Having collaborated on two films in the past -- the critically acclaimed THE LEGEND OF BHAGAT SINGH and the commercially successful AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI -- producer Ramesh Taurani and director Rajkumar Santoshi join forces for their third endeavor PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO. From the looks of it, PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO falls into the same genre as the latter, while the motive is crystal clear: to offer infinite hilarity in those 2+ hours. The question is, will Taurani and Santoshi experience triumph yet again? With a catchy title, promos that emit accurate signals to its target audience and a genre that's the flavor of the season, will PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO have a heroic run at the ticket window?
Santoshi has proved his versatility ever since he made his debut film. Though he tasted big success in varied genres, you can't overlook the fact that films like ANDAZ APNA APNA and AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI not only won hearts and brought smiles on our faces, but also have tremendous recall value to this date. PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO too abounds in clean, inane humor that will have you rolling with laughter. One of the prime reasons why PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO also works is the superlative performance by Shahid Kapoor, who goes all massy with this one. More on that laterâ€¦
PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO narrates the story of Vishwas Rao [Shahid Kapoor], an aspiring actor, who aims to make it big in Bollywood. However, a chance encounter with Kajal [Ileana D'Cruz] and Vishwas, who is dressed up as a cop, is mistaken to be a cop in real life. What ensues is a series of crazy escapades which turns Vishwas' life upside down.
Let's get this straight! There's nothing in PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO that you haven't watched before. It has a standard theme, several clichÃ©s that you may have encountered in earlier films, but what works is the fact that the journey to the destination is full of amusement and entertainment. Although Santoshi has helmed comedies earlier, the humor in PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO is more unabashed, in your face, goofier and physical. The sole similarity between Santoshi's earlier works and this one is that the wit and humor is just hard to disregard. You can't help but break into a smile or guffaw at the most absurd, ludicrous situations, which is what the intent is.
PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO brings back memories of old-fashioned comic entertainers. There's not much of a plot here, but you go with the flow without making much effort. You laugh, celebrate the silly gags and by the time the story reaches its conclusion, you realize that the film has won you over with its unfussy plot and basic characters, who don't have a serious bone in their body. It's a frothy comedy that would have gone astray and misplaced its luster had it been delegated to a lesser talent.
The lone hiccup is the villain's sub-plot in the second hour. The portions involving him and Operation White Elephant could've been integrated far more persuasively in the scheme of things. Besides, a song, reminiscent to the one in AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI, could've easily been avoided. Additionally, a few jokes and jibes in this hour lack the wittiness of the first half.
With Tips producing the film, one expects the soundtrack of PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO to be top notch and Pritam lives up to the expectations. The stylish and high-on-energy choreography only garnishes the tracks further. 'Tu Mere Agal Bagal Hain' is easily the best track, followed by 'Dhating Naach'. In fact, Shahid's dance in the latter is simply jaw-dropping. I'd like to make a special mention of the witty dialogue, which bring a smile on your face persistently.
PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO belongs to Shahid Kapoor absolutely. Completely. He nails it and how. No two opinions on that. He gets to portray the part of an entertainer, a character which is *not* everyone's cup of tea, but Shahid makes sure he carries off the part with amazing ease, displaying his funny side in several sequences. What's noteworthy is that he's pitted with [accomplished] actors known for their comic timing [Saurabh Shukla, Sanjay Mishra, Darshan Jariwala], yet Shahid proves that he's a complete natural in this genre. Slapstick, dance, action, romance -- he seems to be enjoying it all here.
For Ileana, who made her Hindi film debut with BARFI!, a film like PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO gives her the podium to play the conventional heroine. She lends a lot of grace to her character and the pairing with Shahid looks fresh and charming. It's a treat to watch Padmini Kolhapure on the big screen after a hiatus. She's wonderful. Saurabh Shukla is in terrific form. He's so so so funny. Sanjay Mishra has an impeccable comic timing and he proves it yet again. He's fab. Darshan Jariwala gets it right, stressing on the fact that he can handle comedy with equal flourish. Zakir Hussain is first-rate. Again, a welcome change from the negative roles he has been asked to portray in film after film. Mukesh Tiwari is efficient. Rana Jung Bahadur and Navin Prabhakar lend decent support.
Salman Khan sparkles in a cameo. He is sure to bring the house down with his poker-face act. Nargis Fakhri sizzles in the dance number, matching steps with Shahid.
On the whole, PHATA POSTER NIKHLA HERO is an entertainer all the way. If you relished AJAB PREM KI GHAZAB KAHANI from the team of Taurani and Santoshi, chances are you will also lap up this vibrant, kaleidoscopic, light-hearted entertainer.