Sharmaji Namkeen Movie Review: Rishi Kapoor’s Swan Song Is A Bittersweet Slice of Life | Bollywood
It is the first time in the history of Indian cinema that two actors – Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal – have played a character in a film. But what makes Sharmaji Namkeen even more special is that this is the last time we see the late Rishi Kapoor on screen. Luckily, the film pays a perfect tribute to his tough but jovial personality. Those who knew him or interacted with him would agree that Kapoor was a popular person, but it really depended on his mood if he wanted to show you his cool side or drive you away. In this film too, we discover these two facets of his personality. He is overtly nice in some scenes while in others he doesn’t care what people say or think of him. (Also read: RRR movie review: Jr NTR and Ram Charan are dazzling, Bollywood has a lot to learn from this SS Rajamouli epic)
Directed by Hitesh Bhatia, Sharmaji Namkeen has no over-the-top dialogues or moral lessons that hit you hard. It’s a sweet, innocent slice of life told in a simple way. As Sharmaji’s character switches between Kapoor and Rawal, it never feels abrupt. In fact, these constant, consistent transitions remain the highlight of the film.
Sharmaji Namkeen tells the story of a retired director of Madhuban Appliances, Brij Gopal Sharma (Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal) who has to be on the go and simply cannot sit idle at home. While he plans to take zumba classes, become a real estate agent, give lessons or open a papdi chaat stand, his sons Rinku (Suhail Nayyar) and Vincy (Taaruk Raina) do not really buy into it. his ideas and tell him to appreciate his position. -retirement life. As Sharmaji takes his hobby and passion for cooking to the next level, he is brought in by his friend Chaddha (Satish Kaushik) to cook at a ladies’ chat party, and soon it becomes a regular affair. . In the process, his circle of friends sees a whole change. In Veena (Juhi Chawla), he finds a friend and confidante. But what happens when Sharmaji’s sons, neighbors and relatives find out about his secret work?
From what we saw in Baghban where a retired father (Amitabh Bachchan) expects his four sons to take care of their parents, there is a huge difference between these two stories. In Sharmaji Namkeen, this retired man wants to start his second run independently without any approval from his sons. There is a scene in which Chaddha shows the climax scene of Baghban to Sharmaji and insists that he should not depend on his sons and take care of himself.
Bhatia doesn’t want us to pity Sharmaji, instead he creates several lighter moments with comedic punches that Kapoor and Rawal ace. The two veterans offer a flawless performance while remaining faithful to this common character that they embody. While Kapoor added soul to Sharmaji’s character with his emotions, actions, and reactions, Rawal did a great job maintaining the continuity of the character and picking out his traits so easily. Kapoor brings his flair to the screen and Rawal has a way of impressing you with his expressions.
The chemistry that Sharmaji shares with his sons needed a lot more depth and better writing. We are never told if they were emotionally attached to their father or not, what was the equation they had with their late mother and if it affected their bond with their father in any way. However, Nayyar and Raina did their roles justice.
The scenes featuring Rishi Kapoor and Juhi Chawla are endearing and take you back to the days of Bol Radha Bol where the two were a successful on-screen pair. There’s a feeling of charm you witness when these two appear onscreen in one frame. While there are slight romantic undercurrents, I really wish the creators had expanded on that track too.
Although the film doesn’t tell you how you should or shouldn’t let your parents enjoy their post-retirement life, Sharmaji Namkeen is concerned with the patriarchal modes prevalent in our society where a woman always has to ask her man for permission. counterparts before following his passion.
The film beautifully captures the dilemma that retirees face, but at no point evokes a sense of pity. Some want to relax and spend time with their family while others don’t mind taking on more jobs to keep themselves busy. Then there is a section that would find happiness exploring life by getting addicted to Whatsapp, suddenly becoming active on Facebook, befriending strangers and calling them their own. We see shades of all of this in Sharmaji Namkeen.
Watch it with your family for a good laugh, a few emotional moments and witness Rishi Kapoor’s magic one last time.
Sharmaji Namkeen is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.
Directed by: Hitesh Bhatia
To throw: Rishi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Juhi Chawla, Suhail Nayyar, Satish Kaushik, Isha Talwar