Birthday Love: A glimpse at Farhan Akhtar’s greatest works


A fabulous director. A seasoned actor. A powerful singer. And overall, a star of huge stature. The multi-talented superstar Farhan Akhtar has over the years personified the industry that he operates in given his versatilities. Born into a film family, to the legendary lyricist Javed Akhtar and scriptwriter-actress Honey Irani, he was a late bloomer. But when he began, he created history, winning the International Indian Film Academy award for Best Screenplay for the film ‘Kya Kehna’ (2000).

As Akhtar celebrates his 47th birthday this week, looks back to some of his greatest works in Bollywood.

‘Dil Chahta Hai’ (2001) – Akhtar’s directorial debut attained a path breaking cult status, giving Bollywood a newer dimension of cinema, which was closer to realism. The film delved into the lives of urban people, their friendships and relationships. Akhtar proved his meticulous sense of characterisation and story, which went on to win a National Award for Best Feature Film. The film also fetched Akhtar personal awards in the Best Screenplay, Best Dialogue, and Best Story at various award ceremonies.

‘Rock On’ (2008) – Akhtar made his full acting debut with this film and instantly won millions of hearts with his heavy, husky voice of a rockstar. He left the audiences in awe of his stupendous performance and was praised for breaking new ground in terms of its subject matter. ‘Rock On’ brought Akhtar his second National Award and first Filmfare Award for Best Debut Actor.

‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ (2012) – This film about a light-hearted fun, all-boys road trip through Spain gives you a deep and heartfelt message on why we should live life by seizing the moment and following our hearts. The critically acclaimed blockbuster was praised for its storyline, direction, humour, music and performances. And Akhtar’s performance as happy go lucky poet Imran stood out amongst a stellar star- cast, winning him the Filmfare award for Best Supporting Actor as well as for Best Dialogues.

‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ (2013) – The biographical sports drama based on the life of former Commonwealth Champion athlete Milkha Singh saw Akhtar in the lead role. Critics praised the outstanding performance by Akhtar, describing him as the hook that keeps you latched throughout the film. Even Bollywood superstars Hrithik Roshan and Amitabh Bachchan hailed Akhtar’s portrayal of the veteran Olympian “phenomenal” and “too emotionally and creatively moving to put anything down in words.” The film went on to win all the awards it was nominated for at both the Filmfare and IIFA awards including Best Actor for Farhan Akhtar.

‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ (2015) – This comedy-drama starring Ranveer Singh, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Anushka Sharma and Anil Kapoor saw Akhtar not only play a leading role, but also produce it alongside Ritesh Sidhwani. The entertaining, escapist film with deep thought-provoking underlying storylines was praised for its big dramatic scenes, scenic beauty, loads of romance, and of course, the brilliant cast ensemble. Akhtar is particularly remembered for his scene in which he has a subtle argument with Rahul Bose’s character who played Chopra Jonas’ husband in the movie. The scene had Bose’s character saying that he has ‘allowed’ Aisha played by Chopra Jonas to work even after their marriage despite no women in their family working after they were married. Akhtar points him out that if he has allowed his wife to work after their marriage, that itself means that he has put himself in an authority to vent out his superiority against the other person. The scene takes an excellent jibe against the patriarchal mindset which is still prevalent in society. ‘Dil Dhadakne Do’ went on to accumulate over Rs. 160 crore, making it one of the biggest hits of the year.

Farhan Akhtar will be next seen in ‘Toofan’ – an upcoming Hindi sports film directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra in which Akhtar portrays the role of a national level boxer.

We would like to wish the actor a very happy birthday.

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