Starring: Rishi, Neetu and Ranbir Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda
Directed by Abhinav Kashyap
After Dabangg, Abhinav Kashyap gets politically incorrect with Besharam, the mammoth, 3,500-print, carpet-bomber of a release this week. All very good. Didn’t overt sexism, toilet humour and discomfiting innuendoes propel the Carry On series and Austin Powers films to immense popularity and make a cult out of a Delhi Belly here? But, despite much that you’d have found objectionable, at least some moments did manage to tickle the funny bone. Besharam remains unbearably unfunny from the first shot to the last. It irritates and exasperates rather than bring out a chuckle.
To bring the house down there are jokes aplenty: about the vibrator of a cellphone, a hard-on, scratching of unmentionables, piles, farts and Isabgol and menopause and infertility. Besharam takes bad taste and low-brow humour to a new low, and relentlessly so. So you even have Ranbir displaying his butt-crack in the shower and Rishi sitting on the pot, pants down. Literally. But unlike a Delhi Belly, the irreverence seems totally pointless; an attention-grabbing gimmick than an easy and effortless attitude. In fact, the film’s professed incorrectness also gets easily squared out in the end in the name of love, “maata-pita” and old-style conformism.
One wonders what made the Kapoor trio pick this film for their family outing? The constant stress on khandaan, nudge-’n-wink reminders to the viewer that they are all an off-screen family, feel desperate. Rishi and Neetu try too hard to be Dilli thullas (cops) and look and sound totally off. Ranbir is annoying rather than charming in his “ladki patao” act, but settles down to do it all—action, romance, comedy—as an orphan mechanic/car thief. However, he also reveals that he can’t just pull off a bad film on his own. Especially when he has Pallavi Sharda as the love interest who gives Nargis Fakhri of Rockstar a run for her money. The lack of chemistry is so stark that despite sharing the same space they seem to be operating in two different zones altogether. Pallavi, incidentally, plays a manager in some Gurgaon company who lives in a modest Lajpat Nagar type of area, but buys a B-class Merc like you and I would buy vegetables. What’s more, she finds Rahul Gandhi cute. The one unintended moment of mirth in the film.
Kashyap locates the film in a Delhi-Chandigarh milieu, yet wants to bring a South cinema sensibility to it. So the sets feel like the leftovers of Chennai Express, especially the ghar and gali of the heroine. There are far too many songs and I dare you to recollect even one. On the flip side, we now have at least one Bollywood film that lives up to its name and delivers what the promos had promised: unashamed junk and inanity.