By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, Aug 22 (IANS) It's all about Shahid Kapoor these days. His portrayal of the morally-incompatible twins - the ruffian with the endearing lisp and the simpleton who stammers - in "Kaminey" has catapulted the chocolate hero into an A-lister and audiences can't stop raving.
And just so we don't forget the romantic hero, promos of his forthcoming "Dil Bole Hadippa" are all over the place.
Six years after his debut in "Ishq Vishk", Shahid has finally got his due.
"Shahid is one of the most promising actors on the block. With 'Vivaah' and 'Jab We Met' he established himself as a very good actor and a star. Now with 'Kaminey', he is in the A-league; he is definitely someone who will compete for the number one throne at a later date," Meena Iyer, national Bollywood editor, The Times of India, told IANS.
"This is the most exciting phase of Shahid's career. He has good work coming in 'Dil Bole Hadippa', Ken Ghosh's tentatively titled 'Yahoo' and the new Parmeet Sethi film. If he chooses his future assignments with care, he will always be in a comfortable position," she said.
"He has age on his side and the fact that he is a super-duper dancer and competent actor makes him a good bet for a reigning Hindi film hero," she added.
Shahid wowed critics and fans alike with his portrayal of the shy groom in "Vivaah" and as the intense business tycoon in "Jab We Met". But nothing has worked for him quite like Vishal Bharadwaj's "Kaminey", the dark thriller about gangsters, rebel soldiers, rogue politicians and crooked cops.
The Charlie-Guddu roles have shattered the conception that he was just the romantic. And critics believe the 28-year-old son of seasoned actor Pankaj Kapoor has made it to the big league.
"Shahid is going to be the next big thing...he has arrived. From a good-looking boy and a romantic hero, he has graduated to a star," said film critic Omar Quereshi.
Added another noted film critic, Anupama Chopra: "This is the role - or roles - of a lifetime and Shahid Kapoor, best known for innocuous chocolate-boy romances, sinks his teeth into it. 'Kaminey' does for him what 'Omkara' did for Saif Ali Khan. A star has evolved into an actor."
The star is taking the accolades in his stride.
"Yes, various tags have been given to me since the success of 'Kaminey'. And I am very happy to hear them, but the most important thing is to keep doing good work and surprising the audience every now and then. That to me is the biggest reward," Shahid told IANS.
"I can never be like my father (in terms of acting)...he is way beyond anyone to be like him. I don't even have any aspirations to be like him because I know that's not happening. I just hope whenever my father sees my films, he likes my work," Shahid said.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)