25 Years of Khiladi: The Rise & Rise of Akshay Kumar

If you type ‘Akshay Kumar Film’ in Google search box, the second suggestion shown is ‘Akshay Kumar film Jaanwar’. This may surprise you but not many of the film buffs and box-office experts. The 1999 film directed by Suneel Darshan ran for over three months in a theatre in Purnea in Bihar and was declared a hit. Jaanwar was one of those few films in late 1990s with which Akshay Kumar began his bid to change his image of an action star. Not to forget, Jaanwar was made on a budget of Rs 4.5 crore, it garnered over Rs 12.5 crore, almost 300% returns to producers. In the same year, he had also done Sangharsh which proved he can do serious roles and that too with an ease.

Akshay Kumar has come a long way since the days of Jaanwar and Sangharsh and is in a phase where he can almost do anything. From playing a special officer in Baby to a village simpleton in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, he never looks out of place. He is currently the most consistent Bollywood star in the industry. And you know why, because the last time Akshay’s films flopped was in 2013 – Once Upon ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara! and Boss. Since then, even a mindless entertainer Singh is Bliing too became an average hit, riding on stardom of Akshay Kumar.

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The story of SRK is far from over

Once writer-lyricist Mayur Puri had said that any story has three parts- beginning, middle and end. Same is the story of enigma called Shahrukh Khan. His beginning was humble as well as crackling with middle-class cinema films like Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, revenge-thriller Baazigar, Darr, Anjaam, all-time superhit DDLJ and so on. The middle was marked by Dil Se, Devdas, Kal Ho Naa Ho, Yash Chopra classic VeerZaara, my all-time favourite Swades, Farah Khan’s debut Main Hoon Na, Paheli, Don and sports drama Chak De India.

I would like to believe that end of King Khan is still quite far but the phase from 2008 has seen more disappointments than hits and has not been kind enough. He has done more experiments lately but sadly most of them have failed to generate the results as everyone would have expected.

Ever since Jab Harry Met Sejal released, critics and fans have been asking Why Harry met Sejal? According to me, this one line summarises the recent choices of films of Shahrukh Khan and their box-office collections. Why SRK chose those films and why did they fail to garner collections?

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