While we all know that late Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor’s son Ranbir Kapoor debuted in the Hindi film industry with Sanjay Leela Bhansali directed ‘Saawariya’ opposite debutante Sonam Kapoor, not many know that his onscreen debut was actually Oscar-nominated short film ‘Karma’, which was directed by Abhay Chopra, the grandson of veteran filmmaker BR Chopra.
Ranbir’s first short was recently screened at the Bandra Film Festival’s Youtube Channel on May 5, 2021, under the ‘A Point Across’ category. The film revolves around capital punishment in India and is about a jailer who has to face the dilemma of performing the execution of his own son.
Apart from Ranbir Kapoor, the film boasts a stellar star cast, Sharat Saxena of ‘Ghulam’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Baadshah’ fame and Milind Joshi and Sushovan Banerjee who feature in other pivotal roles.
Recollecting fond memories of the film and working with Ranbir Kapoor, Director Abhay Chopra said, “The year I made this film, capital punishment was a part of every prime-time debate and churned out scores of opinion pieces and cover stories. India saw the hanging of Dhananjay Chatterjee for the rape and murder of Hetal Parekh which fuelled these debates. Karma is fiction but heavily inspired by reality. If you notice carefully, the debate on capital punishment did not get over with the Dhananjay case, every crime that gets National media’s attention almost always rakes up this topic.”
“I have fond memories of directing Ranbir Kapoor, he had not even started his career back then, such an effortless actor. Acting really runs through his veins. Sharat Saxena has done a phenomenal job in the film and such a powerful screen presence. I’m glad I could tell this story and that it is getting an extended viewership on Bandra Film Festival,” he added.
Karma first released in 2004. It grabbed a nomination at the Student Oscars. Ranbir made his B’wood debut three years later with Saawariya in 2007.