Yeh Dillagi, Khiladi, Hera Pheri, Housefull, Airlift, the list just goes on… Not only has Akshay Kumar given Bollywood some of its most fabulous work in the past three decades but has also become the best example of an outsider who has established himself as a superstar. And even though movie buffs usually credit Shah Rukh Khan with that tag, I think Akshay Kumar deserves it much more than him. On the Toilet: Ek Prem Katha actor’s 50th birthday, here’s why this A-lister deserves a lot more attention than he is getting.
Debuting with Abbas-Mustan’s Khiladi, Akshay established himself as action star in his early years. Being a black belt in Taekwondo, what could one expect? But soon enough, he broke out of this action hero image and started essaying negative roles like the ones in Khiladi 420 and Ajnabee among others. He also had a huge hit in the form of Yash Chopra’s Dil Toh Pagal Hai as a supporting romantic actor. But here’s where the story got interesting. Even after completing almost a decade in the industry, Akshay had more surprises to offer. In 2000, came Hera Pheri and Akshay proved yet again that there was no genre he couldn’t nail. Bollywood then saw a string of Akshay Kumar’s superhit comedies such as Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, Garam Masala, Deewane Huye Pagal, Phir Hera Pheri and the Housefull franchise.
Cut to 2017, there is no role I can’t imagine Akshay doing. Be it the madly-in-love lover boy Arjun in Namastey London, the responsible Indian in Airlift or Rustom, or of course, the mischievous punk Raju in Hera Pheri. Akshay may not have the fan following as crazy as a Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan, but he has carved a niche for himself. His films are working– at the box office and with the critics– that too, for all the right reasons. And that is what matters in the end. Be it Jolly LLB 2 or Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, this A-lister already has two films in the 100 crore club and both of them have managed to get rave reviews from all of the top critics. Well, not to mention, this is the same time when we are also witnessing the miserable failure of SRK’s Jab Harry Met Sejal and Salman’s Tubelight.
So what is it? Is Akshay choosing the right scripts? Or is he playing the perfect characters? Whatever it may be, there is no doubt that Akshay is doing a fabulous job and I wish he continues to do the same in the future. Because now his stardom has reached the point where he can even back strong content-driven films like Naam Shabana, Special 26, Airlift and Rustom.
Akshay may not be a Khan, but he is the one and only AKSHAY KUMAR of Bollywood and nobody is even close to replacing him in the industry. Majorly, because his work speaks for itself. He will next be seen in the Twinkle Khanna produced Padman, a film based on the life of entrepreneur Arunachalam Muruganantham. Another exceptional piece of work that I am eagerly waiting for!
Here’s wishing the 50-year-old a very happy birthday!