Akshay Kumar has stopped being diplomatic. After the onslaught that he faced with the release of Chandni Chowk To China, he decided to call 'enough is enough' and took a front foot during the promotion of Blue. He was quite vociferous about the current trend in Bollywood where negative reviews start floating through SMSes on Thursday night itself. He kept his head high up during De Dana Dan as well and is maintaining the same mood for Housefull as well, which many tout as being all set to fetch the biggest ever opening of Akshay's career.
This appears to be a good follow up to the 2006-2008 phase for Akshay when number of his films worked primarily due to his star presence and knack of going over and above the script. No wonder, it led to soaring expectations amongst the audience due to which they became greedier for content as well rather than just look at Akshay Kumar on screen.
"I see what you are saying, and again I agree that expectations are a very tricky business. But I am only one man", says Akshay, "I will always give my best, but I know I am not always right. I can't rely on my screen effort alone to make a movie successful. There must be content, memorable dialogues, fantastic songs, love, romance, passion, tears, and laughter. But I am just one actor; I am not a professional in all areas when it comes to films. I make so many films that it becomes impossible to put so much attention to detail in everyone that I make. My actual answer is that I know I must give my audience more and yes, I am working on it."
Well, one has to agree when Akshay acknowledges working on too many movies. Last year itself saw the release of as many as five films that were evenly spread out right through those 12 months. Also, except for 8X10 Tasveer and to an extent Chandni Chowk To China, each of his other three releases did take a very good opening. Whether it was Kambakkht Ishq, Blue or De Dana Dan, no one could have really complained as far as the opening weekend was concerned. Still, not many from the trade or industry are willing to acknowledge this box office pull. Why has that been the case, one asks Akshay?
"Because not many people, whether it's the heroes even heroines really want to see others succeed", comes a blunt answer from Akshay, "I am not saying there is anything wrong with that; after all it's just human competitive instincts. I know I had very good openings last year, and so do these actors as well. But then they can't be expected to happily acknowledge that even some of my not so great movies have also fetched such bumper openings."
He shrugs away the mentality of his peers and counterparts. "It's ok if that's the way they wish to be", sighs Akshay, "Actually I reckon the day when our industry comes together and works in unison. Now that will be the day when our industry will become the strongest. No bitching, no bad mouthing, no sabotaging - just pure enthusiasm for each other's work. Of course, it all sounds almost too good to be true, isn't it?"
Talking about his films taking an opening, it is a known fact that for any actor, it's his/her right to claim superstar status as long as a film opens well. After that, it's the product that has to do the talking, right?
"Errr, well I would say 'kind of' actually", says Akshay after a quick thinking, "Yes, it is my duty to pull in the crowds but then it is also my duty to keep them coming film after film. Even if a movie isn't the best as it should be, as a superstar one must be great enough to still convince people that the film is worth seeing even if it is just to see your performance and not the film."
He is quick to admit that he is yet to attain such superstar status.
"That's right, only superstars have that power that results in the kind of box office pull that I was mentioning. I admit that I am nowhere near that standard (yet). Once that happens, then and only then do you really get to be called a Legend. Yup, not lucky, but a real Legend", smiles Akshay before signing off.