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After his first film Dabangg, which whipped up a storm at the box office, why would Abhinav Singh Kashyap make a film like Besharam? And, after proving his mettle in movies like Rockstar, Barfi! and Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani, one wonders what made Ranbir Kapoor sign this film.

With Dabangg, Kashyap proved he was a talented director who has his finger on the pulse of the masses and the classes. But his second film, Besharam, raises doubts about whether he was indeed the brain behind the Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg. It’s unanimous: Besharam is a sheer disappointment and a criminal waste of time.

Kapoor Jr, who has been the blue-eyed boy of film-goers, proved that with his last two 100-crore outings, has tried to don a character that would appeal to the masses rather than the classes. But how could the actor and the director so blatantly take their audience for granted? An action-comedy is all about applying the typical Hindi film masala formula. After all, isn’t that what commercial cinema is all about?

It is also obvious that the script has been worked and reworked many times over to force in commercial elements, in an attempt to make the movie more ‘saleable’. Here’s one awfully desperate attempt: Babli (Ranbir Kapoor) constantly adjusts his trousers in public, not to mention numerous shots of his behind. And there are way too many song sequences.

To cut a very long story short (the film is just over two hours long but it seems much longer), Besharam follows Babli (Ranbir Kapoor), an orphan and a street-smart car mechanic who steals cars to support his orphanage. The story takes a turn when he unwittingly hurts the love of his life when Babli’s life goes into a tailspin. He sets eyes on a pretty girl, Tara Sharma (Pallavi Sharda), the spoilt daughter of a middle-class widow, and instantly falls in love with her. Soon Babli and his friend, Titu (Amitosh Nagpal), steal a brand new car and sell it to the notorious Bheem Singh Chandel (Jaaved Jaaferi). But the car turns out to be Tara’s!

Babli wants to return her car, which leads him back to the infamous Chandel. While trying to return the car, he steals a bag of the gangster’s money. We also have Chulbul (Rishi Kapoor) and his wife Bulbul (Neetu Kapoor) in pursuit of Babli. With the cops, Chulbul and Bulbul, and Chandel chasing him, what Babli does next takes the story forward.

From the very start, it’s hard to believe the so-called drama unfolding before your eyes. With a runtime of 138 minutes, it seems like a four-hour movie. The first half of the film is focused on how Babli stubbornly follows Tara and the Chulbul-Bulbul jodi is a delight to watch.

Director and writer Kashyap fails to make the most of the Kapoor trio’s first appearance together on the silver screen. Right from the story to screenplay to dialogue, the film fails. As writers, Kashyap and Rajeev Barnwal fail to weave together an exciting tale. There are many misses and a few hits and the film is definitely not the joyride you expected it to be.

Musically, barring the Babli song, the rest disappoints. Cinematography by Madhu Vannier is bad. Editing by Pranav Dhiwar and Pankaj K Sharma is, again, bad.

Performance-wise, Ranbir Kapoor is in great form. He looks dashing and performs very well. He works brilliantly with the caricature of his part and is endearing. He tries to save the film with his presence but the content is so terrible that there’s little or nothing he can do.

Pallavi Sharda fails to strike with her first film as a main female lead. She doesn’t impress, either with her screen presence or acting skills. Rishi Kapoor’s comic timing and his expressions are outstanding while Neetu Kapoor is not just charming but plays her part with the right mix of flamboyance and natural ease.

It is the presence of the Kapoor trio and their performances that make this film watchable to an extent. Jaaved Jaaferi makes his presence felt and gets into the skin of his character. Amitosh Nagpal is brilliant. The rest of the supporting cast is good.

Verdict: Disappointing. Despite the presence of the Kapoors, this is a losing proposition.

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