Review: 'Phata Poster Nikla Hero'
Let's get one thing straight. This isn't what you want to see a super-gifted filmmaker like Rajkumar Santoshi do when he gets together with a talented star-actor like Shahid Kapoor.
But what to do? Everyone wants a good laugh! It makes us forget about the troubles outside. Never mind the trouble that humour seems to encounter on screen each time someone makes a comedy.
To his credit, Santoshi deftly delivers the dynamics of drollery. No two ways about it. Unlike last week's lewd laughter in 'Grand Masti', 'Phata Poster Nikla Hero' (PPNH) avoids vulgarity like the plague.
Dirty word plague....sorry wordplay is firmly eschewed. What we get is an earthy robust over-accentuated tribute to Salman Khan's Chulbul Pandey act from 'Dabangg', with Shahid Kapoor stepping into the khaki uniform with the same wonky elan as our dear Chulbul Khan.
Shahid has confessed it is easy to play a Salman Khan fan. The young actor who has so far not revealed his comic chops and has in fact shown dramatic synergy to be his forte, pulls out all stops to play an imposter cop, a role that makes him a Chulbul Pandey twice-over because Salman's cop-act was underlined as a spoof in the first place.
So what we get in 'PPNH' is a khaki-clad clown impersonating a cop who is actually impersonating Salman Khan in 'Dabangg'.
Does that make sense? Even if it doesn't, it's just fine. Don't sweat over it. This is not one of Santoshi's seriously-intended films. For that, please refer to this wonderful director's 'Lajja' or 'Halla Bol'. And if you are looking for hardcore gut-spilling action, go to Santoshi's Deol-driven juggernauts 'Ghayal' and 'Ghatak'.
Come to think of it, 'PPNH' is not even an all-out zany comedy of errors like Santoshi's 'Andaz Apna Apna'. So what is it? After painful pondering over the over-punctuated parodic material in 'PPNH', I'd say it's a mongrelized mirth machine. A sort of 'Dabangg' mated with Santoshi's last very successful comedy 'Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani' which evidently taught Santoshi a lesson: farcical frivolity and lengthy titles translate into big bucks.