Movie Review Phata Poster Nikhla Hero
Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Illeana D’cruz, Padmini Kolhapure
Director: Raj Kumar Santoshi
Rating: * * ½
The film follows the story of Shahid Kapoor (Vishwas Rao), an aspiring actor mistaken as a super cop apparently. How this confusion lands him in trouble and confusion with his love Illeana, mother Padmini Kolhapure and Don Saurabh Shukla.
Raj Kumar Santoshi has ably helmed previous laugh raisers including ‘Andaz Apna Apna’ and the whacky ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani’ – so the expectations from his next comedy attempt, this Shahid Kapoor Starrer,’Phata Poster Nikhla Hero,’ was fairly huge. But the expectations are not exactly belied. ‘Phata poster..” manages a few expected laughs but by and large it comes across as a little too silly and ridiculously old fashioned to pass muster as a laugh riot. Heavy on melodrama and hampered by the over-zealous act put on by it’s lead star, this film manages a mediocre score in terms of entertainment value.
Vishwas Rao(Shahid Kapoor) always wantedto be an actor but his mother’s ambitions for him are of a more disciplined and idealistic nature. Having experienced misery at the hands of her corrupt cop/husband, the single parent who drives an autoirickshaw to support her family, wishes to see her son in the same uniform as his father, but with a more moral zeal. Unfortunately all her efforts come to naught because Vishwas Rao is least interested and deliberately shows-up for all his tests and interviews in spastic overtones. Then comes the opportunity to go to Mumbai and pursue his dreams- as opposed to that of his mother’s. Of course he will have to live a lie and cause grievous harm before he is able to set everything right.
The story, dialogues and screenplay by Santoshi tries hard to spoof the bad son-idealistic mom ( Amitabh Bachchan-Nirupa Roy) track from ‘Deewar’ but is not very successful in developing proper meat for a barrelful of laughs. The intention to make Shahid Kapoor appear larger than life, leaping-out in the opening sequence, from a giant sized poster high-up on a building appears ridiculous. It’s not in the least bit funny or exciting. It’s a scene that is a telling indictment on what is to follow thereafter. The intended humor thereafter is situational and dependent on comic timing from Shahid Kapoor- which as a matter of course, is simply non-existent. Most of the laughs and smiles are induced by the exasperating antics on display and the far-fetched nature of their invocation. In fact Shahid is given to over doing every act and doesn’t appear to know when to draw the line. He looks terrible when he tries to make faces and follows-on with the spasticity of his performance even in the song and dance numbers-which are one too many and strictly unmemorable. In fact the most howl-arious moment in the film comes from a distinctively spoofy cameo from Salman Khan playing himself and drawing laughs spoofing on his own involvement with Santoshi and Aamir Khan. That moment comes across as something that was added on as an after-thought mainly to shore up the unexciting and overly melodramatic and hyper-ventilating narrative. The piece-meal nature of the narrative, the un-excitingly developed gags and the seriously overdone performances by both Padmini and Shahid only make the going tougher for laughs. Illeana D’cruz though,asKaajal, a spitfire social-worker who lands-up at every crime scene, makes her mark in an ill-defined role. Her’s is a striking presence in a film that is low on both laughs and logic. This film does not reduce itself to the crude sex obsessed repetitive humor of ‘Grand Masti’ – is therefore cleaner and more morally upright in it’s attempt to garner humor. There’s even a few clean laughs to be had here. So , in comparison, is a better film by Half!
Music: The album, on the face of it, is an equitable mix of emotional, romantic as well as groovy tracks and yet Pritam manages to deliver a set of tunes that fail to invoke any sort of empathy or even a real sense of hooplah either. Tu Mere Agal Bagal hai is the stand out song of this album by a longdistance and benefits immensely from the carefree crooning of Mika.