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Updated: October 10, 2013 15:37 IST

Stooping to conquer?

S. SHIVA KUMAR
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Oops, it’s unbearable: Ranbir Kapoor and Besharam
PTI
Oops, it’s unbearable: Ranbir Kapoor and Besharam

What do you call it – bad judgement or over confidence? Ranbir Kapoor needs to wake up

I often wonder what fascinates a star about a prospective film that makes him sign on the dotted line. It’s not easy, especially for someone who has a fanatical following that has fanned his fame. They do have to satisfy the expectations of their fans though. I make it a point to ask stars about the factors that make them accept a film and they parrot practiced lines about the script and the director. Reality is that they look for tailor-made roles that help sustain or push their popularity. Now ‘Besharam’ is a terrible film only because it stars Ranbir Kapoor. It’s the kind of film that you think would have been offered to Ritesh Deshmukh who’d have grabbed it. It’s right down his alley because it deals with ill fitting underwear, breaking wind so loud that you want the ground to swallow your seat etc etc. Success, at some point of time makes stars delusional about the fact that they are the reason for a film’s success. Just when you thought this effortless performer was the most prudent among the young actors, comes ‘Besharam’. Well, hopefully the films dismal showing at the box-office will wake him up.

What would you expect from a film where the hero is called Babli and the screen is strewn with characters called Chulbul, Bulbul and Titu? Hero is a car thief with a valid reason! He grew up in an orphanage and has to look after a brood he’s adopted as his brethren. He’s shameless in demeanour simply because there was no one to guide him. Now don’t sniffle because he doesn’t wallow in self-pity. He’s audacious, outrageously attired and doesn’t think twice before pulling at his underwear in public. Then there is the obese Rishi Kapoor and still svelte Neetu Singh playing cops who are ‘like’ parents to the hero.

Of course, he falls for the prettiest girl at a wedding. He stalks her even barging into her snazzy office and is promptly humiliated but then he’s already decided he’ll name their kids Amitabh and Rekha. Let’s cut to the chase. Hero ends up stealing heroine’s Merc which he’s sold to a vile ‘hawala’ dealer. He promises to get it back and reform. Heroine thaws during a jeep ride. Hero gets back the car but also finds it with a bag full of the big bucks. It’s time for moral dilemma, chase, a song and fisticuffs. The good bad prevails over the evil bad. Go figure that one.

***

Kamal Hassan was on a whirlwind trip to the city to brief the press about the forthcoming FICCI event he’s heading and also for a pow wow with the press. Kamal has a special affinity towards Bangalore which is reciprocated by the rousing reception his films get here. Journos thronged the press club with the usual, loud scuffle for space between still photographers and the TV cameramen. The questions ranged from the silly (do you like Amitabh as much as Dilip Kumar?) to the ‘I’ve been asked this a million times’ (will you enter politics?). Kamal’s love for Bangalore dates back to the time his ‘guru’ K. Balachander would wait for the next Puttanna Kanagal release. “We’d come here just to watch films like ‘Kaadu’,” confessed Kamal. His friends here ranged from G.V. Iyer to Shankar Nag and now Ramesh now just to name a few. I’m amongst the very few who know that Shekar Kapur’s role in ‘Viswaroopam’ was first offered to Anant Nag. Anant politely refused citing the extreme cold weather in New York. “I’d have loved to do the film,” said the gentle actor later. Anyway, if you’re an aspiring filmmaker there’s a platter of workshops at the two-day conclave ranging from crowd funding, the Red camera to the definitely enriching scriptwriting session with Kamlesh Pandey overseen by Kamal himself. Kamal is no longer a filmstar. He’s a multi-faceted film personality for whom cinema is the only God.

S. SHIVA KUMAR

sshivu@yahoo.com

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