Here’s why Rishi Kapoor and Paresh Rawal’s scenes in Sharmaji Namkeen are randomly structured

Sharmaji Namkeen, Rishi Kapoor’s final film, was released earlier this month to positive reviews. The film, directed by Hitesh Bhatia, was completed after Kapoor died in the middle of production. In a rare instance where two actors are playing the same character without any on-screen acknowledgment, actor Paresh Rawal stepped in to help finish the remaining scenes.

Sharmaji Namkeen tells the story of a recently retired widower who, in order to keep himself occupied, begins moonlighting as a cook at private parties, much to the frustration of his elder son. While Sharmaji goes about his secret life, he realizes that his son is also concealing information from him. The emotional core of the film is formed by their strained relationship and their desire to mend it. Some people were surprised to learn that Kapoor and Rawal appear and disappear at random throughout the film. This can happen in the same scene at times. While more seasoned audiences are aware that films are not shot in chronological order, the unusual situation provided an insight into the logistics of filmmaking for casual viewers. Rishi Kapoor, one of Hindi cinema’s most tenacious stars, died in April 2020 after a two-year battle with cancer. This was during the first lockdown when all filming had been halted indefinitely. Kapoor had already begun work on Sharmaji Namkeen, but his illness had returned after he agreed to work on it.

His son, actor Ranbir Kapoor, revealed that he was considered for the lead role (under prosthetics, of course). But the plan was scrapped for a variety of reasons, one of which, according to Ranbir, was that he isn’t old enough to play a retired person. Farhan Akhtar, the film’s producer, promised audiences they would not leave any stone unturned in completing the film after Kapoor’s death and revealed that they were considering CGI techniques. Paresh Rawal was eventually cast in the role. This was possibly the most cost-effective option available to the filmmakers.

Almost all movies are shot out of order. The simple answer is that shooting in chronological order can significantly increase the budget. This may be due to logistical reasons, such as the availability of actors and specific locations, or it could be due to the fact that indoor and outdoor shooting schedules are typically divided. It should also be noted that not all scenes feature actors; some of these scenes are directed by a second or third unit. Action, for example, usually necessitates a separate shooting schedule. Except in a few cases, these decisions are rarely creatively motivated.

Rishi Kapoor Paresh Rawal Sharmaji Namkeen Rishi Kapoor Paresh Rawal Sharmaji Namkeen Rishi Kapoor Paresh Rawal Sharmaji Namkeen

We must also keep in mind that not all films tell their stories in chronological order. Many, such as Memento and Pulp Fiction, use what is known as a ‘non-linear’ narrative. A filmmaker may choose to shoot their film in chronological order for creative reasons. A Beautiful Mind director Ron Howard wanted Russell Crowe’s character to progress naturally, so he shot 90 percent of the film chronologically. Steven Spielberg took a similar approach with ET the Extra-Terrestrial, primarily to assist his young cast in following the narrative’s thrust. However, these are luxuries that most directors do not have.

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