Today he’s known for the biggest commercial capers that smash the box office year after year! He may have a few lows but Akshay Kumar is always riding high. Known for his high prices, iconic smile and extremely high budget films Akshay Kumar has truly reformed himself in the millennium. There was a time when smiling and Akshay Kumar didn’t mix. When girls and Akshay Kumar were rarely seen except for in songs and rare romantic moments in his action films. With his latest release, Thank You, about to hit the screens we thought why not give you all flash back of the good-old Akki. We do the impossible and manage to bring you six films from his past that are not to be missed!
Main Khiladi Tu Anari — Angry Young Man! A phrase that might as well be Akshay Kumar’s middle name in the 90s as that is what he was famous for. In MKTA he’s character of Ajay was angrier than any other as he fought for revenge for his brother’s death all the while with an annoying Bollywood actor tailing him for tips on becoming an action hero (Saif Ali Khan as Deepak). The film is one of the most entertaining buddy-cop styled action dramas in the history of Indian cinema. Whilst it may have tried to go down the Sholay route all to obviously, Main Anari Tu Khiladi remains a unique comedy action drama that is not to be missed!
Mr and Mrs Khiladi — As we already established, light hearted moments were a rarity for Akshay Kumar back in the day. The angry young man was his bread and butter however the actor took a risk with Mr and Mrs Khiladi. He did the most unpredictable thing and signed on this David Dhawan comedy (remake of Telugu film Aa Okkati Adakku) that had no room for anger or action! Yet he shined once again and won a whole new group of fans. He was simply adorable as crazy Raja desperate to attain the future an astrologer promised he would get if he married a certain millionaire’s daughter!
Aarzoo — Akshay took a further leap and explored the more emotional side of him in 1999 with Lawrence D Souza romantic drama Aarzoo alongside Madhuri Dixit and Saif Ali Khan. If Anu Malik’s melodious tracks aren’t enough to get you to watch this film the gripping storyline will! The film rides high on emotions and perhaps catered to a more mature audience as it talked about a woman torn between two men and forced to move on from her first love. In a time when Hindi cinema was dedicated to exploring simple ‘first love’ styled love stories, Aarzoo truly was ahead of its times and thus left a strong impression.
International Khiladi — 1999 was ‘the’ year for Akki as it was the first time he shared screenspace with his now wife, Twinkle/Tina Khanna. The film that marked their debut as a couple onscreen was one of a kind indeed! International Khiladi was no ordinary film about the world of crime but dealt with a host of other issues. Akshay excelled in the character of Devraj the don who falls in love with a journalist. He’s mysterious, scary, intimidating and even cute at moments! Without a doubt one of the actors best performances till date! A high-powered suspense thriller that is one of a kind!
Dhadkan — if 1999 was ‘the’ year for Akshay Kumar then Dhadkan would have to be ‘the’ film. Whilst the Darshan’s were always known for their mature romantic dramas, Dhadkan marked a historic moment for the Darshan camp. The film was deemed to be perfect in every way, performance, writing and music. Shilpa Shetty was given a second birth with this film whilst Sunil Shetty’s villainous avatar was praised everywhere. Until this film, Akshay Kumar had played bad so good but with Dhadkan he truly wooed the audiences when he played good so good! Ram remains to be an iconic character in the history of Indian cinema and one of the most desirable characters Bollywood writers have ever created.
Hera Pheri — in all honesty if you’re someone who has yet to see this Priyadarshan classic then you have absolutely no idea what the director is capable of! After a long period of time Akshay once again risked doing an out an out comedy. Luckily for him the risk paid off and how! Till date it remains as one of the most memorable comedies of Indian cinema and Priyadarshan’s best work. The chemistry between the three lead actors is yet to be matched. Akshay as the wayward and selfish Raju is not to be missed!
It is pretty much impossible to sum up the iconic moments of a man’s career who’s filmography has an almost uncountable number of titles. Let’s hope as the years go by such a list becomes even more impossible to formulate with many more iconic films in the future from our Khiladi Kumar, who now with his successful streak at the box office has been crowned Jubilee Kumar!