Happy birthday, Akshay Kumar: Times when 'Khiladi' aced romantic roles
Akshay Kumar's illustrious legacy in Bollywood is second to none. An actor who has enjoyed critical and commercial success in numerous genres such as comedy, action, and patriotic films, Kumar's journey from being an outsider to being a superstar is exemplary. As Khiladi Kumar turns 55, let's look at a genre where his acting chops have somehow often gone unnoticed: romance. Let's dive in.
Dharmesh Darshan's Dhadkan doesn't just crown the litany of Kumar's best romantic roles, but it's a quintessential true-blue romantic drama. A troubled heroine stuck at the crossroads, a kind, perfect man she eventually falls for, and a flawed hero-turned-villain, what's not to like? Dhadkan's multiple romantic chartbusters deserve a special mention, particularly for the way they brought out Kumar's chemistry with Shilpa Shetty Kundra.
'Humko Deewana Kar Gaye'
Raj Kanwar's Humko Deewana Kar Gaye turned out to be a game changer for both Kumar and leading lady Katrina Kaif, since it gifted Bollywood a fresh jodi. Though the film couldn't light up the box office, the duo's sparkling chemistry didn't go unnoticed and they subsequently appeared together in several hits like Welcome, De Dana Dan, etc. Watch it on Disney+ Hotstar.
An enjoyable rom-com whose magic hasn't withered away even 15 years after its release, Namastey London's charm lies in its innocence. The Vipul Amrutlal Shah directorial turned out to be a critical and commercial success and also earned Khiladi Kumar a Filmfare nomination in the Best Actor category. Kumar and Kaif weaved magic together and the screen absolutely cracked with their dreamy chemistry.
Abbas-Mustan's Aitraaz may be predominantly a thriller, but it's also a tender story of love, loss, and longing. It pits Kumar and Kareena Kapoor Khan against the primary antagonist Priyanka Chopra and narrates a tale of companionship and perseverance. It's also refreshing to see a woman stepping up to protect her husband, as opposed to other films where it's usually the other way around.
Remember Udit Narayan's soulful, evergreen melody Ek Dilruba Hai? It's from this film. This 2005 multistarrer co-starred Kapoor Khan, Sushmita Sen, and Anil Kapoor, where Kumar was paired opposite Kapoor Khan. This story of unrequited love was praised for its plot, performances, and "modern approach on complicated relationships," and Kumar won accolades for playing a man wronged in love. It's streaming on ZEE5.