From action hero to India’s hero: Is Akshay Kumar the new patriotic hero of Bollywood?
India is yet again reeling under attack from the neighbouring forces. There is a bid to foil the peace and harmony drive our country has been promoting all this while by some unknown dangerous enemies from across the border. The country is in dire need of a man who can clear the clouds of darkness and walk its citizens into the light with peace and harmony. Who is that one person India can look upto and be assured that all will be well? Walk in Akshay Kumar- aka India’s new age poster boy of pop patriotism!
So, is Akshay Kumar reinventing himself as the new-age patriotic hero of Bollywood? Is he taking forward the legacy of India’s son- the original patriotic hero- from Manoj Bharat Kumar? Well, he has had one release every year to evidence the fact. Baby, Holiday, Gabbar is Back, Airlift and soon-to-be-released Rustom have plotlines that are aimed at showing him as a saviour and a man without whom India cannot restore peace. At 48, perhaps he has realised that he can’t go on buffooning himself on screen if he wants to sustain himself in Bollywood for long. Yes he has the image of an action hero but with the new lot of actors like Tiger Shroff and Varun Dhawan slowly and gradually making a niche for themselves in the genre; it is not long before the audience will tire themselves-off watching Akshay do the same stuff movie after movie.
Akshay is a self-made superstar who has a very grounded and earthy persona and his fans love him for that. His trajectory in the film industry has surprised many and is considered to among the most successful stories in Bollywood. From being ridiculed for a weak voice and zero acting chops to no USP as such to boast about; he has definitely come a long way.
Yes he has played larger than life characters in movies like the Khiladi series and Welcome among others, but that is all in the past now. His audience has matured since then and even he knows that they can’t be tricked into watching something that is cyclical and bereft of sanity.
Therefore, for every Singh is Bling he now does a Baby and every Boss is followed by an Airlift. He is not giving up his brand of excess just yet but is gradually moving towards making a shift. His patriotic movies pack quite a punch and are a mix of over-the-top action sequences and high level nationalism, something his fans can’t seem to get enough of. And so to continue with his winning streak at the box office and give his fans some more dose on patriotism he is coming up a new thriller (based on the sensational 1959 Nanavati case where naval officer, Commander Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati, was tried for the murder of his wife’s lover, Prem Ahuja). Will he be able to further cement his image as a patriotic hero and happily daub a tricolour hue to his image once again with this one? Only time will tell.
For now you can enjoy the first look of the movie here. Written by Vipul K. Rawal and directed by Tinu Suresh Desai the movie also stars Ileana D’Cruz and is slated for release on 12th August, 2016.