Phata Poster Nikhla Hero Movie Review by Taran Adarsh


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 later…

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 clichés 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.


  1. yakuza 9 years ago
  2. yakuza 9 years ago

    Looks like reviews are mixed .. but still movie will do decent at BO, may even surprise with Hit+ status. Audience is dying of entertainment and this is first after long gap of CE with full masala entertainment.

    • yakuza 9 years ago

      Moreover, Shahid seems enjoying doing his part .. he is looking so much fun for first time. Even Dabangg was average movie, but succeeded because of salman having fun.

  3. sputnik 9 years ago

    Phata Poster Nikhla Hero Movie Review by Rajeev Masand

    Rating: 2

    September 20, 2013

    Cast: Shahid Kapoor, Ileana D’cruz, Padmini Kolhapure, Saurabh Shukla, Darshan Jariwala, Sanjay Mishra, Zakir Hussain

    Director: Rajkumar Santoshi

    If you’re willing to set your expectations accordingly, there’s some fun to be had in the low-IQ comedy, Phata Poster Nikhla Hero, particularly in the film’s breezy first half. Shahid Kapoor stars as Vishwas Rao, a small-town fella who’s grown up nursing dreams of becoming a movie star. However, his autorickshaw-driver mum (Padmini Kolhapure) wants him to be an honest police officer instead. On the pretext of seeking admission in a police academy, Vishwaas moves to Mumbai and pursues his acting ambitions. But then he’s mistaken for a cop by an over-zealous social worker (a screechy Ileana D’cruz), and he’s forced to play along when his mum decides to visit.

    Shahid Kapoor, in very good form, delivers laughs fast and frequent, displaying an as-yet-unseen flair for physical comedy. He’s terrific in a scene where he shows up for recruitment in the police force, pretending to suffer from multiple birth ailments. I also particularly enjoyed a scene in which he loses his cool with a film director who turns him away coldly. There are some interesting characters too, like Saurabh Shukla’s Gundappa, a don who misses the good ol’ days when you could pay off cops and rest assured that they’d protect you. Sanjay Mishra gets some good lines as Jogi, an unsuccessful scriptwriter and patron saint of struggling actors.

    But writer-director Rajkumar Santoshi fails to stick with this cheerfully harebrained tone in the film’s second half, going instead for a sappy maa-beta emotional conflict, and a clunky subplot involving a mysterious villain who plans to blow up the city using biochemical bombs. The twists are predictable here, the climatic action scene recycled from Santoshi’s own Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, and even the ambition-throttling message of this movie is questionable.

    Look out for a scene-stealing cameo by Salman Khan, who mentions Santoshi’s Andaz Apna Apna which he’d starred in. This film has its moments, but it’s light years away from that gem.

    I’m going with two out of five for Phata Poster Nikhla Hero. It loses steam at the halfway mark when the laughs suddenly dry up.


  4. Author
    aryan 9 years ago

    Phata Poster Nikhla Hero Movie Review by Sukanya Verma

    Phata Poster Nikhla Hero is a cliched farce

    Regardless of Phata Poster Nikhla Hero’s uneven pace and indecisive disposition, Shahid Kapoor, armed with a kooky grin, gives it his best shot, claims Sukanya Verma.

    What it promises to be: A trippy comedy about a small town lad with starry-eyed aspirations who’s mistaken for a cop.

    More importantly: Said *hero* can do mean doggie dance.

    What you probably don’t know: Phata Poster Nikhla Hero is a period film; set in the 1980s, where Shahid Kapoor plays a role that Dharmendra could’ve shot in his sleep.

    Okay, so it’s not. But it could be.

    Because: It starts with our hero in school, followed by a mother-son bonding number, melodramatic flashbacks and mommies who land in intensive care wards on discovering their beta’s deceit.

    Bottom-line: Same old conflicts, same old emotionality — Mar gayi teri maa/Main bahut chhoti thi jab mere maa-baap guzar gaye.

    Or better still: Imagine a hodgepodge of Salman Khan’s vain, wannabe actor in Andaz Apna Apna, Dharmendra’s pretend cop in Naukar Biwi Ka and Akshay Kumar’s fake prosperity to please his village residing mom in Hera Pheri. Phate posters, recycled hero.

    You can spot early signs of trouble: When Shahid rips through a grinning Ranbir Kapoor poster to validate the movie’s title and jumps right into the mouth of action surrounded by, again, posters of the worst movies to be inflicted on mankind in recent times.

    What you are likely to remember is: Ranbir’s cutout (having the last laugh.)

    If you are a die-hard fan of Andaz Apna Apna like yours truly: Then you’ll find nothing campy about how writer/director Rajkumar Santoshi references his own creation in the most sloppy, unimaginative fashion.

    Besides the generic tossing of Haila/Ooimaas, many scenes smack of ‘Aap mahaan hai, gyaani hai’ while the confusing word play of ‘Tum jo ho woh tum nahi ho woh woh hai. Woh jo hai woh woh nahi hai tum ho’ becomes ‘Main police officer hoon magar nahi hoon aap ki nazar mein. Aap police commission hain magar nahi hain maa ki nazar mein.’

    Seriously, Santoshi sir: Mark kidhar hai?

    Looks like the lets-pay-tribute-to-myself bug has bitten the filmmaker too hard: Even his previous caper, Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani followed the absurd-is-amusing tone of cult classic, Andaz Apna Apna but succeeded to a large extent because of Ranbir’s fervour, Katrina’s candour, Pritam’s melodies, a relatively cohesive plot and zest in its wit.

    Too many cut-and-paste elements: There’s Darshan Jariwala (again), Mera bina tu looks like a Tu jaane naa knockoff, a cameo from the same star (neat shtick though) as previous film and a nearly identical climax.

    Even Crimemaster Gogo will agree that: PPNH tries too hard to impersonate both Andaz Apna Apna’s flaky sense of humour and Ajab Prem’s loony energy but cannot conceal its urge to include a dated brand of soppy sentiments.

    The upshot is a film with a multiple personality disorder.

    Main hero (in pain safety pin/in pin out) hoon: Regardless of the script’s uneven pace and indecisive disposition, Shahid, armed with a kooky grin, gives it his best shot. In some scenes, his vigour results in an overdone performance but in most places, especially dance sequences (Agal bagal, Dhating naach and a seductive pole dance), the star is in complete command.

    Zero support for the hero: Padmini Kolhapure, as his auto-rickshaw driving mother, has a meaty role but sticks out like a sore thumb in this crazy rollercoaster of silly and sober.

    Ileana D’Cruz, with whom I was wildly impressed in Barfi! is simply required to arch her eyebrows here. And, well, she doesn’t improvise.

    While Darshan Jariwala is uncharacteristically restrained; Mukesh Tiwai remains reliably growly whereas the chubby cheeked Zakir Hussain, Saurabh Shukla and Sanjay Mishra go for the mock approach in a film that cannot decide if it’s a comedy or a parody.

    It has its few moments: Occasionally, I half-smiled at the laboured silliness put forth by this clean but clichéd farce. Only the darn poster is, ultimately, too phata, purana for anything to come out of it except disillusionment.

    Rating: 2/5

  5. Author
    aryan 9 years ago

    Phata Poster Nikhla Hero & The Lunchbox Movie Review Video by Komal Nahta

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