In Part II of this special feature, we had a look at Akshay Kumar's not-so-impressive middle innings followed by a revival that brought him in an altogether different bracket. Now in this third and concluding part, here is detailing Akshay's golden innings followed by a turnaround in progress.
The golden run
Coming back to his successful stint in the mid-2000s, this was the time when Shah Rukh had found the King Khan title for himself. Though Akshay never claimed that he wanted to find a position up in the top slot, the fact remains that he was pretty much turning out to be a serious contender for that. The going was wonderful with big successes coming his way every year. 2004 (Khakee, Mujhse Shaadi Karogi), 2005 (Waqt, Garam Masala), 2006 (Phir Hera Pheri, Bhagam Bhag) and especially 2007 (Heyy Babyy, Namastey London, Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Welcome) were rocking for him and there was just one more blockbuster waiting to happen before formal announcements would have finally been made.
Singh Is Kinng released in 2008 and became a major success. Now if at all Shah Rukh Khan (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi) and Aamir Khan (Ghajini) wouldn't have seen bigger successes in the same year, Akshay would have occupied the top slot quite comfortably. One suspected that he would actually manage to top it all with his upcoming releases but 2009 turned out to be a mixed year that proved to be a spanner in his plans.
That dated feeling
In the middle of it all, Akshay has also ensured that even his dated films are completed and released. No wonder, even when he was peaking as a star, Akshay had films like Police Force, Hatya - The Murderer and Meri Biwi Ka Jawab Nahi releasing between 2004-2005. While the fate of his other delayed film Hello India (earlier known as Purab Ki Laila Paschim Ka Chaila) is still unknown, one can be rest assured that there would indeed be a surprise up his sleeves.
A bumpy ride
However 2009 wasn't quite a happy hunting ground for Akshay to begin with, what with his much hyped Chandni Chowk To China not quite doing well. Pretty much touted to be an affair that would win east as well as west, it was given a cold shoulder by critics and audience. The film failed at the box office and what made matters worse was the debacle of 8X10 Tasveer where he was seen in a different light as a serious actor.
Kambakkht Ishq was a reasonable success and though it did take the biggest opening ever of his career, it didn't stay on to become a much needed super-hit that he was looking for. Blue too enjoyed all the moolah mainly due to its opening and ultimately it was left to laugh riot De Dana Dan that turned out to be a reasonable success for Akshay, hence bringing on smiles before the end of year.
All his hopes were now on Housefull to become that much needed money spinner that would join the likes of Welcome and Singh Is Kinng. Fortunately for him, that happened as well in early 2010 as this Sajid Khan directed affair took a record opening for an Akshay starrer. The film was a clean hit and though the film that followed, Khatta Meetha, was average at the box office, Akshay was breathing easy again. He had all the right reasons to do that. But then Action Replayy didn't quite result in a cracker of a Diwali for him while Tees Maar Khan too had to settle down as a coverage affair after a very good opening weekend.
A turnaround ahead
Meanwhile, Akshay decided to mix up genres in the coming months. So even though Patiala House didn't quite set the cash registers running, Akshay saw some of the best reviews coming his way in the recent times. Delivering a subtle performance which was acknowledged and appreciated by all those who saw the film, Akshay started 2011 on a good note critically at the least. On the other hand, his commercial outing Thank You, despite a slow start, eventually managed to sustain itself to an extent that was good enough to keep everyone's head over water.
Months to come promise to be far more exciting though with Desi Boyz in pipeline. Touted to be a fun entertainer, the film is also special as it brings back the Garam Masala jodi of Akshay-John. Joker has 3D as well as sci-fi meets fantasy as its USP while Sanjay Leela Bhansali-Prabhu Deva flick Rowdy Rathore brings him back into an out and out action outing. Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai 2 is a sequel which is being most awaited by many out there with a definite bonus element being Akshay Kumar who would be stepping into an altogether different territory with this one.
With reinvention being the name of the game here, one looks forward to Akshay Kumar seeing a massive turnaround to his name in next couple of years to come, with an all-important element - choice of different subjects, genres and teams - making all the difference.
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