Movie Review: Besharam

October 2, 2013

(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)

Handout still from Besharam.Ranbir Kapoor is often hailed as the next big thing in Bollywood — a young star who knows what he is doing, chooses his scripts with care and delivers top-notch performances nearly all the time. If that is the case, Kapoor must have had a very bad day at work to say yes to “Besharam” (Shameless).

Abhinav Kashyap’s second film as director is crude, packed with toilet humour, and has no semblance of a plot. “Besharam” is a case study in lazy filmmaking, one that lowers the bar on good taste just to make money at the Bollywood box office. It insults the viewer’s intelligence and is an example of the Hindi film industry’s reluctance to let go of hackneyed storylines that were all the rage two decades ago.

Kapoor plays Babli, the protagonist in this Indian version of Robin Hood. He is a thief who steals swanky cars, sells them and donates the proceeds to the orphanage where he was raised. His talent catches the attention of a gangster (Jaaved Jaffrey) who hires him.

But one day, Babli unwittingly steals and delivers the car of the girl he loves. Once he realizes this, there is only one thing to be done. Steal the car right back. Tara (Pallavi Sharda), who spends half the time delivering holier-than-thou speeches about how Babli should give up a life of crime, agrees and accompanies him on this mission.

Handout image from Besharam.There is also a subplot about a squabbling couple (Ranbir’s real-life parents Rishi and Neetu Kapoor), who are in the police, and have made unsuccessful attempts at catching Babli during his earlier capers. Even this does not work, mainly because Kashyap saddles them with vulgar dialogue and a series of gross-out sequences involving actor Rishi Kapoor — including a defecation scene.

Kashyap doesn’t even attempt to inject any creativity into this flimsy plotline, relying on toilet humour and mediocre songs to stretch the running time to two-and-a-half hours. The dialogue is pedestrian, as are the performances.

Ranbir Kapoor does not look too convinced himself about the film or its outrageous plot. He’s no Salman Khan or Akshay Kumar. Those two actors could have pulled off “Besharam’s” slapstick genre but Kapoor can’t and that’s the film’s main failing. Unless you like the feeling of being hit on the head repeatedly with a hammer, avoid this one.

(Follow Shilpa on Twitter @shilpajay)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

According to me movie was average and going well on two three days after that decreases.
News In Hindi

Posted by shekharjprr | Report as abusive

Superb review. Good job Shilpa Jamkhandikar
I felt the same way. Besharam is a movie with cheap & pushy scenes just to prove the BESHARMI of Ranbir.
The toilet humour was a complete slapstick.
Story was obvious & predictable.
The hero was introduced as the best car thief to be known. But he wasn’t characterized that way. Instead steals the car in the same old fashion & commits mistakes after mistakes.
Highly disappointed
I Wont recommend this movie to anyone.

Posted by PranshuJ | Report as abusive