Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

September 20, 2013

Cop out

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:45 pm

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.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. I wonder as to who decides the definition of entertainment? What’s ur rating for chennai express? U give two stars for this movie? It’s high time that one should get in to the shoes of Aam Admi instead of a technocrat movie critic!!

    Comment by Anju — September 21, 2013 @ 12:01 am

  2. @Anju

    A review by each critic is a personal opinion of what He/She felt of the movie. Each ‘Aam Admi’ should find a critic whose taste matches with the critic and stick with them. As long as the though process of the said critic is consistent over time. Also, ‘Stars’ are for those impatient people seeking instant validation of movie who are too lazy to read the entire review. ‘Stars’ are not to be taken too seriously.

    Comment by Rakesh — September 21, 2013 @ 3:31 am

  3. Compltly against ths review system…abslutely no need of it…let people decide wht is gud or bad….sumpeoples giving evrthng in their project….and ths critics

    Comment by Sarang — September 21, 2013 @ 4:42 am

  4. @Anu: The movie choices varies person-to-person. If you like quality cinema then trust the reviews posted here. Or else Bodyguard is a good movie to watch . There is a thin line between entertainment, comedy and mindlessness btw. No offence here.

    Comment by Shashank Maurya — September 21, 2013 @ 8:17 am

  5. Seriously what’s wrong wid you these days…! I guess U too have become like other critics. If its a Shahrukh Khan movie you will add 1 or 2 stars to what it deserves.! I mean u gave Chennai Express 2 stars too..! And this movie is “Light Years better than that movie” in your language…! You gave Shudh Desi Romance (crap of a movie) 3.5 stars. I was shocked. Y?because its a Yash Raj Films…! Nyways don’t know about other films this movie surely had everything i.e. #Comedy #Entertainment #Action #GoodMusic..! These days its really rare to find a #CompleteFamilyEntertainer..! And this was a perfect Example…! #PhataPosterNiklaHero definately deserves 3* if nt more. !! #ShahidKapoor the main lead too was almost #Flawless in the Movie…! So for every1 who wants to enjoy with their family and be entertained shoudnt miss this movie #PPNH

    Comment by Raghav Rungta — September 21, 2013 @ 11:06 am

  6. @anju :No offence .. But chennai express was utter bullshit.. And rajeev masand was right abut it

    Comment by shamil — September 21, 2013 @ 12:48 pm

  7. Don’t listen to them Mr. Masand. This is exactly why we love you as a critic, hard hitting, non-populist movie reviews.

    Comment by Mike — September 21, 2013 @ 4:06 pm

  8. I agree with Mr. Critic….
    Dis film shd name ‘phata poster nikla zero’…a biggg zero fr dis ….don’t waste ur money and time go fr ‘the lunchbox’

    Comment by Shishir — September 21, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

  9. Thanks R.M for watching such crap movies so that i dont have to.
    And raju ….take chill pill yar from Chennai exp to ppnh all these types of
    Rubbish comic movies should burn.

    Comment by lalitbhanage — September 21, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

  10. Rajeev sir is correct for both Phata Poster Nikla Hero and Chennai Express!

    Comment by Akash Deshpande — September 21, 2013 @ 8:38 pm

  11. PPNH is a neat and clean family entetainer that deserves to have an audience for itself solely becasuse of its unpretentious approach of being a wholesome commercial movie. It is not targetted at pseudo intellectuals who rundown any movie having a conventional and formulaic setup. Why can’t we accept the fact that hardcore escapist films too have a soul. Such films infact cater to those segments of the population whose only source of leisure is probably movies. In that respect this film fits the bill well. Besides one gets to see Shahid Kapoor in top form.

    Rajeev sir our opinions may differ regarding a particular film but we share a common motive of helping people choose what to watch and what to skip at the movies each week.

    People who want another perspective on the movie PPNH can read my review at ishanrekhi.blogspot.in

    Comment by ishan rekhi — September 24, 2013 @ 11:43 am

  12. should have been given 3 stars, it’s an clean family comedy movie, shahid kapoor was awesome in it, 2nd half dipped a bit but climax was fun to watch & if a movie like grand masti could make so much money, this one should most definitely make loads of money, watch it for clean & worthfull idiotic laughter.

    Comment by Sankalp — September 25, 2013 @ 11:34 pm

  13. Bakwaas movie… Ppl are comparing it to Chennai express, which was far more original and enjoyable than PPNH… It doesn’t even deserve 2 stars…

    Comment by V. PRASAD — September 27, 2013 @ 1:07 am

  14. I don’t understand why people who hate reviewers come here, read the review and then criticize the reviewer? Isn’t that utter stupidity? If you people don’t believe in reviews then fine, go and watch whichever movie you want. Many people can’t afford to spend money on crap movies and Masand is almost always right when it comes to reviews. People who criticize Masand should stop visiting this website let alone blame him in the comments.

    Comment by Arjun Krishnamurthy — September 28, 2013 @ 12:48 am

  15. Nice acting by Shahid Kapoor after long time. Even though i expected a full bakwaas movie but matured direction and comic scenes proved me wrong. first half is above average building a nice rapport but unfortunately in second half mixing of serious scences.with comic liners is like disrespect to audience. Nice acting by Padmini kolhapure too. I would recommend 3 stars

    Comment by nikhil — September 29, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

  16. I really felt for Shahid; he hasn’t really grown up. He’s 31 now and should know that his youthful brattish magic that worked on girls in Ishq Vishq and some older college movies does not fly any more. Any grown up man who has to act like a wannabe Alpha male stud needs help. A 31-year old man is supposed to act like one; Shahid, are you reading this?

    Comment by Sahil — November 7, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

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