Until recently Shahid Kapoor was regarded as one of the best-packaged star-actors among the contemporary entertainers of Bollywood. With his last two 'epic' films Mausam and Teri Meri Kahaani proving to be epic losses at the box office, a lot was seen to be hinging on the potential success of his new film Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (PPNH).
But look at the irony! Wags within the entertainment industry are cruelly labelling it Phata Poster Nikhla Zero. Says a director, who not so long ago offered Shahid a solid role in a film that went on to be a runaway success, "Shahid asked me for a hard-bound script. I told him I don't work that way. He said he works in no other way. I want to know what kind of a hard-bound script Santoshi offered him for Phata Poster... I can't see any evidence of a script in the film."
A marketing head from a multiplex chain in Mumbai says it's a case of Shahid trying to be what he is not. "He is good at comedy. But he is not great at it. Why has he been made to do what Salman did Dabangg and Ranbir Kapoor in Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani? We got a poor opening for Phata Poster...
as low as 40 to 50 percent attendance on the first day. We are hoping the collections would pick up. But we doubt it! Audiences just don't find the film entertaining."
Trade expert Taran Adarsh admits the opening of PPNH has been disappointing. "The numbers are not in-sync with the merits of the film. But Shahid has proved he's a complete all-rounder with a terrific performing ability."
Amod Mehra is less hopeful. "Shahid has had quite a few flops recently. Furthermore, neither the film's title nor the trailer was exciting. A couple of songs were liked. But before they could become chartbusters the film was released."
So where does this underwhelming response leave Shahid Kapoor? Every expert in the film trade reveals Prabhu Dheva's film tentatively entitled Rambo Rajkumar would do the trick.
Raves Prabhudeva, "Shahid is so good in action scenes. Dancing is already his forte. For the first time audiences will see him as an action star. He is unbelievable."