Kapoor,Neetu Singh Kapoor,Himani Shivpuri


This is a film which pre-empts us from coming up with the classic line,“haaye,sharam nahin aati hai kya?”,because it is called Besharam. Which then frees it to indulge in every single “shameless” thing a Bollywood flick safely can,presumably because it has an A-list star. This is a film in which the hero is a self-confessed luchcha-lafanga: remember that phrase? The kind of thing that the villain used to do — be an illiterate lout,crack cheap jokes,harass the heroine,and pull at his crotch whenever possible — is now down to our hero. Not discreetly,that would be unbecoming of a besharam,but loudly,accompanied by background music,with the kind of exaggeration that doesn’t allow you to look anywhere else.

Orphans and best friends Babli (Kapoor) and Titu (Nagpal) make a living by stealing cars. When Babli is not whacking hot wheels,he is line-maaroing Tara (Sharda),or stuffing socks in places that need to bulge,to “jamaao impression”. Warned you about the crotch aspect,didn’t I? Remember how Abhinav Kashyap had underlined the region below the belt in his debut Dabangg? You couldn’t go from one frame to another without Salman Khan and his cohorts calling attention to their pelvic region,thrusting one way,then the other,over and over and over again. It looks as if Kashyap’s signature move,and this time it is the Kapoor lad who’s thrusting his butt,crack distinctly visible,in our face.

You have to go looking for the plot with a microscope. Babli is given two sets of obstacles to overcome. One is his real-life parents as a reel-cop couple,Bulbul and Chulbul Chautala (Neetu and Rishi). And the other is a Chandigarh-based baddie (Jafferi),who has a line in stolen cars and cash. The proceedings are interrupted by too many superfluous songs,and repetitive exchanges with a debutant leading lady (Sharda) whose ordinariness seems to be her only discernible quality. The first half goes by reasonably quickly,the second nosedives because by then everything has plateaued.

Even the talented Ranbir can’t save this one,because the whole thing is so lame. Kapoor is normally such a natural,but here you can see him working too hard at being a cheapo — the tacky clothes and hairstyle,the obscene smacking of the lips,the lascivious glances,the reeling off silly lines. He does carry it off in bits in the first half (yes,there are a few laughs to be had,but only a few). However,overall,he comes off as stale as the material. Imagine using such certified comics as Jaaved Jafferi,or having a casting coup like Rishi and Neetu to play off sonny boy Ranbir,and squandering the whole. Jafferi can be such a hoot,and Kapoor Senior is currently on a roll. You wouldn’t know any of this,though,because the supporting cast,especially Nagpal as Kapoor’s sidekick,and the seasoned Shivpuri as Sharda’s mom,are wasted. This is only Kashyap’s second film,and you can see he’s already stopped trying for new.

Scratch that. Besharam is not a film. It is Bollywood’s brightest young star stooping to conquer,in search of the mass market. There is no motif in the film other than making Ranbir the new Salman. But why do that when we already have a Salman?

Right,now that Ranbir has got this besharmi out of the way,can we ask the actor to get back from under?

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