Born in 1981, Shahid Kapoor started his film career with Ishq Vishk (2003) which earned him a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut. To date, he has appeared in 21 films. His latest, Phata Poster Nikla Hero, is scheduled to be released on 20 September 2013.
If you are new to Bollywood, here are five films starring Shahid Kapoor which highlight a wide range of performance styles and show why he has been dubbed "Bollywood's Prince Charming".
1. Vivah (2006)
About the title: "Vivah" translates to english as "Marriage"
Description: (Romantic Drama) Prem Harischandra (Shahid Kapoor) and Poonam "Bitto" Kant (Amrita Rao) agree to an arranged marriage. Six months fly by as they get to know each other and just when everything is set for them to get married a crisis puts their relationship through a trial by fire. "Vivah" is the tale of unconditional love.
Stand-out songs: The item number "Do Anjaane Ajnabi" does a great job of portraying the nervousness felt by Prem and Poonam as they meet for the first time. The song "Mujhe Haq Hai" ("I Have The Right") becomes an important theme in their relationship.
Why I love this movie: This is a tender film but offers some bold statements. It portrays an arranged marriage in a positive light and much of the time is spent on bringing the two amiable families together. There are no real good guys or bad guys in this film (though Poonam's aunt is bitter much of the time). While Shahid Kapoor's character is understated, Prem's strength during a time of crisis is unforgettable.
Recognition: The film was one of the biggest grossers of 2006 and was nominated for more than 15 awards.
2. Jab We Met (2007)
About the title: "When We Met"
Description: Depressed Mumbai-based businessman Aditya Kashyap (Shahid Kapoor) finds his life turned upside down when effervescent Geet Kaur Dhillon (Kareena Kapoor) crosses his path. Geet talks him into running with her - not to get married but to re-locate to where her true love Anshuman (Tarun Arora) lives, whom she hopes to marry.
Stand-out songs: The whole soundtrack, by Pritam Chakraborty with lyrics by Irshad Kamil, is a delight and worth owning. From the rowdy "Mauja Hi Mauja" and "Nagada Nagada" to the upbeat "Ye Ishq Hai", the traveling song "Aao Milo Chalo", the reflective "Aaoge Jab Tum" and the love song "Tum Se Hi", there is something for everyone.
Why I love this movie: From the opening of the first scene, you know you are in for a unique film experience. The characters are authentic and their interactions - and transformations - are a joy to watch. The songs are delightful and the story a great reminder of how each of us has the capacity to touch the life of another in a positive way.
Recognition: This film won or was nominated for a number of awards across-the-board. Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor: Won for Best Couple, Central European Bollywood Awards; Shahid Kapoor: Nominated for Filmfare Award for Best Actor; Nominated for International Indian Film Academy Awards; Nominated for Best Actor, Screen Awards; Nominated for Star of the Year (Male), Stardust and Zee Awards.
3. Kismat Konnection (2008)
About the title: "Fate Connection"
Description: After incredible success at university, Raj Malhotra (Shahid Kapoor) is still struggling to find that one chance to showcase his mettle. He stumbles upon a quirky oracle, Hasina Bano Jaan (Juhi Chawla) who advises him to find and keep a charm by him. To his surprise he discovers that charm to be a girl, Priya (Vidya Balan), who brings him success. But Raj's success comes at a cost to Priya.
Stand-out songs: "Aai Paapi" is an entertaining club tune that has a mixture of Hindi and English lyrics. The love song "Bakhuda Tumhi Ho" is uplifting and the item number beautifully moves the relationship between Raj and Priya to the next level.
Why I love this movie: This is a lightweight story, but the lead actors bring strength, passion, and believability to a magical story. Juhi Chawla and Boman Irani play rather off-beat roles with panache and it is a special treat to hear Shah Rukh Khan provide the introductory narration.
4. Kaminey (2009)
About the title: "The Scoundrels"
Description: (Crime caper thriller) Guddu and Charlie (Shahid Kapoor in a double role) are identical twins born and raised in the slums of Mumbai. One stammers and one lisps. Due to a tragedy in their past, they live separate lives. Faced with rogue politicians, drug dealers and crooked cops, they uncover a sinister plot laid out by the "political-police-underworld" nexus. Their stories finally converge to a point when they realize they only have each other.
Stand-out songs: The song that is most memorable is "Dhan Te Nan", sung by Sukhwinder Singh and Vishal Dadlani. It is a defiant, let-loose, get crazy tune with an addictive chorus, "Daa da daaaaaaa, da-da da-da! Daa da daaaaaaa, da-da da-da!"
Why I love this movie: Many critics compare this film to Pulp Fiction but make no mistake, this is no Tarantinoesque knock-off. While there are similarities, Kaminey has Bollywood spice in both story and style. Kaminey is a dark film - both in scenario and cinematography. All of the characters can be considered "bad guys" but just as Dante's Inferno has nine levels of hell, the plethora of bad guys in Kaminey exist on different levels of wickedness. When one level confonts another, chaos breaks out. For this reason, the climax is fierce and mesmerizing. It is a fascinating watch.
Recognition: Nominated, Filmfare Award for Best Actor
5. Teri Meri Kahaani (2012)
About the title: "Our Story"
Description: (Romance comedy drama) This story takes us through a journey of love between a couple (Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra) whose love is so strong that even destiny wants to bring them together. The joy of watching this film for the first time is to approach it without much more than that for an introduction.
Stand-out songs: This is a wonderful soundtrack that is stands on its own. From the nightclub song "Jabse Mere Dil Ko Uff" to the modern "Mukhtasar"; from the public love song "Humse Pyaar Kar Le Tu" to the private love song "Allah Jaane" which ends with Javed professing his love to Aradhana at the local mosque. The music was composed by Sajid-Wajid, with lyrics by Prasoon Joshi.
Why I love this movie: The way this story unfolds is what makes this film so fun to watch. The three stories seem separate, yet they are very much interconnected and eventually they entwine. The choice of costumes, set design and cinematography place each story beautifully in its unique time and place. Playing multiple roles in one film is a standard Bollywood technique yet Shahid Kapoor successfully gives his characters very different features and strengths; however, they all share the same confident, slightly abrasive, but deep down honorable traits of an bonafide hero.
Don't know which film to watch first? The following playlist features trailers for each of these films. Enjoy!
If you like this post, check out our other Friday Five lists of Bollywood films.