Javed Akhtar pens heartfelt note on Sharmaji Namkeen: ‘My friend Chintu, you have hit the last ball out of the stadium’

Lyricist-screenwriter Javed Akhtar on Monday took to Twitter to pen a heartwarming note for the team of Sharmaji Namkeen. While lauding the writer and director, Akhtar also thanked Paresh Rawal for his “unusual and great contribution”. As for Rishi Kapoor, the writer said that it was ultimately his show, and he has “hit the ball out of the stadium”.

“Watched Sharma ji Namkeen . So well written and directed . Thank you Paresh Rawal saheb for your most unusual and great contribution . Now my friend Chintu , ultimately it is your show . You have hit the last ball out of the stadium . Tell me ,why we all won’t miss you for ever,” he wrote on Twitter.

Sharmaji Namkeen is the story of a recently retired man, who moonlights as a cook in a kitty group. While he finds joy and respect among the women in the group, his new job becomes an embarrassment to his family. With Rishi Kapoor passing away midway through the shoot, Paresh Rawal stepped in to complete the film. It’s one of the rare Bollywood films where the same character has been played by two actors.

The film premiered on March 31 on Amazon Prime Video to a positive response. In her review, The Indian Express critic Shubhra Gupta wrote, “When he left us in an untimely fashion, he was doing all kinds of roles, from kohl-eyed baddies to cantankerous grandpas. This one, his last, has a message tucked in its telling: embrace change, go out of your comfort zone, where unexpected pleasures may await.”

Another part of the review read, “The film’s editor must have had quite a task, splicing scenes with the two actors, making them flow. Paresh Rawal’s Sharmaji, togged out in Kapoor’s trademark checked sweater and muffler, is efficient. But Rishi Kapoor is truly namkeen, showing us how it is done, light on his feet, light in his eyes, a will to live. Jeena isi ka naam hai.”

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