There’s no stopping the khiladi of Bollywood, Akshay Kumar. Especially not in 2016: The year of Akshay Kumar. After delivering back-to-back hits Airlift, Housefull 3, and Rustom, the actor has proved that he is not only the master of box office game, he has a sixth sense when it comes to picking up his scripts and films.
He mixes up slapstick (Housefull 3) with substance (Airlift) and then gives it a real life-meets-reel tadka (Rustom). And he has been doing it year after year, minus the awards but very much the box office numbers to show for his efforts.
The last time we saw this superstar dominating the box office this well was probably in the year 2007 when he delivered four hits — Namastey London, Heyy Babyy, Bhul Bhulaiya and Welcome. That was the year Akshay Kumar emerged as a force to reckon with, the only man who could battle it out with the Khans.
Just like Shah Rukh Khan, he is another ordinary boy from Delhi who made it big in Bollywood on the basis of his own talent and sheer hard work. But it doesn’t mean we forgive this boy from Chandni Chowk the excruciating venture called Chandni Chowk To China.
Here we decode the rise and rise of Akshay Kumar.
The boy-next-door with ordinary appearance and no godfather in Bollywood, this is not the perfect combination if you aim to reach the pinnacle of Bollywood stardom and Forbes’ highest paid actor list. Nevertheless, his big win proves that if you set your heart to achieve your dreams, nobody can stop you. Not ordinary appearance and not the lack of godfathers. And not every superstar romances on screen or tends to dance his way in after every 20 minutes of the film.
Take Airlift, for example. Akshay Kumar had little trace of the superstar swagger in the film. He plays a protagonist who feels fear, desperation and helplessness, and even in the action scenes he does not posture but reacts realistically when beaten up. Why? Because when you’re surrounded by soldiers who work under the orders of Saddam Hussein, the clever thing to do would be act as you’re told or get hit by a bullet. Logic. Something which often goes missing from Bollywood films.
“If nothing else, watch it to see what Akshay Kumar can do. After all these years, he’s proved himself to be a real khiladi,” said film critic Anupama Chopra after watching the film.
As the superstar turns 49 today, we can only hope he gives us more of this as the guy next door who knows he is capable of superhuman feats.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines