LIVES UP TO ITS NAME
I get it. Abhinav Singh Kashyap’s Besharam has been designed to expand Ranbir Kapoor’s mass base. And in the process take a few pot-shots at the ageing movie gods he hopes to dethrone. So he’s doing just the things middle-aged boys of the 100 cr. club have gotten away with for years and years.
He grows his chest hair back, wears mawaali-type clothes, works as a car thief with a lackey constantly in tow, chases the first pretty girl he sets eyes on and stalks her relentlessly. He also breaks Govinda’s lifelong pelvic thrust record in just four frantic dance numbers, puts socks in his pants to pad up his crotch, shows his butt crack in a shower scene, pees in public, and keeps fiddling with his undies in the manner Indian men are routinely seen doing on every street corner.
But it’s the things the film makes his parents do that are more shocking. Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh who’ve been all dignity and charm for decades are reduced to sidekicks stooping to unimaginable depths for the sake of their son’s success. Picture this: a portly, 60+ Kapoor sitting on the toilet with his pants down while his on and off-screen wife has an elaborate conversation with him about his morning habits. Then Kapoor lets out a loud fart before sighing with relief.
In another scene Ranbir overpowers his father and sits on him. The old man pleads, “Hey bhagwan mujhe bachaa lo.” To which the cool hero retorts, “Aisa kyon bol rahe ho? Kya main tumhara rape kar raha hoon?” Elsewhere Neetu Singh chides her husband about his ‘unmanly’ demeanour, he wishes he’d strangled her long ago. At some point it all begins to seem like perverse revenge for the women Raj Kapoor denuded and put under waterfalls.
The heroine is awkward and one really can’t blame her for making no impression whatsoever. She's just filling the template of the girl who gets harassed by the hero, is forced to take a road trip with him and ultimately, compelled to fall in love. Jaaved Jafferi maintains a dour face throughout—perhaps he’d guessed early enough what the film would look like.
So had we. The trailer put it out quite candidly. Still why did a full house turn up for a 9 am show on Gandhi Jayanti and laugh like they were having a good time? And if they were, why was I holding my head shame-faced and disgusted as if I’d somehow participated in a mass orgy?