BizAsia Birthday Special: Akshay Kumar’s defining films
If there is one actor in Bollywood who keeps on coming back for more, it has to be Akshay Kumar. His longevity in the industry is astounding and each year Kumar continues to release film after film to entertain the masses. Whether he is playing the action hero, the romantic hero or the hero standing up for the few, Kumar does this with ease and excellence. As we approach Kumar�۪s birthday, BizAsia looks back on five of his films which have acted as turning points in his career.
��Yeh Dillagi�۪ (1994)
��Yeh Dillagi�۪ was the film which set up Akshay Kumar for his future in Bollywood as a romantic hero. In this film, Kumar played Vijay Saigal, the heir to Saigal Industries and he was characterised as the serious elder brother who tried to do right by his family. In contrast his younger brother Vicky (Saif Ali Khan) was known for his antics chasing after women, much to the despair of his family. Vijay is the responsible brother who tries to protect his younger brother and after a consequence of events, falls for the same girl as Vicky. The film was simply told and had some memorable moments where Kumar acted as the sensitive man in love who also trying to keep his family together.
��Main Khiladi Tu Anari�۪ (1994)
This film set up Kumar for his future as a romantic action hero. In ��Main Khiladi Tu Anari�۪, Kumar played a respectable police inspector Karan Joglekar who wants to fight injustice and avenge his brother�۪s death. The key witness in his brother�۪s case Mona (Shilpa Shetty) is put under Karan�۪s protection who unfortunately ends up being killed. The film was full of action scenes and had some great moments where Kumar partnered up Saif Ali Khan�۪s character Deepak. After this film, Kumar went on to take on many roles playing police officers and army men.
��Hera Pheri�۪ (2000)
��Hera Pheri�۪ is one of the most comedic films in Bollywood and Kumar formed one of the three people in the film who made it so. In the film, Raju (Kumar) is a tenant of Babu Bhaiyya (Paresh Rawal) and Raju is a swindler who does not believe in hard work and has not paid his rent for many months. In return, Babu Bhaiyya is has long running debt and is constantly in battle with money lenders. The film did have some fantastic capers with Kumar�۪s instigating a lot of them throughout the film.
Where beautifully told love stories sit, ��Dhadkan�۪ is definitely one of the most memorable films. Kumar played Ram, a wealthy businessman who lives with his stepmother and sister and is desperate for them to accept him as their own. He ends up getting into an arranged marriage to Anjali (Shilpa Shetty) who is in love with Dev (Sunil Shetty) but he is not worthy enough to marry her because he is poor. Kumar acted out Ram�۪s character with finesse and scenes where he is constantly rejected by his family and his family were uncomfortable to watch.
��Garam Masala�۪ (2005)
When you have a career in Bollywood as long as Kumar has had, it is hard to keep maintaining that edge and coming back with a fresher image. Kumar is a chameleon as he has been forever change and ��Garam Masala�۪ is just one of many examples of that change. ��Garam Masala�۪ was a romantic comedy but it refreshed Kumar�۪s image into a fun loving playboy. In this film Kumar played Makrand aka Mac who alongside his friend Shyam aka Sam (John Abraham) are photographers who take a personal interest in their models. Mac, despite being engaged, continues to chase after other women and later ends up with three women on the go.
Kumar is ever evolving and has proven himself to be an ever enduring actor. He has been a part of the Bollywood industry for over a decade and continues to be a valuable asset. We wish him all the best for the coming year and a very happy birthday from the BizAsia team.