10 questions for Abhinav Kashyap, after watching ‘Besharam’

Suprateek Chatterjee

Oct 03, 2013 12:24:02 IST

Dear Abhinav ‘Box-Office’ Kashyap,

I just watched Besharam and I am angry because I paid Rs 280 for a ticket to watch Ranbir Kapoor channel a Looney Tunes character while dressed as a North Indian lout. Technically, you’ve stolen Rs 280 from me and I would ideally like it back.

However, instead of demanding a refund, I'd like to ask you 10 questions and if you can answer them, we’re square. Does that sound like a deal? Awesome! Here we go:

Q1: How much time did you and Rajeev Barnwal spend on the script?

I ask this because it seems like it was written mostly on the fly. Aside from the hackneyed ‘I will patao this girl no matter what’ plotline – which has formed the backbone of countless masala flicks – the rest of the film seems to be an assortment of scenes that involve Ranbir Kapoor playing a rogue-ish mechanic named Babli, chewing scenery in the sleaziest manner possible. Which brings me to…

Q2: How would you describe your command over Hindi? Dodgy? Non-existent? Imaginary? Because the last time I checked, besharam meant 'shameless', not ‘disgusting’.

Perhaps you think language is open to interpretation. But really, was there no other way to show Babli is shameless without repeated shots of him picking his nose, adjusting his ‘family jewels’ (always accompanied by one of those annoying ‘poinngg’ sound effects, so that we know this is supposed to be funny), thrusting his pelvis, caressing his chest hair and so on?

Q 3: Have you watched Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!?

Babli is supposedly an expert car thief, and his ‘entry scene’ shows him making off with a fancy car from a housing society car-park. I presume you’ve watched Dibakar Banerjee’s seminal 2008 film, in which Abhay Deol does a similar thing with much more credibility and panache. Also, he doesn’t end up getting tailed by the police and nearly damaging the car, which would defeat the purpose, don’t you think?

Q 4: What did you do to Jaaved Jaafferi?

The man’s a great actor and possibly the funniest guy you had around on your sets, but you reduced him to a forgettable, caricature-ish villain.

Q5: Is Pallavi Sharda a bad actress or did you just give her a terrible role?

She lives in a lower-middle-class Delhi home, but drives a Mercedes and works on a Macbook Pro in a fancy glass office. But, obviously, she falls in love with a complete good-for-nothing because he helped her recover the car he stole from her. Moreover, you give her precious little to do except call Babli ‘besharam’ every now and then (at one point, she does this twice in the space of 60 seconds) and bust a move (during which Ranbir always overshadows her). She can barely emote, has little screen presence and at no point is there any real passion between the hero and her. What gives? I think you need to share some of the brickbats here.

Q6: In real life, do you laugh when people get hit in the crotch?

I’m imagining Rohit Shetty, Sajid Khan and yourself hanging out at your place on a Friday night, drinking beer and watching videos of people getting hit in the crotch. Say it isn’t so, Abhinav.

Q7: What were your precise instructions to Lalit Pandit when it came to the background score?

There is music in nearly every scene: happy music, sad music, aggressive music, plans-are-being-hatched music etc. If Besharam was supposed to be a giant, irreverent spoof on masala films with a little Jim Carrey from Ace Ventura/The Mask thrown in, at least attempt to maintain some sort of tonal consistency through the score. Instead, Pandit goes all out, filling each scene up with what sounds like temp music, with not a single element standing out.

Q8: How did you get Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh to agree to do this film in which they spend a fair amount of time bickering over the former’s impotence and digestion problems?

I have nothing more to say about this. This is genuinely baffling.

Q9: Are you now over your little ‘casting coup’ of getting three Kapoors to share screen space?

Because, when I was watching the movie, I could practically hear you giggling with glee as you set up multiple scenes where the real-life parents and son made indirect references to being real-life parents and son. You’re like that annoying guy we all knew in college, who’d crack a lame joke and give himself a high-five.

Q10: Would you pay Rs 280 to watch this movie?

Think long and hard before you answer this one. And for heaven’s sake, stop giggling just because I said “long and hard”. Besharam.

Awaiting your reply,

Yours sincerely,

A Viewer With Half A Brain.

Updated Date: Oct 03, 2013 14:12:37 IST