Planet Bollywood
Akshay Kumar - Mr. Reliable at the Box Office
- Pankaj Kumar Sinha, Special Correspondent           Let us know what you think about this feature article

The film industry and the media have given more value to box office than awards and critics. The box office clearly explains market value of an actor. The actor may be talented and giving terrific performances but has nil value if his films do not work at the box office. It is the harsh truth which actors need to understand and accept. All the great film makers are also remembered for their successful movies at the box office rather than the critical acclaim they received. The films are made for entertaining audience and the film makers should not forget that.

The one actor who has been delivering consistently at the box office for more than two decades is Mr. Reliable Akshay Kumar. He has acted in over a hundred films as a lead actor. He does the maximum number of films in one year and most of it are successful at the box office. He started his career doing action films for most part of his first decade as an actor and garnered success with his Khiladi series of films. His memorable films during that phase were 'Khiladi', 'Mohra', 'Main Khiladi Tu Anari', 'Yeh Dillagi', 'Sabse Bada Khiladi', 'Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi' and 'Jaanwar'. But he was never considered in the league of Khan Troika of Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Salman Khan. The critics found his acting to be wooden during those times.

Akshay Kumar's action films were flopping left and right. Gradually, he moved to comedy. 'Hera Pheri' was a big turning point in his career. The comedy films made him more popular. Akshay Kumar is best actor suited for comedy films and his comic timing is brilliant. During this phase, his films became bigger successes at the box office and was giving tough competition to Khans. His memorable films during this phase were 'Siingh is Kinng', 'Namastey London', 'Mujhse Shaadi Karogi', 'Housefull', 'Garam Masala', 'Desi Boys', 'Bhool Bhulaiya' and 'Heyy Baby'. He was getting stuck to an image as an actor in comic roles. Most of his films looked similar in setting.

Actors always need to experiment with their choices of films and roles. Otherwise you will be stuck in a certain image and you will build fans around that. Akshay Kumar decided to do different kind of roles and films and this has been the best phase for him as an actor. It has given him lot of respect as an actor within the industry. Salman Khan had recently told to media that Akshay Kumar has shown best growth as an actor within his contemporaries. It is a huge compliment from your own colleague in the industry. His recent films like 'Special 26', 'Baby', 'Airlift', 'Rustom' and now recent release 'Toilet - Ek Prem Katha' have got lot of critical acclaim. He also won National Award for his role for film 'Rustom' for best actor.

His recent release 'Toilet - Ek Prem Katha' has raised an important issue of sanitation in the country. It is actually promoting Prime Minister Narendra Modi' initiative of 'Swachh Bharat'. The film has raised important social issue in an entertaining manner. The actor like Akshay Kumar is slowing moving to social based subjects made films and has been compared to legendary actor Manoj Kumar on this. The quality of his films have improved. It is more real and audience can connect with it.

We need to credit his wife Twinkle Khanna to bring change in his choice of films. They say there is a woman behind every man's success. This has proved in the case of Akshay Kumar. He is a hard working and punctual actor. He is also very down to earth personality with great sense of humor and that is the reason his fans are increasing manifold. He speaks best Hindi in the industry among all heroes. The fans are able to connect better with him. Akshay Kumar is the Mr. Reliable of the Bollywood.


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