So you have almost every superstar of the film industry playing a cop onscreen right from Salman Khan to Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Dutt to Akshay Kumar. So much so that even the story writers are incessantly wracking their brains over what more can be dug out of a mere cop drama. And filmmaker Rajkumar Santoshi concocts that very innovative twist that one needed with Phata Poster Nikhla Hero (PPNH). But does it work? We tell you...
Vishwas Rao (Shahid Kapoor) dreams of being a superstar while his mother (Padmini Kolhapure), a rickshaw driver, wants him to be a cop. He moves to Mumbai to pursue his dream, lying to her that he is going for the training for becoming a police inspector but circumstances push to act up as a fake cop instead. How he gets embroiled into acting like a cop even though he is not, incident after incident is what follows through a series of humorous episodes.
Comedy king Rajkumar Santoshi who last made the roaring success Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani in 2009 comes back with a very interesting concept of role reversal from real to reel to reel to real and surprisingly also puts together enjoyable twists and turns but sadly, just when you think it gets better the film takes a sharp accidental turn and you start wondering if the filmmaker got struck by a hammer on head and caught amnesia to forget what actually he went out to make.
Right from the promos to the loud "set"- tish backdrops to even the fonts that Santoshi uses in PPNH remind you clearly of Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani and while the first half turns out to be quite entertaining courtesy humorous gags complemented well by decent performances, the second slips conveniently into the cliched zone, that too of the '80s and follows it up with a highly Ajab Ghazab-isq climax.
So you have the melodramatic mother-son angle, the reunion of father-son separated for eons, the sudden change of hearts and more, clearly out of the '80s over-dramatic movies that bore you to death and make you wish the feel reel would just face a catastrophic accident and get burnt on the rest of the run time. Sadly, it doesn't and you are all but left to watch the cliched tamasha just go on from plain insipid to pure lunatic.
What's worse, there are innumerous songs spurting within scenes, out of focus shots and jump cuts that really put a question on the makers command over edit and production quality.
Shahid Kapoor who last appeared in the lackluster Teri Meri Kahaani comes back strong and really works on his acting. His efforts can be seen as he pulls off a range of emotions right from serious to dramatic to even comic.
His lead actress Ileana D'Cruz who last appeared in Barfi plays a social worker in the film and Shahid's love interest. A superstar from South, Ileana appears comfortable and in her zone in this potboiler for her experience of South masala capers comes to fore here.
Padmini Kolhapure as the over melodramatic mother within her space tries really hard to stay true to her character but it's the faulty character-sketch that makes her act appear annoying. Sanjay Mishra as Vishwas' Guru, Darshan Jariwala as ACP Khare, Mukesh Tiwari as the separated father turned baddie Napolean and Saurabh Shukla as Gundappa are all made to ham to extremes in a bid to bring out some humour but sadly it all falls flat.
Two highlights of the film that make the film a worthy watch are Salman Khan's cameo and Shahid Kapoor's sequence when he has to showcase his acting skills by playing a baddie.
Phata Poster Nikhla Hero in short has funny elements but very few and far in between. The rest of the film is plain head-breaking bore.