Shahid Kapoor has been someone who has been associated with terrific performances over the years but hasn’t really found the kind of success that an actor with around 15 years of experience should command. Back in early 2000’s, when Shahid Kapoor made his acting debut with Ishq Vishk, he was hailed as the next Shah Rukh Khan i.e. lover boy of the Hindi Film Industry. And why not? He had the looks to die for, the talent to deliver commendable performances and last but not the least his dancing skills were comparable with few of the best dancers that the industry had seen back then.
Stardom is like a bow and only a capable person knows when to pull the trigger, but sadly with Shahid Kapoor, no one has really been able to capitalize or rather set a perfect balance between Shahid Kapoor – The Actor and Shahid Kapoor – The Star. Jr. Kapoor got the opportunity to work with few of the biggest names of the industry i.e. Vikram Bhatt (Deewana Hue Pagaal), John Mathew (Sarfarosh), Abbas Mustan (36 China Town), Priyadarshan (Chup Chup Ke), Sooraj Barjatya (Vivah), Imtiaz Ali (Jab We Met), Rajkumar Santoshi (Phata Poster Nikla Hero), Prabhu Dheva (R… Rajkumar), Vikas Bahl (Shaandaar), and Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Padmaavat) to name a few. Among the above-mentioned directors, it was only Sooraj Barjatya who managed to explore the vulnerable side of Shahid Kapoor and established him as the eternal Prem of the Hindi film industry. Vivah to Shahid Kapoor was what Maine Pyaar Kiya was to Salman Khan; however the only difference between the two is the fact that while Khan capitalized on the blockbuster success of the film, but Shahid Kapoor on the other hand failed to do so.
As one can see above, Shahid Kapoor has tried his luck at all film genres i.e. from comedy to action entertainer to family drama to dark noir cinema, but he couldn’t really construct a loyal fan base among the audience. The problem with him was not jack of all, master of none, but it was his script sense. Shahid Kapoor, the actor is like water, who will take the shape of any glass you pour him into, but it is the cracks in the glass that often results in leakage. Call it sheer back luck or just lack of script sense, Shahid Kapoor ended up picking up few of the most disappointing scripts written by the established directors/writers (Sooraj Barjatya and Imtiaz Ali being the exception). Ranbir Kapoor was too suffering from the same issue for a short span of time earlier this decade; however he was quick to rectify it by signing on for commercial films and got back on track. In-fact, in today’s time, Ranbir is one of the most bankable gen-y actors. Having acted in 28 films in last 15 years, merely 3 Shahid Kapoor films i.e. Padmaavat (Ensemble Film), Jab We Met and Vivah proved to be clean hits. Among the other films, 8 of them were average grossers whereas 17 others were outright flops. Even in terms of Box-Office collections, the highest grossing film featuring Shahid Kapoor in lead is R…Rajkumar at Box-Office collections of merely Rs 66.10 crore (Padmaavat excluded for obvious reasons). While this might sound a bit bizarre, but even Shahid’s cousin, Ishan Khattar’s debut film Dhadak raked in collections in excess of Rs 70 crore in India and this should be a wake-up signal indeed!
It is extremely disappointing to see an actor as talented as Shahid Kapoor consistently getting his hands on below par subjects which isn’t translating into the numbers. His recent release, Batti Gul Meter Chalu has also failed to fare well in India thereby adding on to the list of unsuccessful films. Shahid Kapoor is still just 37 years old, and there is still a lot of time for him to rethink his strategy and optimise the stardom. In an era when content films are performing well at the ticket window, Shahid can well consult a person with good sense of business and take up subjects that are commercially viable with universal appeal. All that Shahid Kapoor should do is make sure that his films are padded with the right elements like good trailer, music, scale and star-cast.
There have been stars who have made comeback at the age of 40 or even 45, there is still a lot of time for Shahid Kapoor to ensure that his acting talent reaches out to a vast section of audience in India and get the desired appreciation. The fan following is there, especially among the females, but it is about time the actor signs on for something that excites one and all to visit the cinema hall. Not just the audience, but Shahid Kapoor – The Actor also deserves a lot better. And well, even the film critics deserve chance to conclude their review with a sentence apart from “Shahid Kapoor Shines, But The Film Doesn’t.”