Abhishek Bachchan received a standing ovation at the IIFA awards at Singapore though his film "Yuva" got a mixed response.
Everyone agreed in one voice that the young Bachchan's performance as the small-time gangster from Bihar in Kolkata was simply stunning.
Thus, when Abhishek walked back from the front of the theatre with his parents after the screening Thursday, audiences stood up and gave him a standing ovation.
"Yes it's true," admitted Abhishek shyly on the phone from Singapore.
"The audience did get up and applaud for me. It was a completely unique experience for me, and one that I won't forget ever in my life."
Looking on proudly were director Mani Ratnam and his "Yuva" crew.
"Ayutha Ezhuthu", the Tamil version of "Yuva" was screened Friday evening. According to those who have seen both versions, the Tamil one is far more raw, violent and in-your-face.
A member of the "Yuva" cast observes: "Somewhere, Mani wanted to make the Hindi version of the story more accessible to viewers. He therefore softened the blow, so to speak, without blunting the impact of the story."
The Tamil version of "Yuva" has already been declared a hit in Tamil Nadu. The fate of the Hindi version is undecided.
A few Mumbai critics have given the Hindi version very cold reviews. One review of "Yuva", posted on a leading website Thursday after the film's screening in New York, has Mani Ratnam favourite Madhavan fuming.
"How can they review a film before it's out in the theatres? Isn't that unethical? We know how hard we've worked on the film," Madhavan said.
According to some reports, leading lights of the Bollywood film industry are sending SMSs to Mumbai from Singapore saying "Yuva" is a disaster.
"This is nothing but mafia mentality at work to keep Mani Ratnam out of Bollywood. How can anyone pass a verdict on the film after one screening?" wondered Madhavan.
Interestingly the same backlash from Bollywood's representatives had occurred after Sanjay Leela Bhansali's "Devdas" had been screened at Cannes two years ago.
Does Bollywood feel threatened by Mani Ratnam?
"Most certainly," asserts Madhavan. "Otherwise why try to write off such a brilliant work of art like 'Yuva'?"
Whatever the film's fate, it has done wonders for Abhishek Bachchan, whose villainous star-turn has audiences roaring all over the country.
A star has been born in Abhishek. But is Mani Ratnam going to be accepted in Bollywood after "Yuva"?