Late actor Rishi Kapoor, who died of cancer in 2020, will be seen on screen one last time – his final film, Sharmaji Namkeen, streams tomorrow March 31.
The film was incomplete when he died and his son Ranbir, who has taken on promotion duties in place of his father, told a news channel that when Rishi Kapoor’s first reaction after being diagnosed with cancer was of concern for Sharmaji Namkeen. “I can’t leave this film,” he responded when he was told of plans for treatment in USA.
Sharmaji Namkeen drops on Amazon Prime Video on March 31.
Ranbir Kapoor said, “Sharmaji Namkeen defines the tough period of my father’s life. He started a film, he did a blood report and we got to know that he could have Leukemia and we had to rush him to America. A family friend and I went to Delhi to break this news to my father and take him to America to start his treatment.”
Rishi Kapoor’s response, as revealed to by Ranbir: “His first reaction was ‘what about Sharmaji Namkeen,’ a film that he had started. He said, ‘I can’t leave this film, everyone is waiting for me here.’ We spoke to the producers at that time and convinced them and we left the very next day for America. Through the one year treatment in America all he did was speak of this movie.”
Rishi Kapoor died in April 2020 at the age of 67, leaving Sharmaji Namkeen unfinished. The makers considered having Ranbir film the remaining scenes wearing prosthetics – this was tried and abandoned. Then, actor Paresh Rawal stepped in and Sharmaji Namkeen was completed with two different actors playing Sharmaji, a retired widower who takes up cooking.
The film has mixed scenes from start to end with both actors playing the same character.
Ranbir also shared how Rishi Kapoor made the character of Sharmaji his own by giving all he could to Sharmaji Namkeen. “Even at this age, he wanted to get the character right. Sharmaji is a very good cook, so my dad understood how to cut vegetables. Even the society this character comes from he just wanted to fit in.”