A day before the release of Firangi, director Farah Khan received an invitation to attend a screening of the film. What followed next was an angry post on her Twitter account where, without mincing her words, she referred the makers of Firangi as ‘mannerless people’. Her ire was directed at the fact that she was extended a general invitation, which was meant for all, and the makers didn’t even have the courtesy to extend her an invite through a personal call. It is not taxing at all to figure out whom she was referring to: Kapil Sharma has done it again.

The verdict on the film is now out from both critics and at the box office pundits — one thing is certain; it would be hard for Kapil Sharma’s Firangi to survive even a week at the box office.

Kapil Sharma in a still from Firangi.

The flak that this excruciatingly long and painful film has received at the box office might just force Kapil Sharma to rethink his future moves. There is nothing working in favour of the funnyman. First it was his debut film Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon, which suffered a rejection at the box office and now it’s the turn of Firangi, his second offering. It can now be said that Kapil’s celluloid dream hangs in balance. While he has been deceived by his reel efforts, his real life antics too have jeopardised his future.

The dismal failure of Firangi should be eye opener to Kapil Sharma. Apart from a paper thin script, what really has contributed to the abject rejection of Kapil Sharma — whose fan following could be a matter of envy for any film star — is his waning popularity. Retrospection would reveal that it all started with his debut film. It was a phase when Kapil decided to extend his popularity from the realm of television to cinema (call it overconfidence or false notions about his acting abilities?).

The schmoozing and the bonhomie he received from stars were wrongly interpreted. Stars swarmed at his show only because it guaranteed good eyeballs and a good promotion of their films. This proved true when no one from the fraternity came in his support after he got embroiled in a controversy with one of his colleagues from the show, Sunil Grover, or when he extended an invitation to stars for the screening of Firangi.

Worst was to follow soon. There also came a phase when he started making stars wait for hours on his set. The feeling that ‘stars needed him more’ enveloped his mindset. A-list stars including Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn and John Abraham got a taste of Kapil’s ‘stardom’ when they were made to wait for hours at his set. There were also occasions when stars, simply unable to bear the extremely unprofessional attitude of the popular TV star, found it prudent to boycott the show. His battle with alcohol too made news.

Kapil Sharma. Getty Images

Kapil Sharma. Getty Images

But one that almost sealed his declining fate was his mid-air fracas with his colleague Sunil Grover. The curiosity with which the entire episode was reported made a major dent in the brand image that was Kapil Sharma. There couldn’t have been better masala for entertainment portals giving a blow-by-blow account of how Kapil, under the influence of alcohol, hurled his shoe at Sunil Grover in a moving plane.

Here’s my theory: Kapil remains unaware of the fact that the chasm between reality and fiction is growing with every passing day. The immense popularity he enjoyed when his show ruled the charts, also forced him to think that he could act. He completely shrugged the fact that he was part of a popular show where he was just the anchor. Lines got blurred for him and he conveniently forgot the fact that a TV show and films cannot be equated with each other.

Kapil’s case is a classic one of a man becoming too large for his boots. Amidst his stardom, he forgot what being modest means and the potential it carries. Truth be told, his show reeked of sexism and misogyny. One only hopes he mends his ways and gets back to doing what he is best known for: making us laugh.


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