MY FRIEND PINTO-A critical affair for Prateik

In the times when Imran Khan has notched four successes in a row and Ranbir Kapoor is sitting on a potential superhit with ROCKSTAR round the corner, it is Prateik who could well be biting his nails in anxiety. Once touted to be hot-n-happening with a film each with Aamir Khan, Prakash Jha and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Prateik would be hoping that MY FRIEND PINTO manages to bail him out.

'DHOBI GHAT was an art house affair and featured him in an unconventional role of an aspiring actor who worked as a dhobi. He still managed some appreciation for the movie but neither DUM MAARO DUM nor AARAKSHAN utilised him well,' says an industry insider.

In Rohan Sippy directed DUM MAARO DUM, not many warmed up to Prateik's teenage characterisation that required him to strut around in half pants, something that couldn't be expected to add much to his leading hero dreams. Later in AARAKSHAN he clearly found himself sidelined, what with even Saif Ali Khan making way for Amitabh Bachchan to demonstrate histrionics. With MY FRIEND PINTO getting delayed despite a name like Sanjay Leela Bhansali involved, Prateik has been required to wait for some good time before making his presence felt as a central protagonist.

A trade expert adds, 'If a youngster is told day in and night out that he is going to rock the show big time then that's unfair. He should just have been allowed to be himself without any pressure being put on him. Let's see if MY FRIEND PINTO manages to bring him back in the reckoning because it is pretty much akin to an acid test for Prateik if he has to enjoy a long innings ahead.'

One can well expect Prateik to be keeping his fingers crossed too. After all other than MY FRIEND PINTO, the only other film that he has in hand is EK DEEWANA THA which is the remake of Tamil hit VINNAITHAANDI VARUVAAYAA. The success of MY FRIEND PINTO could well decide how Prateik comes anywhere close to Ranbir and Imran when it comes to making a mark in the B-town.