He bashes up multiple goons at one time, he sheds copious tears, he prances around the pole, he romances, and does everything that an actor hopes to do on screen. It seems like this film is making up for all the opportunities that Shahid Kapoor missed and deserved in the last decade that he’s been around. Phata Poster Nikla Hero is a Shahid Kapoor show all the way, with him dominating every scene. Actually given the actor’s tremendous screen presence and that cute face, one doesn’t really mind an overdose. But what one minds is the equally talented director Rajkumar Santoshi doing a Rip Van Winkle and being firmly stuck in a time warp. The movie, which could have been made in the ’80s talks about Vishwas Rao, who dreams of becoming a hero. But his mother (Padmini Kolhapure makes a comeback with this one) has other plans for him. She wants him to be an honest Police Inspector, in short a real-life hero.
Vishwas comes to Mumbai under the pretext of training for the police, but lands up in a failed writer’s den full of wannabes.
The first half of the movie keeps you entertained as Vishwas goofily goes around trying to make it in Bollywood. As predictable as it can be, in the process he falls in love with a social worker Kajal (Illeana D’cruz) and also ends up in a crime boss’ net. Some of the dialogues in the film are laugh-out-loud funny. The director has a good enough team of talents like Saurabh Shukla, Darshan Jhariwala and Sanjay Mishra to give him company.
However, the film starts getting on your nerves as it gets louder and louder with every passing minute. The jokes fall flat most of the time, as they seem outdated, inconsistent and repetitive. Padmini Kolhapure disappoints, as her character seems unconvincing as a rickshaw-driving poor woman with a blob of foundation and an overdose of mascara on her face. Even though at times the goings-on evoke some giggles, they seem too far and too little in this two-and-half-hour long marathon. Most often than not the buffoonery adopted by each of the characters seem too desperate than funny. Illeana D’cruz’s role of someone who discovers injustice and crime all around her and rushes to the police station on a regular basis, could have been interesting but seems lost in this whole “we are so funny that we can’t stop making faces” yawnathon. The foot-tapping music by Pritam is the saving grace.
Watch this film only if you are a Shahid Kapoor fan. And if you are a Rajkumar Santoshi fan, watch Andaz Apna Apna instead to save yourself from disappointment.
The best scene of the film is the one which involves Salman Khan. Khan plays himself and actually plays himself, thus giving this film a delightful interlude.