Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Jaaved Jaaferi
Director: Abhinav Singh Kashyap
Rating: 1 star
There are times when I believe karma rules the world, and it bites back with a vengeance every time it does one a good turn. Like a streak of terrible movie-watching experiences in the wake of the fulfilling Lunchbox. I knew that a comedy featuring Ranbir Kapoor and Jaaved Jaaferi would be tasteless, and I knew that a film featuring Kapoor’s yesteryear-star parents would be riddled with in-jokes. But Besharam still left me reeling and nauseous. The only person I felt sorrier for than myself was the editor, who must have subjected himself to this excrescence multiple times.
The film opens with Bheem Singh Chandel (Jaaved Jaaferi) explaining the concept of hawala. Jaaferi has changed several things for this film – he’s swapped his staple role of comedian for that of villain; he wears breeches instead of a regular suit; hell, he’s even changed his name from ‘Javed Jaffrey’. But one thing hasn’t changed – we groan every time he appears on screen.
We know he’s badass, because when he’s accosted by cops on a highway, and asked what he’s got in the boot of his car, he grinds out, “Dicky kholiye, khud hi dekh leejiye”, with the sort of menace only a B-grade villain in a B-grade movie can muster. Fittingly, it’s a prelude to a dog-attack and gunfight, with some of the most amateur CGI work ever used in a Bollywood movie – yes, in a Bollywood movie. When he needs someone to steal cars, a frog-eyed car-dealer puts him on to Babli.
Cut to Babli (Ranbir Kapoor) and T2 (“short form of Terminator 2”, he says). In a ten-minute gag, they steal a car, survive an encounter with cops Chulbul Chautala (Rishi Kapoor) and Bulbul Chautala (Neetu Singh), and make a getaway. The purpose of this gag is to make the Delhi Police look like escaped inmates from a mental asylum, and Babli look awesome. Just in case we didn’t get the full measure of Babli’s awesomeness, he reappears in a golden suit, doing a bizarre dance in a club, which culminates in his splitting into multiple avatars. On the subject, the entire choreography for this film comprises spastic jerks. And there are more songs than cuss words.
[quote]The Delhi police is made to look like escaped inmates from a mental asylum[/quote]
Of course, the next stop is the heroine. Tara Sharma (Pallavi Sharda) is the kind of crass pretender who would spend all her savings on a Mercedes B-Class, coo “It’s hot!” at a Mercedes A-Class, and then declare that she needed a Merc because she can’t go to a friend’s wedding in a scooter. Never mind that no one knows what you’ve arrived in except the louts hanging around outside. Of course, these louts are Babli and T2, whom she tells off for hitting on her and then gyrates against at the big fat wedding number. Tara doesn’t want to marry “just an accountant”. She wants someone with “class” and “sense of humour”. Babli is a car thief posing as a mechanic. Well done, you!
Most of the dialogue comprises homophobic wisecracks and tawdry metaphors. But those are infinitely preferable to the PJs and toilet humour. Babli goes on about how he tucks socks into his trousers to make “a good impression” on the girls. Inevitably, he eventually smells one of these socks. I would watch that scene if it would spare me a Ranbir Kapoor bathing scene in which we see his butt crack twice, and a Rishi Kapoor on-the-pot scene which culminates in farts. Somewhere between Ranbir’s pelvic thrusts and his fondling his chest hair, he finds time for love.
As if all this were not enough, there’s an orphanage involved in this action-comedy-romance khichdi. Chulbul and Bulbul make their way there, when they realise they’re not going to produce babies of their own, because she’s 53, and it hasn’t happened yet. Quick on the uptake, these two. You know what’s worse? This is how we’re introduced to their aulaad-less existence:
Bulbul berates Chulbul for infertility. He retaliates by asking her to get medical tests done.
“Kya faayeda? I’m 53. I’ve had menopause.”
“If it’s menopause, how does it happen to women? It should happen to men only!”
The rest of their lines, mercifully, comprise tributes to their repertoire of films, Ranbir Kapoor’s limited repertoire, and the director’s even more limited repertoire.
So, we’re quite relieved when a turn of events leads to Babli and Tara making a road trip to Chandigarh, where her stolen car and Bheem Singh Chandel are both parked. This means the romance, action and comedy are finally coming together. They collapse into a maudlin heap, along with countless bodies and the audience’s fried brains, in an abandoned go-down. Seriously, why does every climax have to be staged in an abandoned go-down? Oh, god, I gave myself weird imagery with that unintended double entendre. This is what the film will do to you.
Always enjoy your reviews! Keep ’em coming!