The good news is that the trailer of the much awaited Ranbir Kapoor-starrer, Besharam, has already received a million hits on YouTube. The bad news is that those subtle digs at Shah Rukh Khan (Ranbir humming an off-key version of SRK’s famous Tujhe Dekha To Yeh Jaana Sanam while urinating in mustard fields) and Salman Khan (Ranbir’s dialogue, “Naam Chulbul rakhne se, koi Dabangg nai banjaata), have not really gone down well with fans of the Khans. But its director Abhinav Kashyap shrugs off any attempt at Khan bashing, saying, “I was poking fun at myself. Chulbul is just a name and Ranbir imitating SRK was my attempt at projecting the movie as a romantic comedy.”
Not a pretty sight
The younger brother of writer-director-producer Anurag Kashyap observes that, Besharam belongs to ‘a romantic comedy, masala’ genre. The hero does not meet the usual requirements, is almost ‘shameless’ (as the title suggests) and is relentless in his quest to get what he wants, be it love or success. Kashyap admits that bringing Ranbir Kapoor (the actor’s first unapologetically vagabond role) on board to play a character that is the antithesis to everything he stands for, was his and the actor’s way of challenging themselves. “I know he is urban, sophisticated and has never played a character at the grassroot level. It’s a messy role. But he’s really surprised me,” admits Kashyap. Like in Dabbang, his second film has UP as the backdrop, and Ranbir’s Babli is your typical brash yet naive UP guy. “Babli is inspired from life and not my imagination. Fictional heroes are always flawless and my heroes are never that,” says Kashyap. The movie, said to be made on a budget of `95 crores, took roughly 18 months to make.
Ranbir’s other side
Kashyap, who is otherwise economical with words, is rather effusive in his praise of Ranbir. “He is compassionate and completely detached from stardom. He is just happy to sit in a corner and rehearse his lines. He asks a lot of questions about his character and likes to give his own interpretations,” he shares. Technically not a newcomer, Pallavi Sharda - she had brief roles in Heroine and My Name is Khan - makes her big debut as a heroine with this film.
Rishi Kapoor has already caught eyeballs with his Inspector Chulbul Chautala act. So has Neetu Singh’s head constable, Bulbul Chautala. Attempting to describe what many will consider a casting coup, Kashyap says, “While frequenting Ranbir’s house, it struck me, why go anywhere when the best is here. They clicked instantly.”