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Last Updated 27.01.2023 | 2:20 PM IST
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EXCLUSIVE: Sharmaji Namkeen director Hitesh Bhatia reveals Rishi Kapoor was not happy with the second half of the film- “He had a lot of inputs”

Bollywood News
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Prolific actor Rishi Kapoor passed away in April of 2020 after battling cancer for two years. Before his demise, he was working on the film Sharmaji Namkeen starring Juhi Chawal. After his demise, Paresh Rawal came on board to complete the film, which will be known as Rishi Kapoor’s last film. The film directed by Hitesh Bhatia was released on Amazon Prime Video on March 31. This is probably the first time a character has been essayed by two actors who have very distinct and unique styles. In an interview with Bollywood Hungama, Hitesh Bhatia spoke about the film and working with Rishi Kapoor.

EXCLUSIVE Sharmaji Namkeen director Hitesh Bhatia reveals Rishi Kapoor was not happy with the second half of the film- “He had a lot of inputs”

EXCLUSIVE: Sharmaji Namkeen director Hitesh Bhatia reveals Rishi Kapoor was not happy with the second half of the film- “He had a lot of inputs”

Talking about how Rishi Kapoor reacted to the script of the film, which is about a man who is discovering his passion during his retirement, Hitesh said, "When he first heard the script, he really fell in love with the concept, the story, and everything. He really felt that we have something good in our hands. But very few people know that he actually had a lot of input in the script because he was not very happy with the second half of the film. So he said, ‘Yaar Hitesh, baaki sab accha hai, but you and Supratik (writer), both of you need to work on the second half’. And he really had a lot of input. He kept calling us after every three-four days, with ideas to discuss. So it took us another two or three months to finish the draft. And then we went back to him and he said, ‘Okay, now it's fine. Let's do it.’ So he was quite involved. And that involvement actually continued even when he was in New York for his treatment, he would still call us from there. Suddenly, he would have an idea and call us and say ‘Let’s do this’."

From paper to the screen, it has been a long 7-year journey for the team. Hitesh said that a couple of days after Rishi Kapoor’s demise, he had a call with the producers and the producers unanimously decided that the film will be completed and will be Rishi Kapoor’s last film. After considering VFX and prosthetics as an option, the makers decided to cast Paresh Rawal to complete the film. "I had just no idea how this will pan out because if it doesn't work then you can't really show the film because Ranbir, Neetu Kapoor, and producers who have a great legacy behind them are involved.  So I just had to do justice to all those pressures, if I may use that word. After the first day of the shoot with Paresh ji, I went back to the editing studio and I sat there through the night and saw the rushes together. And then, I felt that we have something good in hand and it will work. It will work, the story will hold," Hitesh said.

Further, he shared his experience of shooting with Rishi Kapoor before and after his treatment, "I would say that there was no difference between the last days and the first days. That was the beauty of who he was. He was absolutely the same. He was still bullying me and would scold me. So the banter that we were having on day one continued all the way till the last day.”

"I think he just had that undying spirit, full of life that he just wanted to live life to the fullest. And I remember right before we started, he was in New York so we spoke and he said, ‘New York aaja, let's have a drink’. So I asked, ‘drink? Aren’t you on treatment? Why are you having a drink?’ He’s like ‘no, no, I've spoken to the doctor, I can have a drink’. He was like if I can't drink then why should I get treated? So he was just absolutely full of life till the last day that we shot and that is the memory that I have and that is the memory I have tried to give to the audience when they see the film. That is what I want them to take away when they see the end of the film. Go away smiling and thinking about it because that is the legacy he has," he concluded.

ALSO READ: “Sharmaji Namkeen is Rishiji’s film. I am just there to complete his dream,” says late actor Rishi Kapoor’s co-star Paresh Rawal 

More Pages: Sharmaji Namkeen Box Office Collection , Sharmaji Namkeen Movie Review


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