Paresh Rawal spoke about his challenge of completing Rishi Kapoor’s Sharmaji Namkeen. He said his challenge was that he ‘should not be destroying’ Rishi’s work.
Actor Paresh Rawal has opened up about stepping into the shoes of late actor Rishi Kapoor in Sharmaji Namkeen. In a new interview, Paresh said that for him the challenge while doing the film was that he ‘should not be destroying’ what the late actor had done. He also said that he had to shoulder a ‘bigger responsibility’ while doing the film. The actor also said that this was for the first time that ‘something like this is happening in Bollywood’ when the same character is being played by two different actors. (Also Read | Sharmaji Namkeen movie review: Rishi Kapoor’s swan song is a slice of life with bittersweet flavours)
Rishi Kapoor had started filming Sharmaji Namkeen but couldn’t complete the film. He died in April 2020 at the age of 69 after a two-year battle with cancer. After his death, Paresh was selected to essay his role and complete the film.
In an interview with Times of India, Paresh spoke about filming Sharmaji Namkeen, “The challenge for me was what Rishi saab had done, I should not be destroying that. Whatever he has sawed, without vandalising that, I need to carry it forward in a subtle way. In short, it was a relay race that I had to complete. These were the thoughts in my mind while I signed the film. And when I sat with them, it suddenly struck me that this is for the first time something like this is happening in Bollywood the same character is played by two different actors. So slowly it started unfolding and I started to realise the recuperations of the decision. So ultimately I was shouldering a bigger responsibility.”
He also said, “What I feel bad for Rishi ji is… the way he started enjoying acting in his second innings was unmatchable. He gave some wonderful films like Kapoor and Sons, Rajma Chawal, 102 Not Out… and during such a period, a film like Sharmaji Namkeen came which he could not complete. So as an actor I can feel the pain of not completing such a film that was shot halfway by another actor. I can literally feel the trauma he must be going through while he was in the hospital because cancer is such an illness that obviously makes a person think about whether he will survive or not.”
The Hindustan Times review of the film read, “The film beautifully captures the dilemma retirees face but at no point does it evoke a feeling of pity. Some want to take it easy and spend time with family while others don’t mind taking up more jobs to keep themselves occupied. Then there’s a section who would find happiness in exploring life by means of getting addicted to Whatsapp, suddenly becoming active on Facebook, befriending strangers and calling them their own. We see shades of all this in Sharmaji Namkeen.”
Directed by Hitesh Bhatia, Sharmaji Namkeen also stars Juhi Chawla, Suhail Nayyar, Taaruk Raina, Satish Kaushik, Sheeba Chaddha and Isha Talwar.
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