I would have said Shahid Kapoor is a hugely underrated actor if he didn’t think himself to be so good. If you have seen him in his webseries Farzi , you would know Shahid is constantly evolving as an actor
He has it all: the pedigree(his father, for those who came in late, is the great Pankaj Kapoor), the hits(his first film Kabir Singh was a smash, as were several others notably Vivah, Jab We Met , Udta Punjab and Kabir Singh) the clean controversy-free image.
I don’t know why he agreed to do Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Bajirao Mastani knowing fully well that Ranveer Singh had the author-backed role. Not a single shot was cut: Shahid’s role in Padmaavat was exactly the way it was narrated to him.And yet he became progressively antsy about his co-star getting more publicity.
Just a few years earlier, Shahid was not the least afraid of taking the backseat, in Imitaz Ali’s Jab We Met where every move was about making Kareena Kapoor look awards-worthy. Where she was a loud boisterous attention seeker Shahid was quiet, meditative and wounded. I thought Shahid was far superior to Kareena in Jab We Met. Like Sanjeev Kumar when pitched against Suchitra Sen in Aandhi.
They stopped dating just when Jab we Met was complete. I met Shahid with Kareena for the first time when they were dating. They swished in one evening at the Mariott with warm smiles and selfies for everyone who asked. I found Shahid warm and chatty. He was obviously in love with Kareena and I thought they were for keeps. But then Kareena went shooting to Ladakh with Saif Ali Khan. They thought they would keep it quiet. But reports of Kareena-Saif’s mutual interest reached Shahid’s ears. He called off the relationship before she returned to Mumbai.
Whether it Priyanka Chopra or Kareena, Shahid was unlucky in love. Arranged marriage suits him. He a good husband and father. But as an actor he needs to stop being selfaware. He must stop doing those, ‘Look, you uneducated audience, look what I can do’ sequences in film after film.
Audiences don’t like showoffs.Whenever Shahid has curbed his tendency to be an attention-seeker has has excelled. Even in his much-lauded Haider Shahid was not playing out a Shakespearean tragedy but a Bollywood comedy: the comedy of showing the world what he is capable of.
We know what he is capable of. We’ve seen it in Kaminey where Shahid played the twins Charlie and Guddu as two separate individuals, separated by worth if not by birth. I haven’t seen anything like that from Shahid in recent times except in Jersey . That performance in Kabir Singh smacked of selfindulgence specially when Shahid soil yourself after getting stoned.
I hear Shahid was in two minds about that sequence.
From ‘To be or not to be’ in the desi Hamlet(Haider) to ‘To pee or not to pee’ in Kabir Singh…that’s a long way from home.