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Review: 'Shehzada' works in parts owing to Kartik Aaryan's affable goofiness & signature comic timing

Shehzada has Kartik Aaryan, director Rohit Dhawan and the entire team being as earnest as they can be.

Published: Friday,Feb 17, 2023 09:27 AM GMT-07:00
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Shehzada

Shehzada

Remakes are always under more scrutiny than usual but that is multipled when the original has managed to become a success in the dubbed language and reached an array of homes. Shehzada, a remake of the Allu Arjun blockbuster Ala Vaikunthapuramaloo had high stakes, skepticism and worry attached to it because of the aforementioned factor. Does that become a concern or does Shehzada stand on its own? Having had the chance to see the film, here is what I thought about it-


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Kartik Aaryan in his element

Kartik Aaryan in his element

Inspite of delivering one mega success after another, there continues to be a sense of doubt and criticism attached to Kartik Aaryan. But after giving Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, hopes have been pinned on Shehzada more than ever. 

One thing you cannot take away from Kartik is his earnestness. The man is in his comfort zone yet again mainly because of his impeccable comic timing. The absurdity and self-aware humor with some outlandish lines land almost everytime only because of Kartik's charm and affability. His goofiness only adds to the fun where one of his scenes with Rajpal Yadav is one of the most hilarious scenes of the film. As an action performer, there is a lot of work to be done but this is a good start.

Patent Tropes & Underwhelming Sequences

Patent Tropes & Underwhelming Sequences

In a commercial masala film, there is little room to rise above the tropes and while the film tries its level best to not let that happen, it does happen. This factor worked wonders in Ala Vaikunthapuramaloo mainly because of the conviction with which they are executed. 

In Shehzada, it was so fantastic to see an actor like Sunny Hinduja get centre stage as the bad guy but the talented man doesn't get much to do and is limited to the patent and underwhelming 'bad guy' traits. You want to feel that he is menacing but that never happens owing to poor characterisation.

Self-aware Humor & High Stakes

Self-aware Humor & High Stakes

Kartik might not have the inherent swagger of Allu Arjun or the effortlessness with which the superstar pulls off action but the one thing that Kartik has at his disposal is humor. As mentioned above, being the leading man, his self-aware comical lines and a sense of everyman relatability is what makes this film rise above the thin plot. The stakes of Shehzada are higher and by design. While they might seem to be tarnishing the film in a few moments especially in the beginning, fortunately it rises above the same as the film goes on.

The Comparisons Will Hold But Need to Rise Above it

The Comparisons Will Hold But Need to Rise Above it

When there are remakes and adaptations in question, the comparison is inevitable. And more than Kartik Aaryan and Allu Arjun's comparison actually, I really missed Tabu's presence where Manisha Koirala couldn't add much as her replacement in this Hindi remake.

Kriti Sanon, as anticipated doesn't get much to do but that is not to fault much where she atleast gets a much better arc and room for performance than Pooja Hegde did in the original. Mostly, the actor looks gorgeous and her screen presence was never in question.

One of the most relieving things that Shehzada thankfully did not adapt from Ala Vaikunthapuramaloo was the array of scenes where objectification was done at the expense of humor. Ala Vaikunthapuramaloo was in no way a perfect film and actually had several problematic aspects more than the remake but it worked because of the leading man's sheer screen presence, the chartbuster song, Butta Bomma and of course, some innovative action.

Shehzada acts as a mixed bag where some parts work wonders while some feel underwhelming.

The Verdict

The Verdict

Shehzada has Kartik Aaryan, director Rohit Dhawan and the entire team being as earnest as they can be. Thus making sure there are enough whistleworthy moments to enjoy, some rousing background score and some old school fun but there are gaps and the inevitable comparison to the original material and the fact that the original is a satellite mega hit in Hindi dubbed version might hurt the film's impact and chances.

Rating - *** (3/5)


Kriti Sanon Kartik Aaryan Rohit Dhawan Shehzada 


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