Excel Entertainment and MacGuffin Pictures’ Sharmaji Namkeen (UA) is a slice-of-life film about life after retirement.

Brij Gopal Sharma (Rishi Kapoor, Paresh Rawal) is a widower who lives with his two sons in Delhi. He doesn’t know how to kill time after his retirement. One day, he gets an order to make snacks for a ladies’ kitty party. Since Sharmaji is an accomplished cook, his tasty snacks win a lot of fans. He gets more catering orders but when his older son, Rinku (Suhail Nayyar), gets to know of his dad’s business, he doesn’t approve of it because he feels, associating with partying ladies does not do much for his dad’s reputation. However, Sharmaji continues his namkeen business.

Calamity befalls the family, and one thing leads to another. How the very kitty party ladies, whom Rinku used to look down upon, help the family forms the crux of the drama.

Hitesh Bhatia’s story idea is quite nice because it delves into the minds of a middle-class family’s members. Supratik Sen and Hitesh Bhatia have fleshed out a fairly interesting story and screenplay, which borrow from the real lives of middle-class people. The drama is easily identifiable because everyone must’ve experienced something or the other about it at some point in his/her life. The real-life joys, sorrows, frustrations and insecurities of middle-class people have been brought out well by the two writers. The duo’s dialogues are real; the light ones evoke laughter while the intense ones touch the heart.

Rishi Kapoor does a very fine job as Sharmaji. He is extremely natural and looks and plays the middle-class retired gentleman to the hilt. Paresh Rawal, who has completed the balance work after Rishi Kapoor’s demise, is also effective in the same role (Sharmaji). Although it couldn’t be helped, it does get a bit irritating to see Rishi Kapoor in a part of the sequence, and Paresh Rawal in another part of the same sequence, both playing the same character. Juhi Chawla is fair as Mrs. Manchanda. Satish Kaushik is earnest in a special appearance as Chaddha. Suhail Nayyar acts ably as Rinku. Taaruk Raina is okay as Vincy. Isha Talwar is so-so in a brief role as Urmi, girlfriend of Rinku. Sheeba Chaddha is alright as Mrs. Gulati. Parmeet Sethi makes his presence felt in a special appearance as Robbie Sachdeva. Ayesha Raza Mishra (as Rupali Dhingra), Shishir Sharma (as Urmi’s father), Suparna Marwah (as Urmi’s mother), Madhu Anand Chandhok (as Mrs. Kalra), Sulagna Panigrahi (as Aarti Bhatia), Gufi Paintal (as Rajendra Sharma), Shivaani Sopuri (as Indu Sharma), Shiwangi Peswani (as Preeti Nangia), Anjuman Saxena (as the bua) and Vijay Kumar Dogra (as sub-inspector Pratap) are adequate.

Hitesh Bhatia’s direction is good. He has made a realistic and heartwarming film with characters which are equally real. Sneha Khanwalkar’s music and background music are quite nice. Gopal Datt’s lyrics are alright. Cinematography (by Harendra Singh and Piyush Puty) is of a decent standard. Harpal Singh Pali’s action scenes are okay; there isn’t much scope for action and stunts. Bodhaditya Banerjee’s editing is sharp.

On the whole, Sharmaji Namkeen is a fair family entertainer.

Released on 31-3-’22 on Amazon Prime Video.