In Part I, we explored how Shahid Kapoor started on a winning note, only to find himself in a not-so-comfortable zone for a few years to come before mild success of 36 China Town and Chup Chup Ke brought him back in the reckoning. In Part II, we look at how Shahid started making fewer, but better choices, with quite a few good films resulting in a huge turnaround for his career.
Barjatyas comes as saviour
This is when the audience, industry as well as the trade was surprised twice – First when Shahid was signed by Sooraj Barjatya for Vivah and later when the film turned out to be a massive success. Not many were sure whether Shahid would fit in well into the Barjatya household. After all he comes with quintessential Mumbai sensibilities whereas stepping into the world created by Barjatyas could well have been an alien outing for Shahid. Even otherwise the film was released sans any fanfare or promotion. Moreover in true Barjatya tradition, the film saw a selective release for itself instead of having an eye for that ‘opening weekend’.
However the film, which incidentally brought him yet again with Amrita Rao, sustained at the box office, and how. The film may not have created roars in a Delhi or a Mumbai but in the interiors of the country and the heartland, its success stays on to be a barometer for many a film to come. The film chugged along merrily for months in succession, hence turning out to be the biggest ever success in Shahid’s career.
In the interim period he also did Fool N Final with friend Ahmed Khan. However this ‘desi’ version of Snatch was hardly amusing and found even lesser audience than Deewane Huye Paagal. Just like Dil Maange More and Vaah! Life Ho To Aisi, even Fool N Final stays on to be one of the least known films in Shahid’s career. However he wouldn’t mind that since immediately after that arrived Jab We Met, a film that changed his standing in the industry forever.
The most seen film ever
If Rehna Hai Terre Dil Mein held the record of being one of the most seen films of all times on TV for over half a decade, Jab We Met has comfortably broken that record in last four years. Ever since the release of the film, this Shahid Kapoor-Kareena Kapoor starrer practically arrives on TV at least once a week (sometimes even more). When released theatrically too it was a good success as it opened well, found great appreciation coming its way, encountered a setback with Om Shanti Om spoiling the party, only to rise like a phoenix once craze settled down for the Shah Rukh Khan starrer.
Not just did the film run well in parallel with a biggie like Om Shanti Om, it also found a hit tag for itself and then found its way into the living room of audience by means of satellite re-runs as well as home videos. Ironically this film also marked the announcement of his break up with Kareena. While personally this was anyways a setback huge enough, even professionally this brought an end to an association that had lasted from Fida, 36 China Town, Chup Chup Ke and now Jab We Met.
Wait, there is more. They also did Milenge Milenge together which, despite a delay of over half a decade, ultimately ended up being in the green and earned profits for all involved. However as things stand today, this association is over and done for good.
The big turnaround
This was also the time when one thought that Shahid would now get into a romantic groove for good. After all, Jab We Met and Vivah were both romantic flicks and with Shahid having experimented enough early in his career, the stage was indeed set for him to play safe. The result was Kaminey, a film which was also special since it was the immediate directorial outing for Vishal Bhardwaj after Omkara.
With Shahid playing the first double role (and the only so far) of his career, the film was one of the most awaited till its release. Its songs had turned chartbusters, a personal liaison with co-actor Priyanka Chopra was much talked about as well and in general Kaminey remained in news for months in succession. Result? The film saw best box office opening ever of Shahid Kapoor’s career. It also stays on to be his highest grosser till date and though high production costs meant that Kaminey couldn’t be declared as an outright hit, from audience perspective it is one of the best runners till date for Shahid.
This was also the film that brought him seriously closer to the Top-5 rung of actors. Though the four Khans (Aamir, Salman, Shah Rukh, Saif) were doing good for themselves and Akshay Kumar as well as Hrithik Roshan were no pushovers either, Shahid was in strong contention for sure. It was all a matter of getting a couple of more big hits and the announcement of game, set and match wasn’t really far away.
To be continued in (concluding) Part 3