Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

'Besharam': Muddled, Crass and Forgettable

Director Abhinav Singh Kashyap (‘Dabangg’) is a man clearly obsessed with the naked butts of both Ranbir and Rishi Kapoor.

His latest features a shower scene with Ranbir which shows the dividing line between the ‘Saawariya’ hero's cheeks.

In relation to the senior Kapoor, we get a bizarre sequence in which Rishi sits on a toilet bowl for his morning ritual.  He complains about his piles whilst his wife (Neetu Kapoor) shouts that he ought to resort to laxatives.  It does not stop there for we are then treated to the ‘event’ happening along with a loud dumping sound and passing wind effects.  Rishi emerges from the loo smiling and says: ‘I feel fresh!’

This is the sort of bad taste humour which peppers this shameless film. I will spare you by not discussing other sequences involving a vibrating phone, an erection, a stuffed sock and the menopause.  

Crotch-hugging, loutish car thief Babli (Ranbir Kapoor) has to recover the car he sold to Bheem Singh (Javed Jaffrey), a murderous money launderer, when he falls in love with the stolen vehicle’s female owner Tara (Pallavi Sharda). That essentially is the plot.

Babli has to go to Chandigarh to steal the car back so he invites Tara to go with him. The sensible girl refuses: ‘What if he rapes me?’ Her mom, keen to marry her off, advises her to go as she has a gut feeling that although Babli may be ‘a bit naughty, he has a kind heart!’ Sure enough, Tara goes with Babli and you can work out what happens next.   

The main problem with this dosa-thin plot is that Kashyap muddles the pacing of his uninteresting story.

It opens with Bheem Singh murdering some cops after a chase sequence which ends with a big explosion ‘Dabangg’-style.

It then cuts to Babli stealing a red car and being pursued unsuccessfully by two possibly corrupt middle-aged Delhi cops (played by the aforementioned Rishi and Neetu Kapoor, the real-life parents of the lead man).

Meanwhile, upwardly mobile Tara simply walks into a swanky car showroom and buys a Mercedes Benz. Babli spots Tara at a wedding and is immediately smitten as he likes ‘hot dames’.

Three forgettable songs later and forty minutes in, I kept wondering what happened to Bheem Singh from the opening credits.

Ranbir Kapoor tries his best to inject energy into his wastrel character and the film’s best moments are when he interacts with the elder Kapoors. Alas, this is not enough to save a film which is intent on insulting our cinematic sensibilities.

So, Bollywood does it again: it churns out yet another bad ‘masala’ movie in the name of ‘mass’ entertainment. Current reports from India suggest that the film may have crashed at the domestic box-office. If this is true, it proves that ‘the masses’ may not be that gullible after all and know when enough is enough.

Post the mega-success of ‘Yeh Jawani Yeh Dewani’, Ranbir could have cemented his superstar status and even de-throne the Khans if this worked big time. Alas, this will not happen. Indeed, everyone involved in this shameful film should be ashamed of themselves.

Dr Anil Sinanan is an Oxford Educated Trinidadian who is an European Law specialist at London Metropolitan University. He has been the Time Out London Film critic since 2003.  Despite this review, he loves Bollywood.



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Plenty of laughs, plenty of songs and an awful lot of action, Besharam is a romantic, feel-good comedy that will find you grinning without you even realising it. Despite having a simple and somewhat...

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