Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy Birthday to AKSHAY KUMAR!

I realize that nobody is interested in reading a ten page essay on how much I love Akshay Kumar,* so I'll keep this short and to the point. Everybody Bollywood fan has a favorite hero. A favorite hero is more than an actor, he's shorthand for how you chose to see the filmi world. Aamir is the intellectual; Shahrukh is the romantic; Salman is the boss. And Akshay?

Akshay works hard; Akshay is straightforward; and Akshay has never met the word "irony." These are qualities I admire in him (or if you prefer, his public persona) and hope to improve in myself.

As an viewer, I don't always enjoy the films that he does - 8 x 10 Tasveer comes to mind - but even when the film is a stinker, Akshay is in there giving it 110% to try and salvage something entertaining for the audience.

Over the years, critics have repeatedly turned Akshay into a punching bag. It is the consensus view in the usual circuit of reviewers that he can't act and is a buffoon onscreen. I strongly disagree with that sentiment. It's not that Akshay is a bad actor, he's just not a TV screen actor. Akshay acts big and he acts with his whole body. Things that don't register on a tiny youtube window, can be sublime when 22 feet tall - a cocked eyebrow, a hand gesture, a crinkle of the eyes... And while he'll never be one of those actors who can disappear into a role, he has no problem conjuring up all sorts of interesting and different characters to play. Just compare his nerdy avatar in Jaan-e-Mann to the tough guy in Tashan to the upright citizen of Dharkan.

I love that Akshay loves hiphop and has been a supporter of my girl Hard Kaur. I love that Akshay continues to make films for the people in the cheap seats. I love that Akshay obviously couldn't care less about fashion and lets his wife, Twinkle, dress him. I love that he can conjure up chemistry with almost any heroine, including REKHA.** And I love that Akshay Kumar can - in the 21st century - sell an effective slipping on a banana peel gag to an audience.

He hasn't had the best of luck these last few years but in that time, he's put out some films that I really enjoyed - especially Tees Maar Khan and Tashan, which featured masterful performances from the khiladi.

So, let's raise a glass (of something non-alcoholic) for our teetotaler khiladi and wish him all the best for Desi Boyz and Joker and Housefull 2 and whatever else he has coming up!


* Least of all, Akshay himself, which is just one more reason to love him.
** The only other hero to do that in recent years is Arshad Warsi, my other favorite. Coincidence? I think not.

Enjoy this video I made ages ago... sorry for the poor video quality.


Moimeme said...

Happy Birthday to Akshay! I like him as an actor, even if I don't like his films. Indeed, I haven't seen all that many of them, but he has always struck me as being very sincere and hard working, and certainly extremely good looking in his younger days (and not so bad now!)

Everyone has a run of bad luck from time to time, and even if it is a result of poor judgement in selecting scripts, this is hardly a crime, and the actor certainly pays for the error in terms of box office.

I'm really looking forward to seeing Breakaway, his Canadian film.

Sourav said...

Happy Birthday Akshay
he had no godfather, he is self made man, i respect him for what he is, he is the best in bolly

Mette said...

I also don't like a whole stack of Akshay's films, but you can't help but admit that he always gives all he has. And I love his voice :).

womanbread said...

I've only recently (the pat 3 or 4 months) gotten into Akshay, and all I can say is...what took me so long??! I think he's probably the best dancer out there (Hrithik's dancing kinda weirds me out sometimes...he's almost too fluid...know what I mean?). Also Akshay's got great acting range - from comedy to action to drama to romance, all done so naturally, not try-hard. When I compare his crying in 'Namastey London' to so many of Shah Rukh's (and don't get me wrong - I think SRK is great. He was my 'first love' as far as Hindi films go - I fell in love with him at first sight dancing on top of that train to 'Chaiyya Chaiyya' and it's only lately that my 'love' for him is on the wane, slightly...sigh...), there is no comparison. Akshay just comes across so naturally, not forced, even in scenes that demand tears, but done in a 'manly' way.

And oh yeah, I agree with Mette...I love his speaking voice, too. I was watching 'Namastey London' a couple of weeks ago, and I swear, the expression of heartbreak on his face through all that Jazz (Katrina) put him through spoke volumes, without uttering one word. He was a pure joy to watch in that film.

Please educate and enlighten me - I've got Dhadkan, Tashan, Aankhen, Keemat, Ajnabee, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Jaanwaar, Namastey London and Humko Deewana Kar Gaye - actually, that's not too shabby a list for an Akki newbie, now that I think about it, LOL. So...which films would you recommend next?

I've not seen 'Main Khiladi Tu Anari,' but I've read mixed reviews about that one. Oh yeah, and I've read that 'Sangharsh' is pretty good, too.

So, all that said - happy birthday Akshay!

womanbread said...

Oh yeah! I forgot to mention something very important - Akshay Kumar is very, very easy on the eyes. He was adorably sexy when he was younger, but now he's sexy in a completely different way.

Note from Filmi Girl:

I love Bollywood - and all the ridiculous things that happen in Bollywood - but it doesn't mean that I can't occasionally make fun of various celebrities and films.

If you don't like my sense of humor, please just move on by - Trolls are not appreciated and nasty comments will be deleted.

xoxo Filmi Girl
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