By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: There are two kinds of opinion in the film industry about Shahid Kapoor who turns 32 on February 25.
There are those who think Shahid Kapoor is easily one of the best star-actors in the post-Aamir Khan generation, and those who think he is screwed it up with his attitude.
But no one disputes Shahid’s talent.
One director whom Shahid has worked with in the past says, “You won’t come across a more dedicated actor. If Shahid has to perform an emotional scene, he will work on the tears till they flow spontaneously. But he is also overly opinionated and loath to take instructions from the director beyond a point. If he is unconvinced about a script or a scene, no power on earth would be able bring him around.”
Raj Kumar Santoshi’s latest film Phata Poster Nikla Hero is the first film Shahid signed without demanding a full script. He next goes into Prabhu Dheva’s Rambo Rajkumar where he needs to completely re-define his physique and body language to do his first full-fledged action role. Shahid would phase out his public appearances and will be seen very selectively until Santoshi’s and Prabhu Dheva’s films are ready. Until then he has decided to stay as much out of the limelight as possible.
Both Santoshi and Prabhu swear by Shahid’s versatility and want to work with him again.
Says Santoshi, “I always knew Shahid was extremely talented. Now when I’ve worked with him I am amazed at how versatile he really is. In my film he has to portray both dark and light shades. He handles both the comic and dramatic scenes with equal ease. His mother-son scenes with Padmini Kolhapure brought tears to my eyes. And he is so hands-on the sets it’s delight to work with an actor so focused on his work. I am definitely working with Shahid again.”
Prabhu Dheva feels there is a terrific action star hidden in Shahid. “We are starting the film in Gujarat on March 1 with a song. I like to begin shooting with a song. It makes the entire team happy and light-hearted. And Shahid is an amazing dancer….We will try to tap the action side of his personality in Rambo Rajkumar. This script is very much in the Rowdy Rathore space. But this time there is also a realistic flavour to the action. So the fights would be raw and real.”
The brilliant Bejoy Nambiar in whose next film Shahid apparently plays a psychologically disturbed character says, “I really like Shahid as an actor. Kaminey blew my mind.Actually so did bits of Fida. I feel he’s very versatile though he’s known mainly for his romantic roles.I feel there is a lot more potential in there.”
Producer Sheetal Talwar in whose Mausam Shahid was directed by his father Pankaj Kapoor feels the young Kapoor has huge untapped potential. Says Talwar, “He is every bit as talented and versatile as Ranbir and a far better dancer. But he is a lousy script chooser. He chose my fiasco Mausam, didn’t he?”