Phata Poster Nikla Hero’s Sidekick

Pop Culture

Phata Poster Nikla Hero’s Sidekick

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

B

ack in 2014, Sahil Vaid ended up giving a whopping 16 auditions to play Poplu, one of the two sidekicks of Varun Dhawan’s Humpty in Shashank Khaitan’s charming Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, a modern-day update on Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge. Three years, after a 100-crore box-office hit, and unanimous appreciation from audiences and critics, Vaid reprised his role of the affable hero ka dost this March in the sequel, Badrinath Ki Dulhania. Except, the second time around, he had the role handed to him without any audition. He didn’t have to share sidekick duty with any other actor; this time around, he was the star.

As Somdev, the illiterate, lovelorn, and entitled Badri’s bestie, Vaid singularly infused warmth, impeccable comic-timing, and anguish into what could have easily been restricted to being a stock character, forcing the audience to sit up and take notice of his irrepressible talent yet again. And that too, in a film that boasted of a crackling chemistry between its two leads, Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt. Somdev is the guy who will not end up with the girl he loves, but yet we can’t help but root for him.

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