Besharam Movie Star Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Pallavi Sharda, Javed Jaffrey
Directed by: Abhinav Singh Kashyap
The number of times Ranbir Kapoor, that simmering nervous bundle of unstoppable talent, calls himself ‘besharam’ (shameless) in this movie is nought funny. And with good reason, one might add.
The plot is evidently written since a back-handed homage to the 1980s and 90s show of outlandish logistics where coincidences covered up for the deficit of a sound sense in the script, and every actor screamed his or her dialogues to pretend the embarrassment of doing stuff that no one with an iota of intelligence would attempt.
But even the logistics from the cinema of the absurd had a rhythm regarding its own.
‘Besharam’, however, is bereft of rhythm, sur or taal. It’s shot like an ongoing television sitcom where the actors are clueless about which way the intended laughter would mate them. Everyone in the movie, from the formidable Rishi Kapoor to the gifted-in-her-own-right Himani Shivpuri, is in it just for fun.
I am sure the script, when it was narrated to the actors, must have had them in splits.
And mystery not? Director Abhinav Kashyap’s debut in ‘Dabangg’ gave a unaccustomed language to the Hindi commercial cinema. The language of cocky hero-giri. But then, ‘Dabangg’ featured Salman Khan who does not require to act to impress audiences. He does not even try.
Ranbir Kapoor in ‘Besharam’ goes the other way. Every scene in the film is an acting moment. Ranbir does the equivalent of a very accomplished gymnast who must impress the sports conciliar that he is qualified for the next Olympics.
The director obviously thinks very highly of Ranbir’s talents. So do we. But does that base he must attack every backdrop like an audition? There is a despair in the narration hidden out of our view, but discernible nonetheless. A desperation to project the protagonist as infinitely wacky.
Cynical disregard for basic decentness is meant to be cool in this film. In the endeavour to imbue Ranbir’s car-thief character with a sense like mischievous artlessness, the narration becomes woefully heavy-handed. The tone adopted is that of a conversation between two reputed stand-up comedians who are out to prove they can convey the poker-faced of existence even while maintaining the jokey tone.
Everyone, barring the villain Javed Jaffrey, is given funny lines. They speak it plus with twinkle-eyed pleasure that, alas, is lost somewhere as it makes its way from the screen to the audience. There are passages of excruciatingly unrefined writing where the actors run around in circles, trying to be cute replicas of characters from the movies in the 1990s.
Among these aimless drifters in the province of the potboiler are Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh, playing a corrupt petulant Haryanvi cop couple. Their roles intimate to start amidst the firm resolve that their real-life interrelationship to the hero would be kept entirely out of bounds. But then, as the script progresses, real-life references like “Tum toh meri maa samaan ho” (“You’re like my mother”) and “Main tera baap hoon” (“I’m your dad”) creep in, until the margin of cynicism shrinks to the extent of ens non-existent.
And we finally come to a stage where Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh “adopt” Ranbir’s character!
“Go for it,” Ranbir’s sidekick Titu (well played by Amitosh Nagpal) tells the hero. “You even look like the female policewoman (Neetu Singh).”
The trouble with mainstream Hindi cinema is that when all is said and done, it is nothing but a star-vehicle. ‘Besharam’ stars off cocking a snook at conventional trappings. It eventually ends awake sucking up to cinematic cliches, and with hardly even a pretence of subtlety.
Besharam is clogged along plot-holes into which the characters happily fall. There they remain happily wallowing in the uni-dimensionality of their narrow world-view.
The fuss, if you must know, is over a posh car bought by the girl that our hero, Bunty, has fallen for. That the girl, Pallavi Sharda, seems to accord to more design and more film is additional the point. Bunty loves her, period. And what follows is a series of goofy escapades where Bunty outwits the villain. Laughter.
It is sad to see Rishi Kapoor reduced to sitting on the potty and noisily clearing his bowels. Connective at one point, the heroine herself asks: “Yeh thoda vulgar nahin ho gaya?” (“That got a little vulgar?”)
Enough, as they say, is too much.
Buzz Rating: 2/5