Feature Name: Sharmaji Namkeen
Director: Hitesh Bhatiya
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal, Juhi Chawla
Run Time: 119 minutes
OTT: Amazon Prime Video
The movie starts with Sharmaji receiving the voluntary retirement cheque and gifts at a his office function. However he was not happy with the retirement at 58. A widower, with two grown-up sons, he spends his retired life cooking for them. Passionate about trying out new dishes, he takes pride in his culinary skills.
As luck would have it, he meets a group of ladies and gets talked into cooking food for their kitty parties. Reluctant at first, he is cajoled by his childhood friend, Sikka (Satish Kaushik), to take it up as a fun past-time. “After all, serving food is a great honour,” he tells Sharmaji.
His boys, on the other hand, are unaware of their father’s newfound excitement, and he likes being a member of the women’s group, which is led by Juhi Chawla’s Veena Manchanda.
They enjoy the way he teasingly teases their taste senses, and it’s all incredibly enticing. However, a stray video of him dancing with the group is enough to agitate Rinku (Suhail Nayyar), his oldest son. He’s embarrassed and in a pickle, especially as his wedding to Urmi (Isha Talwar), an office colleague, approaches.
Where Sharmaji Namkeen falls short is in its last act, which has some unneeded bungling in a police station, which seems out of place in the otherwise humorous story. A botched ending to a film that was undeniably entertaining, with Kapoor and Rawal at their most enthralling — and perfectly complementing one other.
Sharmaji Namkeen, Amazon Prime Video’s latest offering, is worth seeing thanks to delightful performances by the late Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal, despite being fairly repetitive and having a shallow narrative that feels stretched for its 121 minutes.
When Kapoor was unwell, Rawal stepped in to play the title character, Sharmaji. Actually, director-writer Hitesh Bhatiya used a creative way to diffuse a problem. When Kapoor was diagnosed with cancer, the film was halfway completed.
Surprisingly, the two actors alternate playing Sharmaji, and the transition is smooth owing to clever editing. In fact, we don’t appear to notice since they seamlessly merge together. We with all our heart give the film three and a half starts. One can watch this film over the weekend.