Besharam is a shameless romp that has more masala in it than your average chaat dish.
Veteran Kapoors are the best parts of Besharam
Director: Abhinav Kashyap
Starring: Ranbir Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda
Ranbir Kapoor goes the Chennai Express-way. If you thought the Shah Rukh Khan-film was a paisa-vasool (money’s worth) entertainer, Besharam is not far behind – a shameless (as the film’s title boasts) romp that has more masala in it than your average chaat dish.
Babli (Ranbir Kapoor) is a good-for-nothing but loveable orphan and car thief who falls for the local beauty Tara (the wooden newcomer Pallavi Sharda), professes his love for her and gets slapped down a zillion times – but, in true Bollywood hero-cum-stalker style, won’t take no for an answer.
Tara, a prudish middle-class girl with aspirations, has saved (and saved and saved) to buy a shiny new Mercedes, which Babli promptly steals after cutting a deal with the ruthless crime lord Chandel (played magnificently by a cold-eyed and jodhpurs-clad Jaaved Jaffrey).
Then a bag of money goes missing and Babli’s fellow orphan friends are kidnapped. Nearly three hours later, after five psychedelic songs, Tara calling Babli “besharam” every two seconds and a few Dabangg-like fight sequences, everything is neatly resolved.
But I’ve saved the best for last: Kapoor’s real-life parents and actors extraordinaire Rishi and Neetu Kapoor, who play an honest inspector and corrupt constable just about manage to save Besharam. Apart from some crass toilet humour courtesy Kapoor senior, they are faultless as a bickering husband and wife, reigniting the chemistry they were so popular for in the 1970s.
Their son, a fine actor in his own right but sadly wasted here, seems to enjoy letting his hair down, playing Babli with enough irony to keep the audience from chucking their Cokes at the screen and walking out, although it’s hard not to root for Tara when she’s itching to slap him.
My favourite scene? It’s in the last song that plays when the credits roll: Ranbir Kapoor, dressed to look like his dad in Hum Kisise Kum Nahin (1977) – white disco outfit, big, red plastic heart hanging around his neck and playing the trumpet with gusto – is dancing with his mum, who suddenly stops shimmying, wrenches the instrument out of his hands and stomps off with it.
Mrs Kapoor sums up the whole affair quite nicely. Enough, Ranbir, she seems to be saying. Especially since you’re capable of so much more.
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