REVIEW: ‘Besharam’ – What A Shame!



With Abhinav Singh Kashyap’s formulaic film that harks back to the 1980s and 1990s, Ranbir Kapoor seems to be wooing the single screen audience – a catchment that has so far eluded him.

So he sings, dances, romances, fights, fumbles, makes all kinds of self-deprecating jokes (but never gets offensive) and even shows off a bit more bod than Saawariya prepared us for! (I yelped in shock at that sight!) He’s uninhibited and puts himself out there, but there’s only so much even Ranbir can do with this material (or the lack of it).

Ranbir Kapoor is the only reason to watch Besharam. Otherwise the story of an unrefined orphan who steals cars and puts the dirty money back into the orphanage where he was raised is hackneyed and dull. Further, besharam Babli has zero chemistry with love interest Tara, an independent and ambitious woman played by Pallavi Sharda. There is nothing endearing about Tara and Pallavi is totally miscast opposite the charismatic Ranbir.

Jaaved Jafferi plays a bad man who is into money laundering and ‘hawala’ rackets. But it’s hard to take him seriously when he is constantly filing his nails! You do wonder, therefore, is Besharam meant to be a spoof? But it’s not funny or irreverent enough to be even that. By the second half you are cringing as you watch Neetu Kapoor as a police constable salivating over bribe money acquired by her henpecked but righteous inspector husband, Chulbul (Rishi Kapoor).

Tara and Babli bond when he helps her retrieve her fancy new Mercedes, which he had stolen and sold to bad man Jafferi in the first place. In the tradition of Bollywood narrative of the 80s, the boy desperately wants the girl who rejects and belittles him publically. So much so that one runaway smile on an otherwise scowling face is it takes for him to decide to reform his ways.

Besharam feels like a project where the studio had a star, the director had a hit under this wobbling belt (Dabangg) and there was a budget. Most of the budget was, however, spent on the Kapoors and the large-scale songs but not enough funds were allocated to story development, technical finesse, music (Lalit Pandit) or costumes! Kashyap’s complacency comes across in the disappointing direction. Too bad Ranbir Kapoor’s bareback (and, ahem, lower) shower scene and sumptuous chest hair were wasted on this.

Rating: **