Smita Patil and Raj Babbar's son Prateik is taking a long introspective sabbatical from the public eye until his next release Isaaq, a North Indian take on Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet, which would be the actor's do-or-die bid to consolidate his precarious position as an eclipsed star son.
The decision, one hears, has been taken by the producers Viacom 18 who saw Isaaq and immediately decided to buy its worldwide distribution rights, apparently on condition that Prateik undertake an immediate crash course in career and image reinvention.
Another step in Prateik's career recuperation is his voice. A Hindi voice-coach Sushil Bouthiyal with a solid background as a theatre artiste at the National School Of Drama has been employed to modulate his voice-quality.
On a more personal level, his over-hyped relationship with his Ekk Deewana Tha co-star Amy Jackson has been thrown out of the window. Apparently, Prateik has been "strictly advised" to stay away from romantic involvements and focus on his career.
Commenting upon the developments, Isaaq director Manish Tiwary said: "I'd really not like to comment on whatever happened in Prateik's life and career. It's all in the past. And he is looking at a new career for himself. Hopefully, Isaaq will mark the rebirth of Prateik as an actor. He is working hard on himself, his voice, image, attitude everything."
Apparently Prakash Jha, in whose Aarakshan Prateik's performance was patently panned, saw rushes of Isaaq and was jolted by the difference.
Tiwary, who made Dil Dosti Etc in 2007, said: "May be Prakashji wasn't able to focus as much on Prateik's performance as I have. Aarakshan had a huge cast. In my film, Prateik is the solo hero. I had to work on him from scratch."
Set in the backdrop of Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh, Isaaq is an action drama.