Besharam Movie Review by Taran Adarsh


Until last year, the Top 3 contenders to the throne were the three Khans. The game of musical chairs — or one-upmanship, as you may choose to call it — would be limited to these three names. Suddenly, Ranbir Kapoor stepped into the domain with a landslide victory [YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI], challenging the dominance of the three names, forcing the spectators/Studios/film-makers/distributors/exhibitors to look at an all-new competitor. The film industry had finally found the Prince who would take on the mantle, donning the robes of the Pied Piper, attracting spectators in hordes in the domestic as well as international markets. Teaming up with the DABANGG director Abhinav Kashyap only makes Ranbir’s immediate outing BESHARAM special. Very special, in fact. The Studio [Reliance] too is gung ho, giving BESHARAM a massive release [4187 screens worldwide]. Will BESHARAM set new benchmarks? Will it go beyond Ranbir’s own YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI? Will Abhinav Kashyap hit the pot of gold yet again, after the gargantuan success of DABANGG? Surely, Ranbir and Abhinav’s shoulders carry the baggage of expectations like never before…

To start with, the trailers of BESHARAM didn’t generate the frenzy that one associates with a biggie. Additionally, the songs did not catch on like Ranbir and Abhinav’s earlier films. Besides, the promotional material, for some reason, did not catch the fancy as well…

BESHARAM is Ranbir’s first tryst with an out-and-out masala film. A genre that’s suddenly caught the fancy of every actor in tinsel town. But, unlike most masalathons, BESHARAM is no remake of a South Indian blockbuster. This one’s more like the vintage masala films that we relished in the Bachchan era. With a contemporary tadka, of course. The question is, does BESHARAM work? Unfortunately, it doesn’t!

Babli [Ranbir Kapoor], an orphan, is a street smart car mechanic who lives life to the fullest. But he has a heart of gold: He steals cars to support his orphanage. The story takes a turn when he unwittingly hurts the love of his life, Tara [Pallavi Sharda], by robbing her car and selling it to Chandel [Jaaved Jaafrey], who is into the business of money laundering. Babli decides to undo the wrongs in his life, but is it so easy?

Like most masalathons, the premise of BESHARAM is simplistic, but the real test lies in padding the screenplay with gags, punches and moments that would keep you completely enamoured in those 2.20 hours. While BESHARAM does have moments that can be termed pleasurable, the consistency is clearly missing. These moments are sporadic, coming up intermittently, but what takes you by complete surprise is the crude humor that’s integrated in the narrative. I mean, one doesn’t mind the toilet humor as long as the situation warrants it, but it seems completely forced in this film.

Even the writing hits a rough patch on varied occasions. While the villain’s track fits wonderfully in the scheme of things, the love story lacks the spark. Even the chemistry between Ranbir and Pallavi, so vital in a film like this, lacks fire. Again, a few moments between Ranbir and the cops [portrayed by Ranbir’s real-life parents, Rishi and Neetu Kapoor] do hold attention, especially Ranbir’s outburst in the finale when Jaaved attacks Neetu Kapoor, but the sequences between Rishi and Neetu are, at times, over the top. The action too offers nothing novel. Bashing up multiple people at one go, jumping on a car with splinters flying all across, Rishi getting into the GADAR mode in the climax… it seems like an assemblage of sequences to evoke reactions.

While BESHARAM is a love story at heart, one expects the musical score to be lilting to the core. But the soundtrack disappoints as well. You forget all about the songs the moment you exit the auditorium. Of course, Ranbir tries to add a lot of infectious energy to the compositions, but the soundtrack lacks the quality to reverberate or stay on your lips. The DoP captures the locales and frenzy adroitly.

Post DABANGG, the expectations from Abhinav Kashyap are tremendous. In his directorial debut, Abhinav created characters and chose lines that hold tremendous recall value to this day. But one misses the clever writing in BESHARAM. The screenplay, like I pointed out earlier, is sloppy and the characters too lack the charm to win you over. Even the supporting cast, which has the senior Kapoors teaming up again, lacks the madness that one would’ve expected.

It is up to Ranbir Kapoor to salvage the show and I must admit, the actor flaunts the attitude all through. He is simply brilliant. The corny lines he mouths, the flashy clothes he wears, the pelvic thrusts in the songs, it’s a good departure from the kind of classy roles he has portrayed in the past. Pallavi Sharda looks completely misfit in this role and the pairing with Ranbir lacks the fizz. Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor, who have worked in several comic capers and masala fares earlier, are effortless, but not memorable. Jaaved Jaaferi leaves a strong impact. It’s a joy watching him in a negative role. Amitosh Nagpal, as Ranbir’s pal, hams.

On the whole, this film proves the adage ‘All that glitters is not gold’ absolutely right. BESHARAM is a huge disappointment!


  1. Baba Ji 11 years ago

    inspite of the poor pormos, this is still a shocker, if taran has given 1.5/5, its a sitting duck

  2. Baba 11 years ago

    i think yjhd overhype has hurted ranbir. i had said this that time itself.when a poor film becomes big hit and is overhyped by media,the very next film suffers from its negativity

    • sauravjha 11 years ago

      But Baba Salman doesn’t seem to suffer from this. All his movies which have been BB in recent times have been called bad films but still his next movie is bigger than last one. SRK too to some extent doesn’t suffer by that kind of negativity. His RNBDJ didn’t suffer from OSO which falls into the same category which ur talking about isn’t it? I think the initial reactions to the promos as well as Ranbir accepting the -ve response publicly did it for Besharam.

      • Baba 11 years ago

        what happened to dabang 2 then? rndj did not suffer? it had a low opening on day 1 and the reviews were bad.what about mnik,ra1, don2, jth?what happened to CCTC after SIK?

        • sauravjha 11 years ago

          Dabangg 2 was a bad film baba, but it still did over 150 Besharam might even struggle for 100-120 i think. Rnbdj opened less cos it wasn’t promoted at all, also there was attack in Mumbai so people obviously didn’t came out in large numbers. Your logic holds true for Ra.1 n Don 2, but then Ra.1 was not even a hit.

          Also since the opening of Besharam is brilliant too so I don’t think what ur saying applies for large chunk of audience. For me initial reactions to promos n trailers are more clear reasons.Anyways as u have said it, it will be interesting to see how Ranbir goes from here on.

  3. yakuza 11 years ago

    Even Dabangg was not satisfactory .. worked because of music and Chulbul characterization .. else screenplay was poor

  4. Reddemon 11 years ago

    For me Singham is the Best masala movie in recent times.

  5. Baba 11 years ago

    the same besharam would have been viewed a lot mildly if not for yjhd. before , ranbir was this “rising upcoming ” star. ppl were sympathetic to him. once you are hailed by the media as a superstar, all the symapathy goes and the real test starts. in my “my issues with ranbir” post i had made this point. the day ranbir gets comment like “i want this film to flop/i want him to flop” he will become a true star. now he has. wait for more besharam reviews. lets see how his career goes from now

  6. Dheeraj Kumar 11 years ago

    “Dil Thaame Shina Taane Ban #Besharam !!!”
    Watched the Besharmi
    Being #Besharam I loved the Movie
    But #WoM is in negative side

  7. Author
    aryan 11 years ago

    Besharam Movie Review by Sukanya Verma

    What a shame, Ranbir!

    ‘Besharam is so unbelievably sloppy and senseless, not even the best actors in the business can redeem it no matter how hard they try.’

    Sukanya Verma pronounces her judgement on the Ranbir Kapoor-starrer.

    “Just wanted to demonstrate my talent,” explains a sheepish Ranbir Kapoor to Javed Jaffrey during the climax of Besharam.

    Though said in a separate context, it sounds like an apology at that point. You see, after sitting through the entire course of Abhinav Kashyap’s hideous new film, it’s only fair to expect one.

    The director of the predictable but entertaining Dabangg opts for yet another hackneyed plot about the proverbial misguided but golden-hearted orphan cum car thief and his decision to turn a new leaf after he falls in love.

    Only Besharam, with its tedious soundtrack (brace yourself for a song after every few minutes) and low-cost disposition, is so unbelievably sloppy and senseless, not even the best actors in the business can redeem it no matter how hard they try. And try they do, hard, too hard.

    If Dabangg benefitted from Salman Khan’s effusive charisma, trippy treatment, Sonakshi Sinha’s piquant presence and a swashbuckling background score, Besharam relies on Kapoors – Ranbir, Rishi and Neetu to do miracles without any of the crisply penned lines or a witty screenplay at their disposal.

    Instead the Kapoor men embarrass themselves in moments of groan-inducing toilet humour – the elder one relieves his constipated tummy through a blare of faecal evacuations, the younger lad prefers to pee in a mustard field to the sound of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’s Tujhe Dekha. (The song pops up again to inject a flat comic interlude involving a romantic dog chase).

    Only five-year olds may find such gags funny but Besharam, with all its lewd innuendoes and crude gesturing, isn’t children friendly from any angle. Pray, what’s amusing about a girl saying “Rape kar diya mera toh?” The problem is the insouciance with which it finds mention in Kashyap’s second directorial venture.

    It’s like the whole point behind this movie is to emphasise on Ranbir’s titular trait. So he’s fiddling with his crotch, jiggling his bareback and butt cleavage, thrusting his pelvis into the screen or constantly hitting on his heroine in the most cheesy, cringe-worthy fashion. For all his projected Robin Hoodedness, the man’s more sleazy than shameless.

    I’ve never held back in applauding the talent of Ranbir Kapoor. He’s one of the most exciting artists of this generation. But whether he likes it or not, his viewer now expects a certain credibility from his choices. I don’t know what connected him to this script but Besharam seems like a terrible miscalculation.

    And this is not some squeamish grievance just because the film maintains an over-the-top, loutish tone. RK has earlier done physical comedy (Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani) and played the uncouth bloke adopting an in-your-face approach to woo the girl (Rockstar) but his character was substantiated with enough heft and humour.

    Here his Babli (that’s his name and, exactly, no one laughed) who dresses up like an atrocious combination of Govinda (think Dulhe Raja), Mithun Chakravarthy (think 80s) and Chunky Pandey’s (think all the time) garish wardrobe is just a wayward jerk who dares to presume he can endear you with his obscene antics.

    Ranbir’s performance is adequately uninhibited and, admittedly, modelled around Mike Myers’ Austin Powers. But he fails to make us care forget root for Babli or warm up to his Besharmi. Of his parents, playing a husband-wife pair of bantering, crooked Delhi cops, Neetu Kapoor is distressingly raucous while tubby hubby Rishi Kapoor takes off on Sunny Deol’s roaring frenzy in a scene that seems to have slipped out of Rohit Shetty’s imagination.

    And leading lady Pallavi Sharda’s stiff screen presence coupled with her nearly violent dancing skills highlight her insufficiencies in a magnified view. Her performance is insipid to the extent you’re likely to notice the absolute trivial. (Like who fries tomatoes before onions?)

    Meanwhile, the usually dependable Javed Jaffrey plays a costume-y villain with the attention span of a man who has better things to do.

    And if you do too, spare yourself from this shame of a movie.

    Rating: 1.5/5

  8. sputnik 11 years ago

    Besharam Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 1

    October 02, 2013

    Cast: Ranbir Kapoor, Pallavi Sharda, Rishi Kapoor, Neetu Singh, Javed Jaffrey, Himani Shivpuri

    Director: Abhinav Singh Kashyap

    In the six years since he’s been working as a Hindi film actor, Ranbir Kapoor has displayed a knack for picking mostly interesting films without worrying too much about their box-office potential. His resume boasts such respectable titles as Wake Up Sid, Rocket Singh: Salesman of the Year, Raajneeti, Rockstar and Barfi. It is for this reason that you wait around patiently throughout the 2 hours 18 minutes duration of Besharam, hoping to finally be rewarded with whatever it is that drew him to this film. As it turns out, you’re waiting in vain. Directed by Dabangg’s Abhinav Singh Kashyap, Besharam is the kind of joyless film that compels you to wonder if a fat paycheck can sometimes be the only incentive for talented people to go to work.

    The film’s plot, likely scribbled on toilet paper during an inspired moment on the pot, is centered on a loutish car thief, Babli (Ranbir Kapoor), who must steal back a car that he sold to a murderous money launderer (Javed Jaffrey), when he falls for the poor girl who owned the car (newcomer Pallavi Sharda). Handled with adequate lightness, this might have been an inoffensive, forgettable comedy, but Kashyap’s treatment of the material is so indifferent, the film doesn’t even hit that mark. Indeed Besharam appears to be rolling out rather than unfolding, with not one actor so much as pretending to have a good time. What do you say about a film in which Javed Jaffrey looks too bored to over-act?

    Kashyap, who gave Salman Khan what was possibly his first fully realized character in years, fails to turn Babli into a similarly enduring – or endearing – hero for the screen. Ranbir doesn’t shy away from playing Babli as a lewd, crotch-adjusting lothario, but it’s a part so underwritten it’s hardly any surprise that the actor does such little with it. The Mr India-inspired subplot about Babli’s commitment to the orphanage he was raised at never really succeeds in adding a credible layer to the role. Even more baffling is the issue of the film’s leading lady, an ordinary actress at best who, along with the director, fails to justify why she was hired here.

    The only laughs in this film – few and far between – are provided by the casting of real-life couple (and Ranbir’s real-life parents) Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh as a pair of married police officials eager to make a fast buck from Babli’s doomed deal with the villain. Neetu Singh, in particular, sportingly hams it up as the shrewish spouse who doesn’t for a moment stop squabbling with her husband, not even when he’s taking a dump. A few of the in-jokes about their relationship with Ranbir are the film’s most entertaining bits. Doesn’t help of course that the score is a complete letdown, the look and feel of the film tacky, and the scatological humor mostly off-putting.


  9. Bored 11 years ago

    Besharam is getting critically mauled all over – somehow it was expected. Looks like Anubhav Kashyap failed to recreate Dabangg magic himself – forget all the clone directors’ attempts that are lined up.

    Salman seems happy abt this –

    Doubt if Jai Ho (remake of Stalin) will be any different from southern masala. Even Kick is a remake of a southern Hit and then he has the Prabhu Devha movie (that guy is as southern as u can get). Maybe he is hoping that he alone can make southern masala work (apart from Ajay Devgn i think) – we will know next yr with his 3 films.

    Personally I am sick of southern masala, wud anyday take a krrish or dhoom over these. But yeah, genuine masala like Ghajini and Agneepath remain my best guilty pleasures. But they dont care to make movies like them any more.

    • Baba 11 years ago

      salman is behaving as if he started the trend of south masala remakes. it is aamir who started this trend with ghajini. and it is salman himself who overdid and milked this genre for all its worth.

      • John Galt 11 years ago

        Agreed. Although I find ETT (a supposed non-masala film among Salman fans) worse than a Bodyguard.

      • yakuza 11 years ago

        Wanted was in making since 2006 .. it was bit delayed movie. Also though Ghajini was huge success .. its over the top action was ridiculed at that time. Infact Ghajini itself had potential to do 150+ in 2008 if action would have been as raw and interesting as Wanted.

        Wanted was primarily first masala movie which was immensely liked for its action and masala elements unlike Ghajini. And to date only two authentic masala movies came after Wanted .. Singham and RR .. rest all were craps. Even Dabangg disappointed to all who went in hope to see ‘Wanted’ like content. Dabangg and Ghajini both worked at BO for all other reasons except Action and masala.

        • Baba 11 years ago

          how is ghajini OTT and not wanted? a movie doesnt get delayed by 4 years bcos of technicalities. they were probably not sure if it would work so they put it in back burner. ghajini came and saw runaway success and that gave the hope to the rest of them.

  10. Bored 11 years ago

    Ghajini had a narrative unlike Wanted or wahtever other sadakchaap lowbrow stuff Salman has done after that. Only Aamir’s acting was OTT in Ghajini (he does feel obliged to make it up this way due to his physicality – we can see that again in D3 glimpses). Surya’s Tamil version wasnt so OTT and is a pretty good masala movie (unlike the lowbrow ones from south that salman has specifically chosen to do). Masala is not a lowbrow genre – but bastardized masala is – a big difference.

    Golden masala of 70s was always narrative driven. Only Agneepath after Ghajini has been narrative driven films. But fans of eighties Bachchan wont even understand this since it was Amitabh himself who bastardized the genre that had made him a superstar.

  11. ank_16n 11 years ago

    lol Agneepath was a bad movie totally ripped apart the original…..below average stuff acc. to me..!!

  12. Bored 11 years ago

    ^Thats exactly my point – it was not meant for audience of lowbrow action-comedies – the genre itself is a paradox and ur reaction is exactly what is expected from its audience.

    But i will say this, even Bachchan did not bastardize the masala genre to an action-comedy paradox, even in his worst movies (hit or not) – at least not intentionally! That credit goes solely to Salman and his clones – which includes Akshay who suddenly decided to bring in OTT action within his comedy movies and in turn lost the plot. He was consistently giving hits previously.

    The reason that Agneepath did not trend very well after the opening was not only because its violence and brutality unsettled the audience of multiplex romcoms. That was only a partial reason. The other reason was that the chunk of lowbrow audience found it too intense and serious and are not used to see masala as a serious genre. Any serious masala movie runs such a risk in today’s time even if it is well made. Ghajini tactically bypassed it by having strong romantic emotional content which found patronage among the former demographic. KJO did try to infuse family stuff into Agneepath, but the resistant director wanted to remain more authentic to the genre he was attempting and hence the box office suffered to some extent. Aamir played more safely with Ghajini and the romantic stuff.

    And the main victory for the new Agneepath was not BO plaudits as compared to the original’s underwhelming BO response – but the fact that the new Agneepath is a much better ‘pure masala’ movie unlike the original which was a terribly compromised product to relaunch a declining Bachchan .

    • ank_16n 11 years ago

      the thing is every crap that intellectuals say is good can’t be good….
      people have habit of saying oh Rajeev masand or Raja sen liked this movie so pretending to be an intellectual i think i have to like this movie..!!

      that’s the main reason Agneepath(2012) was liked by some people..!! 😛

      i don’t follow what intellectuals say i liked PST or kahaani as much as a Dabangg or a Wanted..!!

  13. sunil 11 years ago

    you watched Mohra?

  14. ank_16n 11 years ago

    Gajhini i liked but it was not an action movie as many are saying here it was an Romantic, Emotional drama….Action was even less than 10% so its not an action movie..!!

    • Baba 11 years ago

      you are right. infact not just ghajini but almost all masala films , new and old ones, dont qualify as pure action films bcos they are essentially masala – they are a mix of genres. romance, drama, comedy, action etc.

  15. Bored 11 years ago

    Again, the lovers of lowbrow action-comedy has no reason to not like well made offbeat films (be it PST or Kahaani or whatever). But they are very likely to have issues with masala films which takes the masala genre seriously and does not turn that genre into action-comedy parody in southern style.

    The fact that we see fans of Akshay/Salman movies having issues with Ghajini or Agneepath reinstates what i am saying – there is a demand for bastardized masala in the current market and its the same demand that restricts pure-masala genre from making a comeback – fans of the former resists the latter. Agneepath also have the burden of being a remake of a poorly made homage to a megastar whose fanbase are resistant to any remakes – good or bad. Its much easier to like Ghajini a lot more (specially for the lovers of bastardized masala).

    On the other hand, a Krrish or a Dhoom is also old school masala but modernized to some extent by adding sci/superhero angles or stylized stunts into the mix. The incorporation of Hollywood elements seemingly makes it ‘cooler’ for the audience in general and dilutes the resistance. But even Krrish/Dhoom take themselves seriously, unlike the movies of Salman/Akshay – thats a big difference.

  16. Bored 11 years ago

    Even for lowbrow masala stars like Salman/Akshay, they aspire to get into the Dhoom/Krrish territory since they know their audience wont mind that (as compared to them attempting a Ghajini or Agneepath). So from time to time we get stuff like Kick, Blue etc where they attempt more ‘cooler’ hollywood stuff like underwater stunts or more stylized stunts – but then they face opposition from the ‘cool’ multiplex audience who dont regard these stars highly enuf to get as much excited as when Aamir or Hrithik does the same.

    On the other hand, a star like Ranbir will get higher gross if he attempts a Dhoom rather than a Dabangg. But Ranbir is overambitous and thus we have this Gaysharam stuff.

  17. saurabh 11 years ago

    I liked original Agneepath more than new one(ok type) Nd I think movie had a negative point of bring a remake of an classy Amitabh bachhan acted movie.
    btw i would like to credit some point to SRK who did( non pure) masala with some change as compare to Salman nd ak(read RR, k786, or boss). Aamir too is non repeating.
    nd what is there meaningful in genere which the movie belongs, a movie should be entertaining, convincing(plz dnt misunderstand this term), involving. U should feel satisfection, thats it. Whether its a art movie or a masala movie.

  18. ank_16n 11 years ago

    ” The fact that we see fans of Akshay/Salman
    movies having issues with Ghajini or Agneepath reinstates what i am saying”

    so i liked gajhini but not Agneepath….so which fact it reinstates????? 😛

    its reinstate my fact that pretending to be an intellectual u have no choice but to like both gahjini n agneepath(new) but not dabangg, wanted,rr or any other masala movie..!! 😛

  19. ank_16n 11 years ago

    ” So from time to time we get stuff like Kick, Blue etc where they attempt more ‘cooler’ hollywood stuff like
    underwater stunts or more stylized stunts – but then they face opposition from the ‘cool’ multiplex audience who dont regard these stars highly enuf to get as much
    excited as when Aamir or Hrithik does the same”

    why aamir didn’t succeed in Talaash,sarfarosh???

    why Hrithik didn’t succeed in kites,Lakshaya??

    why multiplex audience rejected their more cooler hollywood version of movies?????

  20. Baba 11 years ago

    ultimately it boils down to what paramters you set yourself to like a film and how honest you are with them. it is ok to like OTT south masala films. but you look like a fool when you bash the trailer of rambo rajkumar and boss on the same grounds that you liked singham ,RR or a dabang for.

    • shan 11 years ago

      Well said Baba. Standards should be consistent. And it is okay to like one OTT masala movie and not like another if you genuinely found the other movie boring. But bashing based on the fact that it is OTT or more OTT or way more OTT just shows double standards.

  21. shan 11 years ago

    Btw, on topic of masala movies, I liked Agneepath the most too. It was intense, well enacted and had some very good scenes. It was a tad too long and the romantic angle was half-baked, but the rest of the movie more than made up for those flaws.

    Ghajini had a strong emotional core and that justified the crazy action to some extent. Not to forget, overall, the movie was quite entertaining.

    Singham was fairly entertaining but had too much of high-decibel stuff for its own good.

    Rowdy Rathore was entertaining too except for the sleazy villains and portions of Akki’s hammy acting.

    Dabangg was average and had some WTF scenes. Salman’s performance took the movie a notch above what it was and made it somewhat enjoyable. Still, not a very satisfying movie watching experience.

    Dabangg 2 was a poor and boring clone.

    Bodyguard was utter crap.

    Son of Sardaar, Khiladi 786 : The less said, the better.

  22. Bored 11 years ago

    I have always maintained Dabanng worked only for Salman – any other star or actor in that film wud have been a flop. It was an iconic moment for Salman – and a ‘personal’ moment in the sense it was all abt ‘Hey I am Salman and I can entertain in my own way’.

    Its the same reason why all Salman-clones and all the wannabe-Dabanggs are flopping left and right. Salman on the other hand enjoyed a string of hits in pedestrian movies that offer nothing except Salman’s presence. In that sense he is the only star who got so close to what Amitabh was in the early eighties.

    Anubhav Kashyap shud have been grateful to Salman coz Salman knew ‘what works for him’ and did so in Dabangg. Instead he fought over credits. Kabir Khan made all kind of compromises in ETT on Salman’s suggestions – and it worked @BO. Kabir was intelligent to let Salman call the shots when he had the opportunity of working with such a star.

    Whats the point in not accepting the obvious and fighting silly over ‘credits’? Kashyap was bound to learn it the hard way.

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